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Published 5 November 2013

Adrian Fowler

Adrian Fowler
Managing Director

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Has the Desktop Computer had its day?

Maybe, or not necessarily. It all depends on you.

As a user, we’ve always welcomed a new computer, usually long in our wait when suffering the pains of slow, unreliable performance of both the box and oneself. The number of extra coffee breaks required whilst the computer loads up or decides to perform an unwelcome virus scan slowly consumes the already less than productive day; and there’s always the predictable Microsoft update.

As we know, all computers arrived as shiny new devices boasting the latest ‘dual core this’, or ‘double speed that’ equipped with flux capacitor and a whole host of promises, so what happened 6 months later? Why does it take so long to perform the same task seemingly performed with ease not so long back? In general terms; it’s a combination of relative experience and a host of ‘accept & download’ activities.

So here we are again, faced with shelling out more company profits on new IT equipment just to carry on producing the same Excel Spread sheet, or Word Document we have been doing since day one.

Could this be time to break the cycle? Quite possibly, in theory there is no reason why your old computer can’t last another few years longer than you think. If you imagined it to be without anything but the Operating System, it should in theory run as fast as the day it appeared out the box, well almost given the fact that it’s probably had several hundred Microsoft updates which would slow the system down a bit, but not to the point it currently is running.

Also, given that most if not all your applications subsequently installed since unpacking your computer have had a whole gamut of updates, it’s easy to understand why your system is slow.

So if we move these applications onto another machine using your existing computer to access them then this should save the cost of replacing your desktop. You would of course need to have in place a suitable Server to host the desktop, but if you have quite a few desktops, 5 or more, then you are going to be saving considerable sums of money.

Virtual Desktops as they are called have other benefits. Users can access their desktop from anywhere and from any computer in a highly safe environment.

The Data is still hosted on your premises, there is no Data exchanged between the desktop and the desktop host, all that exchanges between the two is keyboard, mouse and video signals. There is no loading of applications; these are managed centrally by the desktop host. There are no individual desktop updates to perform, and if your desktop computer fails completely beyond repair, you can just replace it and carry on with no reconfiguring and time wasted.

As with anything, there’s always a downside to solving a problem. You will have to invest in a good Server to host the desktops, and if this Server should fail, it will grind to a halt the whole network of desktops using it as a virtual desktop server. So you would have to have a good backup in place and possibly a Redundant Server to take over in the event of a failure. Keep in mind that most companies already have a File Server or Email Server that has always threatened the companies productivity should it fail, so most of us are used to that. We just need to be sure we are backing up, and restoring a Virtual Server is quite easy and quick if the backups are performed in the correct manner.

On balance? The Pro’s do out way the Con’s.

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