Virtualization is one of the "hotter" topics right now in the IT arena, with a growing number of companies looking at virtualization technologies to reduce application server requirements. On the desktop front, we're seeing a growing interest in replacing "fat" desktops with thin-clients using virtualized desktop applications from Microsoft, VMWare, and others. The idea is to reduce the cost of the user desktop in hardware, support, and operational requirements, but also to reduce power consumption by replacing desktop PCs with small footprint thin-client devices
It's important for those planning UC strategies to become involved in these desktop initiatives to ensure that plans for desktop virtualization are able to support applications such as unified communications and real-time communications dashboards (e.g. a common desktop client for voice, video, and IM). Companies such as Wyse and NEC are offering thin-client platforms with on-board digital signal processors to support voice and video. Enterprise UC architects would be wise (no pun intended) to make sure that their requirements are part of the virtualization planning process.