Desktop Virtualization and Evolving Strategies for IT Service Delivery

by Jaime Halscott


Desktop virtualization seems like the next natural step in the recent trend toward infrastructures that aren't directly tied to hardware; however desktop virtualization and VDI are part of a larger end user service delivery goal, but not necessarily the entire solution. Recent positive experiences with server virtualization have led IT managers to assume that the results of service delivery will be the same for VDI. But this may not be the case.

In Desktop Virtualization and Evolving Strategies for IT Service Delivery, virtualization expert and author Jaime Halscott reveals the many challenges of implementing a desktop virtualization strategy, and how these challenges differ from current server virtualization implementations. He goes on to demonstrate how VDI is but one of several emerging solutions for providing top level IT service delivery. In addition, Halscott looks forward to offer insight on future technologies that will impact your enterprise, and how you can begin planning for those technologies now!


Chapter 1: Understanding the Challenges of Building VDI Now for Future End User Service Delivery

Our industry's trend towards virtualization quickly evolved from a buzz phrase to a storm. Server virtualization has been a great fit for a vast majority of companies, but can the same be said for desktop virtualization? There is no doubt that desktop virtualization and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) are emerging industry trends, but are they right for your exact business goals?

That is the question this guide intends to answer. Although building VDI is a goal of many IT organizations, does the excitement surrounding VDI technology obfuscate the business problems it intends to resolve? This book will serve as a guidepost toward effectively determining the best alignment between technology and business need. That guidepost can serve as both a directional marker and a warning—and the intention is to accomplish both. The aim is to help the IT architect determine what business requirements drive the move toward desktop virtualization as well as choose the right path in desktop virtualization.

Desktop Virtualization: Means or End?

The IT industry finds itself in a quandary between technology and business requirements. Technology exists that dramatically improves the efficiency of the IT organization, but does the implementation of that technology in fact burden its users? Could an IT return on operational efficiency actually hinder the business in other ways? Determining whether desktop virtualization represents a solution or a means to that solution requires asking key questions:

  • How does desktop virtualization align with end user service delivery?
  • What additional benefits or enhancements to end user service delivery will come from the VDI project?
  • Are those benefits cost justified?
  • Do the desktop virtualization steps taken now align and integrate with future growth and other emerging technologies?

Chapter 2: Smart Approaches for Merging Desktop Virtualization Today and Tomorrow

Although the promises of desktop virtualization both in terms of scalability and cost savings don't always work the way they do with server virtualization, many of the technological similarities can allow solutions to serve double duty. The previous chapter looked at the key differentiators between server and desktop virtualization in general, including cost models and project justifications, problems with supporting different types of users, and the reasons for a desktop virtualization project in general.

The trend towards desktop virtualization, as a natural extension of the trend in server virtualization, shows no signs of slowing. Even if there are doubts about whether desktop virtualization is going to address all the needs of a business, it is certain that businesses are going to try to leverage desktop virtualization for at least some portion of the infrastructure. The challenge then becomes determining where to leverage and where not to, what to keep, what to reuse, and what to retire.

This chapter looks at which legacy solutions fit into virtual desktop service delivery and how to best use them. We will explore how the cloud is affecting the desktop virtualization trend. In addition, there is a whole series of emerging technologies that will make you rethink where and how to leverage virtual desktops. Based on this information, you'll be able to determine where desktop virtualization best fits into a service delivery model.

Chapter 3: Integrating Legacy and Emerging Technologies into IT Service Delivery

This chapter will build upon the lessons learned in the first two chapters to determine how to build a successful VDI that meets the goals of end user service delivery without overreaching as a solution. We are going to apply the lessons learned earlier to allow us to best leverage desktop virtualization as part of a continually developing series of service delivery methods.

One of the keys to desktop virtualization is to understand the limits of technology now while anticipating what is coming in the near future. The market is constantly changing as vendors see how businesses want to leverage desktop virtualization and then help adapt the technologies to work where they haven't quite been a good fit yet. This chapter will explore where natural progressions in technologies will enable greater use of desktop virtualization.

This chapter will conclude with a solid explanation of what can be done now to maximize an investment in desktop virtualization and what to expect in the near future. This understanding will provide a means to determine whether desktop virtualization is the right service delivery technology for your organization—or will be as the technologies underpinning it mature.