Virtualization Technology News and Information
@Stratodesk 2015 Prediction: More Companies Will Turn Legacy PCs into VDI Thin Clients at Up to 90 Percent Savings


Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Emanuel Pirker, CEO, Stratodesk Corp.

More Companies Will Turn Legacy PCs into VDI Thin Clients at Up to 90 Percent Savings

Many organizations are entering a new year with old desktops and laptops that they don't want to replace. They have better, more strategic uses for scarce IT funds than upgrading their PCs.

We see a growing trend: Organizations are deploying virtual desktops while repurposing their traditional PCs and laptops as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) thin clients. They get the advantages of virtual desktops while saving up to 90 percent compared to the cost of buying new thin clients.* 

As part of this change, we expect the following mini-trends to continue: 

Windows is disappearing from re-purposed PCs

When a PC is repurposed, it's possible to keep Windows on it and make it automatically launch the Citrix or VMware virtual desktop client on boot-up. The drawback, however, is that any version of Windows on the endpoint still needs to be maintained and updated, and protected with security software.

Instead, we're seeing organizations get rid of Windows on endpoints. Windows can be more efficiently maintained on the server that hosts centralized virtual desktop images. Why should organizations have two versions of Windows? Instead, they are replacing Windows on the endpoint with a low profile operating system such as Linux that converts the PC into a zero or ultrathin client, with no local software or storage.

It's simpler to test repurposing

Look for repurposing software that can boot from a USB memory stick, enabling easy testing without affecting Windows or installing any software on your hard drive. If you like what you see, your repurposing software should have a write/overwrite option that deletes Windows when you install it, along with a secure erase/overwrite capability that removes all content on hard drives.

It's easier to avoid vendor lock-in when repurposing PCs

Many in IT are wary of any change that locks them into proprietary technology. Buying a PC didn't involve vendor lock-in-you could choose any model, and vendors had to compete for the business. But many thin client vendors offer proprietary management software that restricts an organization to buying from a limited list of thin clients going forward.

Some thin client vendors also offer PC-repurposing software. This is an entry point for them to talk with prospective customers, whom they will try and upsell to their higher-margin thin clients.

We're seeing more organizations examine any repurposing software's specifications closely. If it comes from a hardware vendor, it often has restrictions on the types of thin clients that can be bought once repurposed PCs need replacement-and they eventually will need replacement.

There's a growing trend toward thin client management software that is vendor and hardware agnostic. This enables an organization to repurpose its old PCs as well as incorporate any other type of thin client it would like to introduce.

Customers want PC-repurposing software to support Wi-Fi

PC-repurposing software should enable users to connect easily to an enterprise Wi-Fi network, as well as other Wi-Fi networks in the field. It should have an easy-to-use interface that enables this.

A solution should support multiple monitors

Many workers benefit from more than one monitor. Organizations want a PC-repurposing solution that supports a multi-monitor mode. Also, some solutions support just standard VGA drivers. Organizations want more flexibility, and they're seeking out solutions that support CRT, VGA, HDMI, DVI, and DP monitor interfaces.

PC-repurposing is quickly growing in popularity

The funds that organizations save by repurposing their PCs can be reinvested-one organization saved $30,000 a year by not having to refresh laptops, enabling it to purchase an all-flash storage array that maximizes VDI performance. Because of the array, they can host compute-intensive applications on user laptops that they didn't have the power to run before. Repurposing PCs and deploying virtual desktops can add tremendous value to an organization. It makes business sense and will continue to grow as a trend.


About the Author

Emanuel Pirker, founder of Stratodesk, is an entrepreneur with a technical background and a passion for creating systems and solutions that can be shipped and multiplied and that scale up well. Pirker has a master's degree in computer science from Klagenfurt University, Austria, and worked for Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) in Mountain View, California, and LISCON, an Austrian thin client manufacturer, before founding Stratodesk.



Published Monday, October 27, 2014 6:38 AM by David Marshall
@VMblog - (Author's Link) - February 10, 2015 7:00 AM

Once again, how great is it to be a part of the virtualization and cloud industries? 2014 was another banner year, and we witnessed a number of fantastic technologies take shape and skyrocket. And I, along with many industry experts and executives, media

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