TG Daily recently interviewed Hewlett Packard's Jonathan Ha about the future of desktop virtualization.
Ha - who is HP's Desktop Solutions Strategy and Planning Manager - told us that the demand for PC virtualization in the consumer market will likely increase significantly over the next 3-5 years.
"We see service providers leveraging virtualization technology to offer PCs or desktops 'as-a-service,'" said Ha. ?
"Instead of purchasing a PC and dealing with the hassles of installing applications, migrating data files and maintaining updates, customers could subscribe to a virtual hosted desktop service, which would provide a PC-experience that was completely secure, managed and up-to-date."
According to Ha, the customer would sign-up and receive a thin-client type of device that provided access to a "full" desktop experience.
"The monthly fee pays for apps that are always up to date, data that is stored in the 'cloud,' and a desktop environment that is free from any viruses. The key benefit? A secure, always up-to-date and maintenance-free desktop."
Ha explained that virtualization would also play a critical role in the "secure" merging of work and home computing.
"We call this trend the 'consumerization of IT.' [There are] already a number of companies which allow their employees to bring in their own PCs from home. The corporate IT department then loads a virtual environment that contains their corporate image, which runs securely and separated from any personal apps/data on that PC. ?
"The key benefit for this model is that the consumer gets to purchase and use the PC of their choice, while lowering the IT costs for the corporation."
Ha also noted that a hypervisor on a PC could eventually operate as a "launch box" for multiple virtual environments.
"Launching multiple operating systems is one way to look at it, but we look at it more as a way to simultaneously launch a variety of environments (which includes multiple operating systems) that you want to keep separate and secure.
"For example a 'work' environment with a corporate image, a 'home' environment with personal music/photos and even a 'gaming' environment can all run simultaneously, yet separately on a single PC with 'launch box' layer orchestrating the entire experience.
"We see this type of architecture helping to drive the 'consumerization of IT' model mentioned above as well as a whole host of special-purpose virtual machine environments."