Grouping endpoint virtualization VMs
Ideally, you will be able to pool endpoint virtualization VMs according to end user types, running low requirement machines -- 1 GB to 2 GB of RAM per VM, a single virtual processor -- on one pool of host servers. Moderate requirement VMs -- 2 GB to 4 GB of RAM, possibly two virtual processors -- would run on another pool of host servers; and strenuous requirement machines -- 4+ GB of RAM, more than two processors -- on yet another set of host servers.
Grouping desktop VMs in this manner allows you to simplify the endpoint virtualization management model because you will be able to host multiple low and moderate requirement VMs on a pool of hosts while running fewer strenuous requirement VMs in a separate pool.
Another major advantage of endpoint virtualization, especially when you run volatile VMs, is that it greatly simplifies the Windows software update process. Because all VMs are generated from one or two source images and then discarded once the user logs off, you only need to maintain and update the source images each month, which vastly reduces your machine update overhead.
The future of endpoint virtualization
Endpoint virtualization is here to stay, and once organizations fully adopt it, it will provide completely new models for desktop management and utilization. The era of constant operating system roll-overs, distributed desktop management and end users with administrative access rights is drawing to an end.
Organizations will no longer need to manage complex hardware and software configurations to give end users access to their desktop environments. New devices with simpler operating systems such as Apple’s iPad and iPhone or Google’s Android are coming to the forefront and transforming the endpoint hardware model.
Centralized endpoint virtualization will continue and will maintain productivity workloads within Windows environments. But it will also continue to simplify the way we manage these machines. This transformation is ongoing and threatens to affect Microsoft’s desktop dominance once and for all.
About the experts
Danielle Ruest and Nelson Ruest are IT experts focused on continuous service availability and infrastructure optimization. They are authors of several books, including Virtualization: A Beginner's Guide and Windows Server 2008, The Complete Reference from McGraw Hill Osborne as well as the MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-238): Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 from MS Press. Their latest book is a training kit for Microsoft exam titled 70-652: Configuring Windows Server Virtualization with Hyper-V from MS Press. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.