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March 2009, Vol. 8

Terminal services take on VDI

Historically, data center managers have struggled with desktops and other endpoint devices such as PDAs because of the ongoing security and support needed for each device. Desktop virtualization technologies such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and application virtualization through terminal services products promise to mitigate these challenges by centralizing critical parts of the endpoint within a data center itself. But which option should data centers choose? By taking advantage of today’s desktop virtualization technology, organizations can opt for VDI with platforms such as Citrix Systems Inc’s XenDesktop or VMware Inc’s View. The VDI approach runs complete instances of each user’s desktop on a server, which handles all processing and delivers only the I/O activity of that instance to “dumb” endpoints. Still other organizations can choose to centralize applications only and provide access to end users through features such as Remote Desktop Services in Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 R2 or Citrix XenApp, formerly ...

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