Ever thought about putting a virtual desktop under your desk – rather than in the datacenter?  You still get the flexibility of virtual desktops, but without entirely depending on the datacenter.  The user will then have a user device on their desk (a laptop, say), and a virtual desktop under their desk. The user will be assigned the virtual desktop (one-to-one), rather than having a pooled virtual desktop. Here are some reasons you might do this:

-         XenDesktop evaluation.  It’s easiest to have all the hardware at your fingertips when installing for the first time.

-         User perception.  Influential users and early adopters may like the idea that ‘their’ virtual desktop is running on a PC right next to them.

-         Branch office.  If local closet space has too little room or power for virtual desktop hardware.

-         External hardware.  For example, a PC connected to laboratory equipment.

Plan carefully, though. Once everything is running smoothly, it’s all too easy to forget that the virtual desktop is really there. That’s a risk. The security environment around your desk isn’t the same as that around your datacenter.  If your desk is an open area, anyone could still walk up to the hardware and try to tamper with it – or even steal it.  For an evaluation, you may not be so seriously concerned (if there is no live data on the system).  And, those influential users may be in lockable offices.  But the branch office environment may be harder to protect.  Secure your hardware in the normal way.

Miscreants could also try to break into the virtual desktop, by logging in directly on the virtual desktop’s console.  It’s therefore important to enforce strong administrative passwords here.  Users have no need to know these passwords.

And finally – if you had considered GotoMyPC Corporate, but (for whatever reason) are unable to, investigate the virtual desktop under your desk as an alternative.