Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Has Cost-Cutting Potential

eWEEK Labs' look at virtual desktop infrastructure finds benefits, including cost and "green" savings, that should cause enterprise IT managers to take notice.

Desktop virtualization is beginning to draw interest from enterprise IT managers, who don't have to look far to see the benefits that can be derived from the technology.

The big brother of VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure), server virtualization, has set off a veritable gold rush of IT projects that are paying off with drastically reduced hardware budgets, slashed deployment times and flattening utility charges.

The bottom line is that VDI appears set to break out of "bleeding edge," ready to move on to "leading edge." In addition, the cycle time to "state of the art" will likely be quite compressed given both the advances being made by the vendors and the interest on the part of desktop managers who are looking for technologies that will reduce operational costs, extend equipment life, centralize management and provide productivity improvement to end users.

Organizations that have large fleets of PCs that are used to run only routine Office applications, an e-mail client and a Web browser are about to come under intense pressure to provide these resources even more cheaply.

eWEEK Labs finds Sun's VirtualBox a solid alternative to VMware.
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VDI is getting set to mow down those who continue to locally station full-power PCs for routine office workers.

Although still quite new-and with many kinks yet to be worked out, not the least of which are complex and costly licensing schemes-VDI should be near the top of the strategic projects list even for "knowledge workers" who may use applications and peripheral hardware that can stymie the first- and second-generation VDI products currently available.

In addition, when the potential for "green savings" of VDI is added in, VDI becomes even more interesting. For example, data centers can "green" desktops by centralizing these desktop workloads in a data center where CPU cycles can just as easily be doled out to virtualized servers to process batch jobs when not needed for end users. At the very least, idled virtual desktops can be easily shut down in an automated fashion.