Desktop Virtualisation is a topic that has enjoyed considerable attention over the last year or two and mainstream organisations are now seriously considering how to utilise the solutions available.

Early adopters of such solutions have already shown the importance of establishing the appropriate backend infrastructure requirements.

This is most notably in terms of the servers, storage and networking platforms, needed to deliver services day after day without the costs involved vaporising the budget allocated to the project even before work begins.

But even after designing suitable core systems able to deliver good desktop service quality, an even greater challenge must be tackled.

This concerns devising, and implementing, suitable processes and procedures to manage the desktop infrastructure systems and ensuring that the management tools needed are acquired to support daily operations.

After all, if a single PC or laptop fails for whatever reason, only a single user is impacted.

Now clearly some users are more important than others, or at least can shout louder, but getting a single individual up-and-running again is unlikely to negatively impact much of the business.

However if a large server or storage array that forms part of a desktop virtualisation solution fails, many users will be affected and the consequences may well be visible very rapidly across the business, including the board room.

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This means that desktop virtualisation support must be administered with excellent change management processes and operate on resilient back end infrastructure.

Cheap and cheerful is unlikely to be a viable option when a significant proportion of business users depend on the solution to perform all their daily IT functions.

Thus desktop virtualisation must be built and managed as well as any business critical system.

If desktop virtualisation is to progress beyond being a trial or proof-of-concept, it will become the latest piece of mission critical infrastructure in the data centre or computer room.

To ensure that desktop virtualisation systems operate effectively and transparently without being seen to inhibit users, the environment is also likely require new management tools to administer all aspects of things, preferably in an integrated manner.

It is therefore essential to ensure that budget provisions are made up front to acquire suitable management tools and the training required to allow them to be utilised effectively.

This challenge is one that should not be underestimated as our research indicates that it is notoriously difficult for many projects to procure management tools at any time except project kick off.

Even then it can be hard to overcome objections when the organisation is likely to already have a number of management tools that may cover some aspects of those required.