Although virtualization has been around for decades now, it has only become a well-known concept and a multi-billion-dollar market with cloud computing. Gartner, an IT research firm, estimated that the server virtualization market grew by 5.7 percent between 2015 and 2016, to reach nearly $6 billion in value. Although server virtualization is now a mature market, other forms of virtualization, such as network and/or data center virtualization (i.e. software-defined data centres), are still in development. Software-defined networking and other emerging technologies will revolutionize the way IT departments operate in the coming year.
Let’s now focus on virtualization of applications, and computer desktops. These types fall somewhere in between the maturity of server virtualization, and the novelty of SDN or SDDC – both are widely used but not a standard practice in every IT organization. Here are five key facts about desktop and application virtualization.
1. There are many ways to virtualize your desktop.
Desktop virtualization is the process of separating an operating system and the client it was accessing. If you open Microsoft Windows or Apple macOS from your personal computer, you are running an OS that is attached (in this instance, the client) and supported by the hardware/software of that PC/Mac. In a virtualized environment, however, the OS and client are not as tightly connected.
There are two main types desktop virtualization options:
Host-based: Users connect to OSes on virtual or physical machines that are hosted in a remote data center; terms such as “thin client” or “zero client” may be used to refer to the barebones hardware that they use to access the host.Client-based: Local hardware is used, but the OS is contained on a disk image that is elsewhere on the company network.Host-based allows for a smaller hardware footprint, but client-based may provide more predictable performance.Virtualized desktops can be run from remote instances in data centers.
2. Virtualization for application offers a similar set.
App virtualization can be thought of as a more specific type of desktop virtualization. It is a method in which a program is isolated from the client that uses it. Virtualizing an app can be done in two ways:
Remote apps: Users can access remote servers in data centers using a remote display protocol. The instances that support these apps may be shared by multiple users as part of a terminal services desktop, or reserved for individuals in the form of virtual desktop infrastructure.Streaming apps: As the name suggests, apps are delivered on-demand to local hardware, which executes their resources in isolation from other programs. This configuration ensures optimal performance as well as security.
3. IT can be made more secure by virtualizing apps and desktops
Computer viruses and other malware often exploit weaknesses in traditional applications. They might copy data to a local drive or exploit loopholes in non-approved software that is running on a company computer.
“Virtualized applications can be administered relatively easily.”
This is why desktop virtualization is so effective in protecting against these threats. Users are protected from malware that targets local machines and unauthorized apps by using a thin/zero client. Administrators can also identify suspicious system behavior more easily with centralized processing.
4. App virtualization simplifies legacy and cross-platform program support
Imagine that your application was created for a particular version of Windows or Linux. Your app will not work properly if you update to a newer OS. What can you do?
Virtualization is a viable option. It acts as an emulator that allows multiple versions of an application to run under the constraints of older platforms. This allows legacy and cross-platform apps to be supported without compromising security or performance.
5. Windows Server is a great platform to learn virtualization skills
Windows Server and Hyper-V, the hypervisor within it, are widely used for desktop virtualization/VDI or similar forms of virtualization. IT professionals who want to be administrators of virtualized environments may begin their learning within the Microsoft ecosystem. They can then transfer their skills to other platforms like VMware and cloud computing (Azure Web Services, Amazon Web Services, etc.). ).
Start with New Horizons Learning Group today at one of our 10 locations. Courses in Windows Server, Azure, and Cisconetworking will give you the technical and conceptual foundation to master desktop and application virtualization.