back to article Infographic: The road to desktop virtualisation

So much been said over the years about desktop virtualisation, so many claims, so much noise, so much clutter. Let us to bring some clarity to the proceeding with a cunning diagram that demonstrates the familiar options, the uptake, some of the challenges - and we've even sprinkled it with some top drawer advice from our …


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  1. Tim #3


    There's an error - it says "Yes it's cheaper" . It isn't.

  2. Volker Hett

    I like abstract paintings

    but Kandinsky was better

  3. Neil Charles


    Please don't do any more.

    The marketing world is awash with them, Twitter loves the damn things and The Guardian's doing its very best to pretend that infographics are journalism. They're never, ever useful. If you want to communicate a small amount of information, more slowly than you could by just writing in an article the old fashioned way, then infographics are the way to go.

    The Register is a refuge of (usually) well thought out and well written articles; please don't follow the herd. I'm genuinely a little bit sad to find one here.

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Infographics

      We are not thinking of replacing articles - but augmenting them.

      And for some people, a picture - or a table - really does say a 1000 words.

      1. Wibble

        That's the Twitter generation for you

        A bit like the economic disaster we all knew was coming, the current trend for twittering passing as communication will also end in tears.

        Damn, why did this reply add up to 140 charact

      2. Neil Charles

        I didn't think you were replacing the articles

        But I'd stand by the argument that infographics aren't useful.

        Most infographics aren't single tables or pictures - which can communicate data and ideas very quickly - they're almost always several different graphs, tables and pictures mashed together in one poster sized image with a background, so that you have to work to find out what they've got to tell you.

        Eventually you work out that what they've got to tell you, is something you could have written in a couple of paragraphs or less. I'd stick to inserting clean, simple graphs in the articles - it's much clearer.

  4. garetht t


    Ow ow ow. This made my head hurt. Is there a Recommended Booze Level to attain whereupon it all makes sense?

    Thank you very much for giving something new a whirl, but this is a little too densely packed. Adding in large graphical links to, what, seven more articles and two videos is a little OTT.

    I'd be interested in seeing what the infographic looks like when only portraying the relevant statistics, and not all the other hoo-ha.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge


    That must be the new definition of "let's throw together a bunch of stuff, make it look professional and pass it off as information".

    Looking over this marketing ploy, I was confirmed in my opinion by words such as "Moving to Windows 7", "personal cloud", "hypervisors you can trust" and, my favorite, "Changing user expectations".

    This thing is just a bunch of PR hogwash to impress gullible managers and rake in the dough.

    Desktop virtualization is end-user freedom ? Excuse me, but in what world do Fortune 500 IT departments WANT end-user freedom ? In which bank is that even a discussion point (please tell me so that I can make sure my money isn't there) ?

    I wonder if anyone in the group that put this together have noticed that more and more IT administrative tools have been (over the years since Windows NT) created and put in place to ensure that the end-user is only capable of doing _exactly_ what his central profile allows him to do and nothing more (like surfing the web, or non-company-approved sites).

    Because large organizations want their employees to effing work, not prance through grassy knolls blissfully enjoying freedom. Then again, those employees who do want freedom are usually graciously encouraged with a slip in a beautifully-colored pink , so maybe there is some truth in that notion.

  6. Richie 1

    Room for improvement with the infographic

    I don't agree with Neil Charles that all infographics are bad. It's just that a large proportion of them choose styling over data communication. Unfortunately, you seem to have fallen into the same trap.

    As it stands, the cars don't add any information (and it took me a while to work out what the connecion was between virtualisation and cars). Distorting the text with perspective just makes it hard to read. Finally, it's difficult to quickly compare which benefits apply to which types without reading each list and performing a mental setdiff.

    This data would be more clearly communicated as a table. Virtualisation type in columns, potential benefits in row, and a checkmark where each combination applies.

    In future, when creating infographics, first think about what questions the readers might want to answer from your data, then think about the way to present that data most clearly, and only then think about ways to stylise it.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's almost as good as The Onion!

    Seriously, though... infographics? I'd rather have them than videos, which I almost never watch, though I might well have read the transcribed interview.

    I do wonder why the Reg is so obsessed with virtualisation --- especially as, when I /do/ read one of the articles, it tends to be of the "yes, but we're not there yet" flavour. True, I might have picked the wrong articles.

  8. Sam Adams the Dog

    Infographics don't suck, but....

    i'm only a dog, but this infographic looks pretty good to me. The question i would have, though, is how the list of "hurdles" was created. In His company (my owner's that is), provision of applications directly to the end user via virtualization has been impeded by poor performance of the virtualized applications, especially in IO, and has been abandoned. However, virtualization of back-end services has been successful. It seems strange that the above hurdle was not presented as an option to the respondents.


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two main things wrong with this.

    Firstly the graphic is far too complicated, and its structure doesn't really have much to do with the information it is trying (and largely failing) to convey. It looks like this was lead by the art and graphic design rather than the info. Visualisation is supposed to be about the info primarily, and about making it clearer. This is neither.

    Secondly, the info itself seems, shall we say, a tad biased? Things are stated as facts which are actually very much in question or just plain false. We abandoned a trial-scale look at VDI, because it became clear very early on that it didn't make any sense on cost grounds, greener computing grounds, manageability, resilience or user experience, compared to a well managed estate of modern PCs.

  10. Richie 1

    Oh wait, there's more

    On first reading, I didn't realise that there was more than the picure in the article. Having now seen the full graphic, it's clear that there are more (fixable) problems.

    It isn't obvious which order to look at things. An infographic this complex needs to guide the readers, in order to tell a story with the data. I started at the top and clicked one of the bubbles, which took me away from the graphic to an article about Windows 7. Since linking to other documents isn't data-related and is easy enough in a regular article, you can probably remove this from the graphic. At the very least, change the behaviour so it forces the document opening in a new tab.

    The same issue applies to the signpost links below the bubbles.

    The barcharts are cleanly drawn (not much chartjunk) which is a good sign. It would be better to reorder the categories from largest bar down to smallest, to make it easy to see which categories are most important. Also, there are small gaps between the two colours of bars, whose meaning is unclear. I presume that they shouldn't be there.

    I don't understand what the desktop virtualisation model roundabout is trying to tell me. Maybe some contextual text would help; otherwise, cut it.

    With the barchart at the bottom, again, the categories should be sorted largest to smallest for ease of comparison. I found the road underneath the bars distracting, especially since the road lines were at a different angle to the bars.

    I couldn't get the videos to play.

    Well done for linking to the data sources.

    Hope the feedback is constructive and useful.

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Oh wait, there's more

      Thanks Richie1 - and everyone for the comments so far. We think there is a role for infographics to play - but it may be a while before we get slick at them!

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        With infographics

        slick is the problem. Try good insted

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