Placing Your Desktop Virtualization Bets

Michael Vizard

When it comes to desktop virtualization, you can't help but wonder if the pursuit of all these various silos reflects any reality of the customer experiences today. When you look at VMware's approach to desktop virtualization specifically, it's pretty clear that from its perspective the center of the universe is a VMware virtual machine.

Microsoft has yet to fully make its desktop virtualization case, but you can safely assume that the company's Hyper-V virtual machine software is also at the center of a monotheistic approach to virtualization. Citrix, at least, gets points for having a more open approach that embraces Microsoft on the one hand, while grudgingly accepting the fact that some customers for reasons of their own might want to connect Citrix desktop virtualization software to a VMware server.

What will be interesting to watch as all this develops is how companies that traditionally sold only thin clients will evolve in a world full of heterogeneous desktop virtualization. Wyse Technology, for instance, sees nothing but opportunity ahead as customers look for a strategic partner that allows them to benefit from desktop virtualization without getting locked into a single architecture.

For example, Wyse under a project codenamed Badger is building a heterogeneous approach to desktop virtualization that will interoperate equally well with all the virtual servers on the market, said Jeff McNaught, chief marketing and strategy officer for Wyse. This offering is part of Wyse's overall client virtualization effort that includes forthcoming extensions to the company's Project Borg effort that will bring virtualization software to both the new Apple iPad and Google Android platforms, he said.

Whatever avenue IT organizations use to get to desktop virtualization, it won't take long before they come to an intersection with another approach. The only real question is will they have done enough strategic planning to deal with what will inherently be a heterogeneous world, or will they have inadvertently tied their fortunes to a single architecture and the one vendor who built it?

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