Total desktop management can be delivered from data centers to local or remote users as a managed service, at a reduced total cost of ownership. Downloading displays from a single approved image from data center servers achieves standardization. For improved performance, such as rapid response time, a standard protocol is applied. Customers can then access their personal desktops, including data, applications and settings without delay while using attached peripherals.
Individual desktops remain hosted on virtual servers in a data center, where the utilization of pooled assets – such a processors, files or communications – can be balanced for efficiency.
Centralized desktop management advantages are:
1. Central management of pooled resources reduces capital costs. With each reduction of $1 in capital costs there are $6 - $8 reductions in operating costs.
2. Capital and operating costs for desktops can be cut by >50% through deployment of thin clients.
3. The costs of electricity and air conditioning are reduced through efficiencies.
4. Security is enhanced through concentration of security appliances and methods.
5. Troubleshooting can be performed remotely saving on-site presence.
6. Desktops can operate without interruption through instant relocation in case of failure.
7. Desktops are present whenever a customer moves or if the customer switches to different technologies.
8. Desktops can detach for off-line use and reconnect and re-synchronize after return to the network.
The potential savings from centralized desktop management can be considerable (SOURCE: alinean.com):
To ensure security with centralized control for compliance with industry and government regulations such as HIPAA, SOX, government mandates enabling centralize control of desktops and software access. This calls for access of end users with credentials by restricting access on the basis of authentication method. Most important feature is the maintenance of locked down desktops (such as blocking of all USB ports) without restricting access to applications, which can be encapsulated in fully encrypted files. IT staff can be then assured if full security compliance. Desktop virtualization makes it also possible to conduct the monitoring of software licenses as well as integrations with existing policy-based usage mechanisms such as Active Directory and LDAP.
A special case is the management of migration to Windows 7. Upgrading of thousands of desktop devices is costly and time consuming. Windows XP applications will not automatically compatible with Windows 7. Additionally, many organizations have custom applications driving their businesses, recoding and recertification their applications for Windows 7 is costly. Most of them will have to rely on external vendors to provide the new compatible applications. By virtualizing existing Windows applications it removes the dependency of applications from the underlying operating system. A single application can then run across multiple Windows operating systems. Once the applications are virtualized, they can be moved to a complete Virtual Desktop environment by totally separating the operating system from the underlying hardware.
The insertion of a virtualization layer into the desktop environment should be seen as an extension of operating systems. It delivers functions that individual operating system cannot execute, such as the management of disparate operating systems in the same server. One can anticipate a diminishing role for operating systems as the virtualization software takes over hardware and communications functions.