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What is Desktop Virtualization?

What is Desktop Virtualization?

Andreas Krebs | SmallBizLink

December 10, 2009

The average business has desktop computers that never utilize all of their processing power and storage. Most desktops also have more features than the average user will ever need. Instead of spending money purchasing, maintaining and upgrading underused, expensive desktop computers, consider desktop virtualization.

What it is

desktop virtualization moves workstation processing power and storage to a server. Users can easily access the “virtual desktop” through inexpensive thin clients or a through a desktop client application which can be installed on existing workstations.

How it’s done

Virtualizing a desktop consists of removing the operating system from a traditional workstation and relocating a virtual copy of it on a host server. Users can then access the virtualized workstation—all of the programs, applications and data—through a remote desktop client application from workstations, laptops, Smartphones or thin client terminals.


  • Once a virtual desktop image has been created, it is easy to create and update other virtual desktops in minutes.
  • Extend the lifecycle of older workstations—underpowered, older computers can run new applications by using the server’s higher processing power.
  • Desktop virtualization gives users secure remote access anywhere they have a computer and an internet connection.
  • Multiple virtual desktops can run on the physical workstation at the same. This allows users to “toggle” back and forth from different operating systems and different applications.

Possible disadvantages

  • Centralization means less customization for end users
  • Peripherals on older devices may be difficult to support
  • Multimedia applications can be impacted since virtualization solutions don’t virtualize video card processors.
  • If the host server fails, users cannot access their virtual desktops.

Learn more

By virtualizing your business’s desktop computers, your company can save time and money since the lifespan of workstations can be extended and system maintenance takes less time. To learn more about how desktop virtualization can benefit your business, contact the virtualization experts at All Covered at 866-446-1133.