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Virtualizing the Client PC

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Virtualizing the Client PC

Virtualizing the Client PC: A Proof of Concept White Paper

To determine whether virtualizing client PC operating systems could lower total cost of ownership (TCO) while offering users more flexibility, Intel IT conducted a client virtualization proof of concept (PoC) in late 2007.

Intel’s traditional rich-client architecture delivers a full suite of powerful user applications. However, the PC build process is time-consuming, and the tight integration between applications, OS, and hardware inhibits change and limits user choice and flexibility. To determine whether we could streamline the build process and provide a viable virtualized solution, we created a PoC virtualized client environment and delivered it to users. We used PC-based hypervisor software, along with management software to address potential manageability, security, and integration issues.

We deployed the environment on DVD to 13 users, who completed the installation themselves. We found that client virtualization could potentially reduce TCO because fewer resources would be required for PC builds. Concerns included performance, security, application installation, and data migration.

Existing concerns may be resolved as virtualization technology matures. Key developments include hypervisors expected to deliver near-native performance as they begin to take advantage of faster processors with Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT). These developments may enable enterprises to reap the benefits of client virtualization, reducing client PC TCO while providing users with a greater choice of platforms and applications.

Read the full Virtualizing the Client PC Paper.