Does anyone know of a good solution to have a Windows desktop standby so that users can be back up and running quickly in case of hardware failure? Assumption is that the desktops aren't generic but highly customized for individual users.
Although I'm aware of bare-metal restore products out there, I'm looking for alternatives which would allow the standby to simply be booted/brought up without any delay. A bare-metal restore solution would be fine as every day type of backup when one only expects a desktop failure once in a while (or even a few failures a day). But this is for a DR type setup, where dozens or hundreds of desktops in a different site would need to be activated at the same time.
The backup/standby desktop doesn't need to be fully up to date. Ideally, the solution would allow scheduling periodic updates.
Finally, I realize that having VM desktops is a way to do this (by replicating the back-end storage). However, I'm yet to see a mature solution that will allow for powerful quad-core VMs.
Edit #1: Sure, all the desktops start with a generic image that has things like Office, and so on. However, there are many additional applications which go to specific users only, many of them aren't generic. They also often auto-update from the vendor, meaning that even if a second desktop is built with the right applications, only if they aren't used, they will fall out of date and not work.
I've never worked in an environment where desktops are truly generic. I can think of instances where this is a reality, but come on people, this is not the answer here.
Edit #2: Lots of curiosity (below) surrounding the requirements. Agreed, they may be unreasonable, but then again, if there's a way to do this well, I would spend the money. The question really is can this be done well, and if so how? It should be obvious from the initial question that I've already thought about this quite a bit, as well as looked at possible solutions. Now, as to why would I spend the money on such a perfect solution, because this is Wall Street.