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Developing an Enterprise Client Virtualization Strategy

Developing an Enterprise Client Virtualization Strategy
Intel IT is investigating virtualization because it has the potential to transform client computing, reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) and increasing IT control while giving users more flexibility. However, because client virtualization embraces multiple rapidly evolving technologies, it can be difficult to identify the optimum long-term adoption strategy. Intel IT studies showed that OS and application streaming is the next evolutionary step for rich clients, OS virtualization is promising, new PC hardware can overcome performance concerns, and virtual containers are an important long-term direction. We are planning larger trials of streaming and continue to analyze developments in client virtualization.

Executive Summary
Intel IT has identified virtualization as a way to potentially transform client computing by reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) and increasing control over the client environment while giving users more flexibility.

Virtualization is evolving rapidly and embraces multiple technologies at differing stages of maturity, including OS virtualization, streaming, and virtual containers. Because we cannot realize our ultimate vision today, we need to examine the capabilities available and select those that deliver immediate benefits while helping us move in the right direction.
We conducted a series of studies to analyze the potential benefits of each technology and to begin to develop a targeted strategy for delivering client virtualization to our users. We found that:
• Application and OS streaming is the next step for rich clients, providing centralized management without sacrificing end user productivity. Application streaming also supports our mobile users.
• Client OS virtualization is promising and is well suited for some uses but needs to mature before mainstream deployment is feasible. Tests showed that new laptop PCs with Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT) can eliminate performance concerns.
• Virtual hosted desktop (VHD) is not a good fit because it does not support mobility, has problems with graphic- and compute-intensive applications, and requires infrastructure build-out.
• Virtual containers are important elements of our future vision and architectural direction, and could support new business models.

Read the full Developing an Enterprise Client Virtualization Strategy White Paper.

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