Virtual Desktops and Their Very Real Impact on Company Networks
February 06, 2013

Jim Rapoza
Aberdeen Group

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As someone who has been writing blogs, reviews, reports and articles for nearly twenty years, I’ve had more than a few run-ins with self-appointed grammar police. These vigilantes of the written word will jump on every mistake or perceived improper usage that crops up in an article.

One complaint that I’ve seen crop up more than a few times centers on the use of the word “virtually”. If you write something like “Virtually every company has invested in technology X”, the guardia de la gramática will jump on you for your lazy usage of the word.

But while people will debate about the mistakes made over the use of “virtually” in the written word, when it comes to the use of virtual desktops in businesses, it is clear that many companies are making a mistake when it comes to ensuring that their network and application infrastructure is ready to handle the impact that virtual desktops can have on network and application performance.

When a business makes the move to virtual desktops, the entire deployment is fraught with hurdles and potential “gotchas”. There will already be push-back and training issues with user bases accustomed to having local storage and local application choices on their work systems.

If a company adds performance issues to those hurdles, the complaints with the virtual desktop deployment will rise dramatically. And with good reason.

If the organization’s network is not well prepared and optimized to deal with a company user base on virtual desktops, all employee use of those desktops will be a lesson in frustration. Applications will load slowly, windows will freeze, and even simple mouse clicks and keystrokes can be afflicted by network lag.

In order to successfully implement a virtual desktop strategy, companies need to have a clear understanding of how their network is utilized and how applications and services are running on the network. Looking at data collected for the new Aberdeen report: The Move to Virtual Desktops and Applications and the Strain it Adds to Corporate Networks, those organizations that are invested in the performance management of virtual desktops tend to have a high level of visibility into key performance management metrics.

This is no “virtual” problem. It is quite real and how prepared an organization is for the performance impact of virtual desktops will be a deciding factor on how successful the virtual desktop deployment will be.

And oh yeah, just in case the grammar police find some errors in this blog post, I’d just like to say in advance “Oops. Thanks for the heads up.”

Jim Rapoza is Senior Research Analyst at Aberdeen Group.

Related Links:

Aberdeen report: The Move to Virtual Desktops and Applications and the Strain it Adds to Corporate Networks

Aberdeen IT Infrastructure Practice

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