History of Desktop Virtualization

While the history of modern computers is a relatively short one, it does not lack in depth or variety. In today's corporate environments we are beginning to see computing come full circle - from mainframe computers of 50+ years ago, to the proliferation of desktop computing in the 1980's and 1990's, to today's server-based computing (SBC) and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) computing environments. 

History of Desktop Virtualization

The short history of desktop virtualization is fascinating, and is helpful for understanding today's environment and the future of desktop virtualization from both a business and technical standpoint.

When and Why Virtualization Came About

Many think of virtualization as a new technology that was developed only recently, when in fact, virtualization was first invented in the 1960s. What purpose could such an advanced technology serve over forty years ago? Virtualization was originally invented and implemented to divide up the huge mainframe computers that existed in order to achieve more efficient hardware utilization.

IBM applied virtualization to their computers over 30 years ago for this very purpose. The divisions made within mainframe computers enabled IBM to create virtual machines that allowed mainframes to run multiple applications and processes simultaneously. Optimal mainframe efficiency was important and by implementing virtualization, better use could be made of what used to be a serious financial investment.

Virtualization Put On Hold

Computer technology advanced in leaps and bounds in the eighties and nineties, and client-server applications and reasonably priced x86 servers and desktops led to distributed computing. The widespread adoption of Windows established x86 servers as the industry norm, leaving virtualization on the backburner.

VMware Revitalizes Virtual Computing with VDI

VMware introduced virtualization to x86 systems in 1999 as physical infrastructure costs increased, end user desktop maintenance skyrocketed, and insufficient disaster recovery became a major concern. However, x86 machines were not built to handle full virtualization, and VMware had their hands full in trying to create virtual machines out of x86 computers.

VMware was able to successfully address this problem with an adaptive virtualization technique, resulting in virtual machines that match host hardware and sustain complete software compatibility.

Tricerat and the Technology of the Future

Today, VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is used by thousands of businesses throughout the world. Tricerat offers a suite of desktop management tools aptly named the Simplify Suite, that can maintain optimal computing efficiency in virtual, workstation, and Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environments.