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Learn more about Windows 7 and Desktop Virtualization Vol 12-11 | May 26, 2010
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For many organizations Windows 7 has been a catalyst for re-examining their desktop management practices. Traditionally, the desktop computing model has bonded the OS, applications, and user data to a single computer. Any changes to one component resulted in re-testing the whole stack, adding complexity, time, and costs. Desktop Virtualization refers to a set of capabilities that break the bonds between the Data and User Settings, Applications, and OS components. So what are the options and where should you begin?

User Data and Settings: Implementing roaming user profiles can make a user’s personal profile and preferences available on any authorized PC while folder redirection helps organizations secure and back up data to the data center.

Applications: Microsoft’s Application Virtualization  technology, part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack , streams applications to users, decoupling the application layer from the core operating system image.

Operating System: Virtualizing the OS layer typically involves running a legacy guest operating system (i.e Windows XP) within a modern host operating system (i.e. Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2) and can take several forms:

- Local Desktop Virtualization: Leverages the local PC’s computing power to overcome application to OS compatibility issues.

-Session Virtualization: Leverages Servers to present an entire desktop or just an application to a user who can control it from a rich or thin network-connected client

- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI ): VDI centralizes virtual desktops inside the datacenter and enables users to access a Windows desktop that is personalized with user preferences, applications, and data hosted on a server.

Organizations primarily interested in reducing TCO, increasing business agility, enabling access from anywhere, and accelerating Windows 7 migrations across connected and disconnected users should begin by virtualizing data and applications. This sets the foundation for complementary VDI implementations, which are typically of interest to organizations looking to increase security and compliance, centralize management, and deliver business continuity.

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