Virtual desktops have long held
something of a mystique for CIOs as they attempt to drive down the
overall costs of acquiring and maintaining what has become commodity
technology -- the desktop computing environment. However, CIOs quickly
discovered that the costs to implement a VDI solution that was done
right were much higher than initially anticipated and for a number of
continues to impose a VDI tax for Windows, but that's not the focus of
this article since it's not really all that flexible.
- The cost
to obtain enough storage to support both VDI-based boot storms and user
capacity was far and beyond what most CIOs were expecting. The sheer
number of spindles needed to support such environments created a pricing
situation that skewed the results in a negative way.
- Terminals themselves were expensive, often approaching the cost of a traditional PC.
- The end user experience was mediocre at best and multimedia was a non-starter.
the past few years, the last point has been well address with the
introduction of and subsequent improvements to both Teradici's PCoIP
protocol and Microsoft's RemoteFX. When use properly, these protocols
can provide a user experience that can rival that of traditional PCs.
In the past year or two, we've started to see the third point address, with less expensive terminals hitting the market.
second point is one that is being addressed now as we see a slew of new
hardware vendors -- both all-in-one vendors such as Nutanix, Pivot3 and
Simplivity -- hit the market and through the introduction of storage
products that hit a sweet spot in terms of price and performance. At
VMworld 2012, there were many, many storage vendors relating VDI success
stories with customers using their storage equipment. As you may know,
VDI requires storage that has both scale and performance in order to
counter boot storms and to ensure that end users are provided with an
experience that doesn't hold them back. The sheer number of players and
the countless VDI stories from these vendors lead me to believe that
we're seeing VDI as a growing market.
course, it doesn't hurt that BYOD (or what VMware calls SYOM - Spend
Your Own Money) is a growing force in IT. When BYOD and VDI come
together, IT departments can simply service BYOD users by provisioning
them a virtual desktop that can run on just about any device out there.
So, we're hearing stories from vendors regarding VDI success and BYOD
is pushing VDI to the mainstream. It sounds like the beginnings of
something pretty significant!
What do you think? Will VDI ever become as mainstream as server virtualization has?