By Randy Littleson
I read an interesting article entitled “Is VDI Still Viable?” today. It does a really nice job of broadly looking at the topic of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) from every angle. It looks at the cost implications and ROI, security, performance, management, user experience, etc. And, it includes insights from both vendors and end customers – some of which have struggled to make it work and others who have successes they can point to.
The article also cites leading industry analyst firm Gartner and includes their perspective on where the acceptance of VDI is, including the fact that Gartner indicates that the VDI penetration rate is currently at about 2 percent of the enterprise desktop space, a number Gartner expects to reach 10 percent by 2014. So, despite the challenges, Gartner definitely sees material growth and acceptance on the horizon.
This mirrors what we’ve been seeing as well. Getting VDI right the first time is a tricky proposition. There are a lot of variables involved and, unlike some initiatives, this isn’t just about IT. A move to VDI can have a significant impact on the users. All of this points to a critical need to have a fact-based plan developed before embarking on a VDI project. Such a plan would be built upon real data on how your users, app and computers interact with each other. Solutions such as Flexera Software’s AdminStudio Virtual Desktop Assessment monitor the behavior of computers, users and applications and provide full visibility into your desktop environment to help you plan more effectively, minimize risk and reduce user-centric computing and desktop virtualization costs.
Any VDI project should start with a pilot first, but in order to ensure a successful pilot, you need to have a fact-based plan that helps you understand behaviors, select the right technologies and determine who is and is not a good candidate for VDI in the first place. As the article accurately lays out, there are a lot of factors to consider, so having as many facts at your disposal to base your planning on is a must.