Intel outlines its next generation of desktop virtualization

Intel vPro LogoAccording to Intel, the current state of desktop virtualization just isn’t cutting it for IT and end-users. The company has outlined what it’s calling “intelligent desktop virtualization,” which Intel expects will replace “outdated” version of desktop virtualization.

There are three main distinctions between traditional desktop virtualization and Intel’s vision of intelligent desktop virtualization, said Lisa Watts, director of business client solutions at Intel. The first aspect is that it will have central management, but the compute will happen locally, which differs from the dominant delivery methods, she said.

“Local compute always offers the better user experience,” Watts said. It’s less complex to manage and also offers better economics than today’s desktop virtualization, she added.

The second major distinction is in having multiple compute models because a single user may work on several different devices, from laptops to smartphones. Intelligent desktop virtualization offers multiple layers of the golden image delivered in an intelligent manner based on the computing device rather than the user.

The last major distinction is intelligent device management, which Watts said is required for improved desktop virtualization. Traditional desktop virtualization mostly ignores physical device management, instead focusing strictly on virtual elements, she said. The next wave of desktop virtualization manages both physical and virtual devices.

“It relies on delivering operational excellence and unparalleled flexibility that we want to be able to have as users of devices,” Watts said.

With the emergence and growing trends of self-provisioned cloud computing services and the proliferation of consumer devices in the business environment, Watts said there is a growing need for changes in some of the fundamental of desktop virtualization technology. Intel’s vision sees the PC (or whatever computing device the user happens to be on) as becoming more active in its own management (using Intel’s vPro platform).

“Quite simply, there are many external forces that we simply can’t ignore on this journey. … The three that we’re most familiar with are consumerization, server virtualization and cloud computing. All these have combined to change a fundamental assumption around the underpinnings of traditional desktop management,” Watts said.