Will 2012 be the year when desktop virtualization begins to conquer the SMB sector? At any rate, a recently published study by the market researchers from Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) comes to the conclusion that the technology has significant growth potential in this segment. According to its results, 63 percent or almost two-thirds of the 114 surveyed IT decision-makers from German small and midsized businesses expect their desktop virtualization activities to increase in the coming two to three years.
Jon Rolls believes that one obstacle in the way of rollout of desktop virtualization by SMBs will be reduced in 2012. The Vice President of Product Management for User Workspace Management at Quest Software forecasts at vmblog.com that one of the main trends for the year will be falling costs for the technology. Among other things, he bases this assumption on continuous storage optimizations and a higher density of virtual machines per host (e.g. thanks to the introduction of Dynamic Memory with Hyper-V R2 SP1); broader use of client-hosted virtual desktops will also help reduce the data center infrastructure. Above all, however, Rolls stresses the revival of terminal server technology in this regard. It will remain the more cost-effective way to facilitate desktop virtualization until VDI costs fall further. However, competition between the two approaches will also lead to lower prices long term, regardless of the variant actually used.
Krishna Subramanian, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Citrix Systems, sees one of the main trends this year as being mainstream adoption of pre-configured, purpose-built virtualization appliances for different application areas, such as VDI-in-a-Box, which is offered by Citrix itself (previously: Kaviza) in the field of desktop virtualization. Since an IT generalist with no specialized virtualization expertise can pick up and use these solutions, virtualization will be opened up to the masses. That’s why Subramanian, likewise at vmblog.com, also expects other major IT vendors to offer such in-a-box solutions. Subramanian predicts that the “Hyper V” effect will be a further important trend: Microsoft’s hypervisor now offers small and midsized businesses a simple and affordable approach to enable rapid adoption of virtualization at companies.
However, there is also dynamism on the client side. Last October, for instance, Citrix presented the Citrix “HDX Ready” System-on-Chip initiative. The goal is to develop an entirely new generation of thin devices to deliver optimal multi media experience, including high-definition graphic and video power using HDX technology. The system-on-chip (SoC) design enables these new endpoint devices to deliver high-definition virtual apps and desktops. Further adavantages are the lower costs and less power consuption compared to other devices.