Desktop Virtualization: Comparing Options Frustrates IT

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Desktop virtualization has a comparison problem. Faced with too many product choices, and little concrete data comparing costs and benefits, many IT departments are delaying decisions -- or simply going with products from vendors they already use.

Virtual desktops—once the most rigid, least friendly way to put applications in front of end users—have become a hot topic by promising to deliver the security and easy maintenance that was always desktop virtualization's strength. The trouble: Desktop virtualization now comes in so many varieties that even vendors confuse terms referring to the flavors.

Market leader Citrix Systems, now working hard to expand virtual desktops into roles that the company hasn't traditionally filled, rolled out a version of its Xen Desktop solution last fall that allowed customers to choose any of six major delivery methods.

[ For timely virtualization news and expert advice on strategy, see CIO.com's Virtualization Drilldown section. ]

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