Is it really the case that small businesses are looking at desktop virtualisation? According to a survey from Citrix Systems, it could be. It states that 90 percent of British businesses see desktop virtualisation as a strategic solution

Amazingly, 82 percent of organisations surveyed said that they had already deployed - or were about to deploy - the technology, suggesting that the Citrix sample wasn’t exactly typical.

Indeed, closer examination reveals that the survey was self-serving, it being the responses of companies who had clocked on to a webinar on the subject of desktop virtualisation. It's rather like nominating Gareth Bale as the best player in Britain on the basis of asking the question to 900 Spurs' fans after a night against Inter Milan.

But while the support for desktop virtualisation is understandable from such a sample, it is slightly surprising that small businesses are looking to move to the technology. For a start, it's a new technology and SMEs don't normally have the large IT departments designed to cope with implementing something new. Then there are the technical issues.

Most of all, however, there's the simple problem of effectiveness. Desktop virtualisation comes into its own in large installations when you're talking about 1000s of machines - that won't be the case in small businesses - and some IT managers will have trouble justifying a move to VDI when there's so little advantage in consolidation

There are scaling problems with large enterprises too, which may hinder deployment in the future, it's certainly not going to be a trivial task for everyone.

That's why surveys like this give such a false picture - server virtualisation is slowly getting a hold in smaller businesses but nowhere near on the scale of large enterprises and, as the Citrix survey suggests,  there may well be the odd SME that's looking at VDI - after all, the advantages aren't just about cost savings, there are some security advantages too, for example. But there's a long way to go and a lot of issues to solve before vendors start talking up the market.

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