Hypervisors, Virtualisation – What does it all mean?

Part of the problem with selling any type of desktop virtualisation is that it usually puts too much emphasis on the benefits to the end user rather than the organisation managing the IT systems.

As a result, most of the emphasis on desktop virtualisation to date has been on Type 2 hypervisors, which allows end users to run, for example, an instance of Linux as a guest operating system on top of Windows. As interesting as that may be, the number of end users that really need to do that is limited.

But now we’re starting to see the rise of Type 1 hypervisor. Often referred to as bare metal virtualisation, this type of virtualisation makes it a whole lot easier to manage PC systems running diverse operating systems because now the IT organization can focus on the management of a single desktop virtualisation management environment rather than multiple operating systems. For example, Lenovo recently agreed to make available the NxTop desktop virtualisation environment from Virtual Computer on select desktop and notebook PCs .

Unlike a Type 2 hypervisor, Virtual Computer CEO Dan McCall says Type 1 hypervisors systems introduce no performance penalties, while providing IT organisations with a simplified approach to managing client systems. This approach sharply reduces the cost of managing a distributed PC environment for either the solution provider or the internal IT organisation.

The NxTop environment also makes it possible to run multiple virtual machines on the same client, thereby making it easier to separate personal and corporate applications when they are running on the same device.

The point is that desktop virtualisation is finally on the cusp of coming into its own on the desktop, just not in a form that most people might have initially thought.

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