Many technologies have aligned in the last five years to create a Perfect Storm which has begun to enable Virtual Desktop delivery and what is currently referred to as DaaS (Desktop as a Service). The end goal for this technology is to provide a Virtual Operating System (primarily Windows-based today) to allow workers access their “work” applications at anytime in any location using any access device.
Hypervisors are NOT the only technology that enables desktop virtualization. You must consider hardware, software, storage, network, security, and access device proliferation. Smart phones, tablets, and net books are driving a trend of consumers\workers going out and purchasing their own access devices with the expectation that their work IT organization will support the device. The big challenge here is supporting ANY device with ANY operating system. Bandwidth; multi-media feature parity in delivery protocols and core OS platform support of applications still must be considered.
Some of the above is solved with the “VDI” solution. With clients that work with Linux & Apple devices it allows users to get their desktops and run apps in a completely different OS (MS) that has no conflicts with their company’s platform standard. That is if the provider of the Virtual Desktop Technology has a client and protocol algorithm that will work on the end point (ex: Linux, Apple,etc.)
Then we look at the whole “Cloud” evolution and private versus public, and the industry agreement that it will ultimately be about a hybrid combination: private+public=hybrid. Both consumers and business users will ultimately be renting resources to enable the end-user to have a “like local” experience and grant access from “anywhere using any device” to both work and personal resources.
Action Item: You have to take into consideration all the dependent technology associated with delivering this solution and understand what will be the most effective solution for your users today, but also what will be required to sustain and scale the technology long term.