Desktop Virtualization Market to Approach $5 Billion in 2016

Virtual desktop infrastructure, or VDI, essentially copies a desktop PC, including the operating system, all applications and everything on its hard drive, to central servers in an enterprise’s data center, which then can remotely “deliver” that computer virtually to an actual PC, a thin client, or even a smart handheld device. Hosted virtual desktops generated by Norton Ghost, Citrix XenDesktop, VMware View, and similar solutions are ideal for meeting two of the key challenges facing IT administrators today: providing data security and meeting the demands of the mobile workforce.

According to a new study from ABI Research, the worldwide market for such hosted virtual desktops is forecast to grow from about $500 million in 2009 to a cumulative total of nearly $5 billion in 2016. North America and Europe will comprise the majority of the market for virtual desktops throughout the forecast period.

Larry Fisher, director of the firm’s Automotive, Energy and Emerging Technologies practice, says, “The VDI market will exhibit impressive growth in the next five years; buyers will principally consist of large enterprises looking to reduce their desktop support and management costs, and companies and organizations that need to lock data in the data center, either for compliance or security reasons.”

Companies also will be attracted by the lower overall energy requirements of virtual desktops, as well as the enhanced business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities they provide. Fisher adds, “The process allows the IT department to integrate a wide range of devices into corporate networks with relative ease. For example, they can enable users to access their full corporate desktops through iPads, smartphones and other popular devices.”

Fisher concludes, “Among factors inhibiting even greater adoption of hosted virtual desktops are the cost and complexity of VDI deployments, other more mature and cheaper technologies that can provide the same functionality, and the inclination of IT decision makers to stick with what they know: traditional desktop PCs.”

MARKET FOR VIRTUALIZED BUSINESS DESKTOP PCS,” examines the technologies behind Desktop Virtualization, as well as its ecosystem, key trends, drivers and challenges. It includes forecasts for shipments, ASPs and revenue. It is part of the firm’s Human-Machine Technology Research Service.

 [July 5, 2011]

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