Virtualization Technology News and Information
LANDesk Predictions: As Storage Impact Continues to Grow, More IT Departments Will Turn to Non-Persistent VDI

VMblog Predictions

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2013.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Rex McMillan, senior product manager at LANDesk Software

As Storage Impact Continues to Grow, More IT Departments Will Turn to Non-Persistent VDI

Currently IT administrators have two options when implementing a VDI solution for their users. They can build a persistent image for each user that is preserved when the user logs out. This is very similar to a standard physical device, and the management agent can be "baked-in" to the image. In this model there are minimal complications as the agent only needs to be deployed at the time the virtual machine is initially created. 

The second approach is to deliver a non-persistent instance that is created each time a user logs in. The complication in this model is that the management agent is not associated with the user, and each time a user logs in, a new inventory record is created, resulting in multiple inventory records that are obsolete. That being said, there are advantages with this method as well - namely that with networked storage as their data store, many users can leverage the same virtual desktop image file, significantly reducing virtualized image storage requirements.

The growing need for storage space is a rather hot topic these days.  According to Aberdeen Group, many companies will have to double the volume of their data storage every 2.5 years just to keep up with storage demands.

Even with the lower costs of today's storage, investing in this area is not a good option for many cash-strapped IT departments.  One option they will consider to save space in 2013 is to investigate non-persistent VDI. While this may not seem like an earth-shattering prediction to many, it is a worthy consideration across the board for task-oriented or casual end-users whose desktop tool requirements and processing roles are consistent. The only caution is... this method does create a different computing experience and for knowledge workers in today's empowered end-user environment, you can expect that this could cause some confusion and frustration.

In the non-persistent environment, all system changes are ignored. Even though the machine operates as a normal desktop, as soon as it is rebooted, all changes are lost. The loss of changes upon reboot means that users cannot customize a non-persistent VDI as their "own" desktop. Considering that many end-users like to create their own backgrounds, screen savers and other customized settings, some may be frustrated by a non-persistent environment. While this can be annoying for the end-user, it can provide a benefit to IT as it could streamline operational efficiencies and that if rogue applications are downloaded by end-users, they do not remain on the system, where they could potentially expose the corporate network to various security issues and malware.

If your IT department plans on making the switch from persistent to non-persistent next year, my advice would be to make sure your end-users know this change is coming. In my experience, folks are more receptive to change when they know it's coming and don't feel blindsided by it. Send out an email giving employees a head's up that this change will take place; or better yet, set up a workshop where you explain the difference between persistent and non-persistent VDI and how this will impact the end-computing experience. You'll end up making both audiences you serve happy - IT will save on cost and end-users will feel informed. It's a win-win worthy of your consideration as you investigate choices for delivering better control and services.


About the Author

Rex McMillan is a senior product manager at LANDesk Software, where he is responsible for the well-recognized and widely-acclaimed Management Suite product line. Prior to this role, he was a global systems support architect for LANDesk, where he was responsible for designing customer solutions and resolving customer issues. He is based in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Published Thursday, December 06, 2012 6:30 AM by David Marshall
Comments - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - January 15, 2013 7:00 AM

First, I'd like to personally thank everyone for being a valued member and reader of VMblog! Once again, with the help of each of you, VMblog has been able to remain one of the oldest and most successful virtualization and cloud news sites on the Web

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