Like virtualization, desktop streaming is a modern centralized, on-demand IT technology that promises efficient utilization of server and network resources. But can client networks to which operating systems and applications are streamed deliver the same level of economic and effort-saving advantages that is achieved in general by thin clients in VDI environments, and by users of the Desktone Cloud in particular?
Let’s take the example of a company that still has a large number of non-upgradeable computers running under Windows XP and booting from the local hard disk – a typical IT scenario for many companies. Streaming Windows 7, for example, to these computers would be counter-productive since the hardware still retains its inherent limitations. Streamed or local, this operating system cannot run correctly on such systems. At the same time, all non-compatible devices are at risk from a single point of failure. In the event of a hard disk crash, the individual PC remains out of operation until it can be repaired. If the streaming server fails, all connected devices are severely restricted in their operation, and may even be totally inoperable. A further negative aspect for day-to-day system administration is that every operating system instance requires regular maintenance, regardless of whether it’s streamed or runs locally. Last but not least, change invariably brings inconvenience and costs, plus the necessity of testing new systems before they are used productively.
There are, of course, useful aspects to the streaming of applications within a VDI environment; it avoids having to install MSI packages separately on every virtual machine, for example. In my opinion, however, the pure streaming of operating systems or applications brings no benefits at all in terms of either cost or convenience!
In contrast, although PC repurposing and the transition to VDI also involves change, it results in clear advantages. Instead of continuing to have to work with different Windows versions on different hardware platforms, users quickly have a single instance on all their endpoints; all Windows 7 (and soon Windows 8 ) functions can be run on the same Windows and Office platform for all users. A further advantage is that management is opting for a single approach and a single piece of software, thus preventing a proliferation of Windows system management tools and proprietary client tools. Finally, no one has to worry any more about updates, patches and hotfixes, or whether they will soon have to purchase new hardware.
An extremely lean, Linux-based solution, NoTouch Desktop requires no additional installation and is constantly available to convert PCs and thin clients into efficient VDI infrastructures hosted in data centers or in the cloud. So start saving on the costs for your Windows licenses right now by installing NoTouch Desktop on your PCs!