In 2011, desktop virtualization saw better delivery protocols, feature-packed VDI product suites and new approaches to virtualizing desktops, as well as some VDI blunders that made the news. Vendors continued to improve their offerings throughout the year to make virtualizing desktops simpler and more effective.
Here's a countdown of the top 10 desktop virtualization news and tips that captured reader interest this year.
10. Microsoft's RDS and RemoteFX disappoint VMware user
Microsoft's Remote Desktop Service and RemoteFX protocol are intended for specific desktop virtualization use cases, but are they enough for your organization?
9. Citrix XenDesktop 5.5 packs RingCube, XenApp and WAN boost
Citrix fortifies XenDesktop 5.5 with RingCube's application delivery feature, along with XenApp 6.5 in the virtual desktop race against VMware.
8. Microsoft virtual desktop licensing guide
Microsoft licensing is convoluted, particularly for VDI. This guide navigates Windows virtual desktop licensing, how to reduce licensing costs, and what's legal and what's not.
7. Microsoft's stripped-down Windows 7, WinTPC, stripped of value
Microsoft's Windows Thin PC will give customers a stripped-down version of Windows 7 to run on legacy hardware -- as long as they have Software Assurance. But is it worth it?
6. Do you need Citrix, or is Microsoft Remote Desktop enough?
Using only Microsoft Remote Desktop Session Host products won't do unless you have a very simple environment. Here's why adding Citrix XenApp or Quest vWorkspace makes sense.
5. Comparing Microsoft RemoteFX to VMware PCoIP
Microsoft RemoteFX and VMware PCoIP desktop virtualization protocols offer similar advantages, but they have different requirements.
4. Results of a VMware View 4.5, XenDesktop 5 POC: #Fail
An IT manager tests VDI products from Citrix and VMware, and after seven months of piloting the latest versions of XenDesktop and View, he finds that neither is enterprise-ready.
3. The differences between Microsoft RemoteFX and Citrix HDX
Microsoft's RemoteFX VDI protocol enhances RDP and seems to compete with Citrix HDX, but the two products have very different use cases.
2. What you need to know about Microsoft RemoteFX
Microsoft's RemoteFX desktop protocol delivers "perfect" Windows 7 virtual desktops, as long as the conditions are exactly right.
1. VMware View 5 to add profiles, PCoIP and client support
VMware will deliver some long-awaited features in View 5, but customers of the VDI product won't get everything they ask for.
As you can see from this list, desktop virtualization grew up in 2011, with technology improvements and growing pains. This industry continues to evolve, so check back with us in 2012 for more desktop virtualization news, tips and guides.