Editor’s Note: Virtual Aid

Not every virtualization effort is going to proceed smoothly, so it’s good you have your choice of Microsoft tools to resolve incompatibilities and other issues.

Lafe Low

You have many choices when you’re planning your virtual infrastructure: virtualize the servers first, deploy a few virtual desktops into your infrastructure or incorporate application virtualization. Each “flavor” of virtualization has its benefits and its challenges. Particularly with application virtualization, you’re going to encounter OS incompatibilities. That’s where Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) and the rest of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) can come in handy.

You can use MED-V to help resolve application incompatibilities. Like the “MED” in its name, it can cure incompatibilities by establishing a compatible virtual OS—a simple and inexpensive solution for resolving these types of issues. You can also maximize what you’ve spent on OSes by not having to update and maintain the last several versions of Windows. You can run legacy applications on Windows 7 with virtually no complications. And it’s all transparent to your business users.

MED-V is a major component of the MDOP, but there are many other arrows in the MDOP quiver as well, including:

Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM): This lets you edit Group Policy Objects, change management, adjust workflows, update policies and perform other Group Policy management tasks.

Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT): This helps you diagnose and recover from fatal system errors.

Application Virtualization (App-V): As the name implies, this is the Microsoft application virtualization solution.

Diagnostic Error Monitoring (DEM): This helps you centralize and diagnose Windows and application crashes and freezes.

Asset Information System (AIS): This tool gathers asset information on managed systems using a lightweight client.

These tools can be a great help when deploying or expanding your virtual infrastructure. And mostly importantly, they can help you maximize the efficiency of every dollar spent on physical or virtual machines and applications.

The Virtual Choice

All these tools should help you keep your transition to a virtual infrastructure as smooth as possible, and should ease the decision to go virtual in the first place. Tell us of your experiences with virtualization. Has it worked as promised? Have the cost savings added up? Tell us your virtual tales, and let us know how you feel about TechNet Magazine. Help us help you. We want to know how we’re doing so we can continue to help you get the most out of your Microsoft technology investment.

Send us your feedback. Sign up for our LinkedIn group, send us an e-mail at tnmag@microsoft.com or e-mail me directly at the address below.

Lafe Low

Lafe Low is the editor in chief of TechNet Magazine*. A veteran technology journalist, he’s also the former executive editor of 1105 Media’s* Redmond magazine. Contact him at llow@1105med.