Desktop virtualization provides powerful solutions to many problems faced by IT in terms of cost, hardware, applications, upgrades, software conflicts etc. If an organization wishes to upgrade its operating system and still wants to keep the desktop accessible, desktop virtualization technologies can help them attain so in very minimal time with less overhead.
One such approach which can be followed is to create a virtual machine of Windows 7 operating system and distribute this image across all the user's systems. This way they can use Windows 7 and also get back to Windows XP when needed. This provides great flexibility to the end-user. Thus the desktop they are currently using along with data and applications remains unchanged and they can still work on Windows 7.
This approach requires the use of hypervisor software which can be either type 1 or type 2. There is no need to configure or install the virtual machine separately on each system as the image of the created virtual machine can itself be distributed across all systems. This saves time in terms of installation as well as configuration. Also leaves less overhead for the IT support team.
Since the upgrade needs to be performed for 2000 users in the organization, this technology can easily and efficiently accomplish the objective. Images can be distributed as described above and the upgrade can be performed in no time. The user can still have access to the old Windows XP as and when needed.
Also further upgrades and patches can be easily applied as and when required. The advantages offered by this technology are given below:
- Simple installation and distribution
- Very short downtimes
- Easier to update and synchronize the virtual machine
- Easy recovery from system crash
Besides the various benefits of using this technology, there are some downsides as well. Some of them are listed below:
- Different users may need different applications which need to be configured separately on each virtual machine.
- If an organization does not want to make investments for maintaining a server in a data center, this approach can be a little tricky to follow.
- It can be a challenge to maintain the same image throughout the organization with unique users requesting for personalized changes in settings.
- Physical faults on the server side can be disastrous.
- The performance can degrade with increasing number of users demanding more hardware on the server
- The number of servers can also grow with time and hence better management is required.
- Cannot be used in scenarios where the resources required cannot be predicted beforehand.
There are numerous vendors in the market which offer virtualization services. However, in the current scenario since the upgrade needs to be done from Windows XP to Windows 7, Microsoft can be chosen for unseen and unknown compatibility resolutions. Hyper-V developed by Microsoft is a competitive and powerful solution. Hyper-V helps in easy migration of virtual images. Thus, the organization can choose this as a solution upgrade the systems to Windows 7.
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