Desktop virtualization is the process by which a computer hosts a virtual hardware system that enables a user to run different operating systems on one device at the same time without switching it off. It is an effective way of managing IT systems because it helps users to an organization while reducing the number of hardware it uses for its internal computer systems. Therefore, this improves computing functions making them more synchronized, which encourages individuals to share information easily. It has a lot of benefits to an organization because it centralizes desktop management making it possible for different users to perform their functions effectively (Venezia 2011). It allows an organization to reduce the high costs of upgrading its systems because software updates are done on a single hardware system, which serves many users. Therefore, this allows a business firm to centralize its management functions because managers are able to monitor the activities of their subordinates from a remote location.
Three Major Providers of the Service
There are different companies that provide desktop virtualization services for different organizations. Microsoft sells the User Experience Virtualisation (UE-V) to organizations whose computers run on Windows 7 and 8 operating systems. The software can be used for both hosted and remote virtualization and enables workers to access important desktop settings without reconfiguring their devices. The firm also sells another desktop virtualization application known as the App-5.0 which gives a user the possibility to access any applications that are installed on a computer from a remote location even when the computer is offline (Nozaki & Tipton 2011, p. 57). As a result, a user may download and upload important files to a shared desktop system which can be viewed by another user in a different location. Consequently, it allows an employee to continue performing important work duties even when he is away from his workstation.
VM Virtual Box is a program that allows a user to run several operating systems on the same desktop and it is manufactured by Oracle. It is appropriate for hosted desktop virtual functions because it enables a user to run Windows, Linux, Mac OS and other operating systems from a hosted server. It also enables users to access databases easily and this makes it appropriate for organizational environments that store a lot of information (Nozaki & Tipton 2011, p. 61). It supports very busy workloads and it is capable of serving more than 32 computers in a hectic work environment. This technology allows users to share files over a network from remote locations and they can also execute additional computing functions away from their workstations. It also enables multiple networks to be created in the desktop virtual system thereby allowing some users to be isolated in their own private networks.
VM Virtual Box is a program that allows a user to run several operating systems on the same desktop and it is manufactured by Oracle. It is appropriate for hosted desktop virtual functions because it enables a user to run Windows, Linux, Mac OS and other operating systems from a hosted server. It also enables users to access databases easily and this makes it appropriate for organisational environments that store a lot of information (Nozaki & Tipton 2011, p. 61). It supports very busy work loads and it is capable of serving more than 32 computers in a hectic work environment. This technology allows users to share files over a network from remote locations and they can also execute additional computing functions away from their workstations. It also enables multiple networks to be created in the desktop virtual system thereby allowing some users to be isolated in their own private networks.
The VMware workstation is a desktop virtualisation tool produced by VMware. Inc, ” VMware Inc., the original supplier of VMMs for commodity computing hardware” (Rosenblum, 2005, p 39), that enables users to conduct their functions both in hosted and remote virtual environments. Thus, users are able to use different operating systems on the same computer simultaneously without switching it off. In addition, it allows users to test the abilities of other operating systems in isolation without disrupting other important functions which are supported on the main network. As a result, users are able to run complex software processes on a single computer without destabilising the performance of other running programs (Nozaki & Tipton 2011, p. 64). Therefore, it enables users to perform their duties more efficiently because it can support more than 64 computerised devices without disruption. One of the most unique features of this virtualisation software is that it allows users to have individual cloud services on their computers, which helps them save and retrieve information from different places without a hitch. Lastly, this program allows users to run high quality graphics in a virtual environment thereby giving them an ultimate user experience.
Value Created by Desktop Virtualisation Technology
This technology will ensure employees working in Birmingham International Airport attain good outcomes in their duties because they are able to share and access different types of information quickly. As a result, they will be in a position to improve the quality of services they offer to clients to make them have positive experiences whenever they pass through the airport. Airport employees and other external professionals that depend on the existing information technology infrastructure will get the possibility to come up with better strategies that address the needs of all clients. In addition, technical staff in the airport will be able to anticipate problems that may affect the information system in advance (Gillis 2010, p. 93). This will enable them to make changes to specific parts of the desktop virtual system in a short time compared to the past when they had to configure every individual computer to improve system performance. Therefore, this will improve the quality of results they attain in their duties.
The airport will be able to manage important processes seamlessly. Functions such as customer check in, public address systems, flight dispatches and customs management will be coordinated easily by the airport’s management. This will improve the quality of the airport’s internal processes in the long run because all stakeholders will be exposed to a dynamic working environment. In addition, this will discourage airlines and other business firms from installing their own information systems because the existing desktop virtual architecture will be sufficient for their needs. Consequently, this will enable the airport to resolve the challenge of maintaining a large and inefficient information technology infrastructure that is not responsive to its needs. This system will also allow the airport to cut costs associated with poor information systems (Gillis 2010, p. 99). In effect, a desktop virtualisation strategy will eliminate the need to host large servers that occupy a lot of space in the airport which can be used for other beneficial activities.
The new desktop virtual architecture will help the airport to secure its systems more effectively. For instance, in the event of a disaster, a virtual data centre will make it possible for the airport to restore its operations to full capacity without any challenge. An effective backup system will allow the airport to run all services without a hitch and satisfy the needs of all users. Emergency and warning systems in the airport will run efficiently and this will reduce the time taken by emergency teams to respond to critical security situations (Cassidy & Cassidy 2009, p. 71). The airport’s security teams will be more vigilant because they will be equipped with high quality tools and technologies to help them protect other people in the facility. Consequently, this will enable the airport’s management to be trusted by all people that rely on the information system.
The airport will be able to adhere to high quality environmental practises in its operations. The installation of this system will render many servers and other types of hardware that currently support its information systems infrastructure redundant. In addition, the airport will reduce the amount of energy it uses to power different standalone systems thereby reducing its overall carbon footprint (Cassidy & Cassidy 2009, p. 74). As a result, the airport will be able to adhere to sustainable management practises in its operations.
Risks and Drawbacks of the Technology
A malware attack on the system can destabilise the operations of the whole airport leading to severe problems being experienced. If the airport fails to build adequate backup systems, it may be vulnerable to external cyber security threats which may cause its operations to grind to a halt. This scenario may cause the airport to lose important data and information, which in its turn may lead to a lot of travellers going to various destinations getting stranded. In addition, an attack can cause problems in other airports which may not be in a position to shoulder the excess capacity that is likely to result from such a situation. In the long run, this may cause the airport’s management to lose its credibility in the eyes of major stakeholders and other important visitors who use the airport frequently (Cassidy & Cassidy 2009, p. 76). As a result, the airport may find it difficult to recover from such a scenario because it will require a lot of funds and time to normalise its operations.
The technology may make it difficult for the airport to assess the output of workers performing their duties in remote locations. The airport’s management and other business firms relying on the system may find it difficult to supervise their workers because some of them may take advantage of the situation to engage in unprofessional acts. Therefore, this scenario is likely to result in low levels of productivity which may have a negative effect on the performance of various business entities that depend on the system. In addition, this is likely to affect organisational cohesion because employees who work in remote locations may not be able to appreciate values and other general principles that connect them with their organisations (Cassidy & Cassidy 2009, p. 79). As a result, this may lead to poor results by various workers in the airport who have been assigned different responsibilities.
Issues related to data access and information sharing should be taken seriously. Since there are many users who will log on to the system, the airport’s management may not be able to control the actions of different users. Some employees may access sensitive information which is supposed to be confidential and this may lead to constant information leakage and security breaches. In addition, the airport may find it challenging to carry out system upgrades without jeopardising other crucial operations that depend on it (Hess 2011). Lack of proper supervision by managers may make it difficult for various maintenance teams to collaborate on critical assignments whenever they work in remote locations. In the long run, this may result in poor quality outcomes, thereby causing the system to be bogged down by different types of inefficiencies.
Cassidy, A & Cassidy, D 2009, A practical guide to reducing IT costs, J Ross Publishing, New York.
Gillis, T 2010, Securing the borderless network: security for the web 2.0 world, Cisco Press, New York.
Nozaki, MK & Tipton, HF 2011, Information security management handbook, CRC Press, New York.
Rosenblum, M. 2005, ‘Virtual machine monitors: current technology and future trends’. Computer, Vol. 38, Iss. 5, pp. 39 – 47.
Venezia, P 2011, ‘Virtualization shoot-out: Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat and VMware’, Infoworld, Web.