VDI – the final furlong

It’s a running joke in our industry that every year since 2006 has been the year of the virtual desktop. In reality, it’s been a mixed bag over the years, and has been sold as a panacea when in fact it has been very use-case dependent.
I’m firmly of the opinion that we are gently moving towards a ‘workspace’ metaphor rather than a ‘desktop’ one – where a device-independent portal connects users to the applications, files, data etc that they need to do their job. With the acquisition of Mobile Device and Application Management vendors recently by both Citrix and VMware, it certainly seems to be moving in that direction.
In the meantime, however, pretty much everyone still has need of a good old Windows desktop in some way, shape or form for existing applications – which brings us back to VDI. What’s interesting is that over the last few months, the technology stack supporting VDI has matured to the point where I reckon we can deliver pretty much any desktop or use case using that technology. There are two important parts at play here:
Firstly, the maturation of flash storage technology. Whether an all-flash array, in-server flash, or hybrid, there are now options available, at a reasonable price, to help to drive the performance your users really need.
Secondly, graphics card technology. NVidia are doing some great stuff here in enabling us to dedicate graphics capability to desktop virtual machines – in conjunction with some clever software stuff from the VDI players.
Between these two advancements, we’re able to do some pretty awesome stuff. Admittedly our EUC team seems to spend most of their time showing off that they are able to play Call of Modern Warfare or some such rubbish from a field in the middle of nowhere, but we are finding some real use cases in architects and other heavy CAD users. We’ve been able to take a chunk of cost out of their bill for workstations – and give them an element of flexibility and IP protection that didn’t exist before.
So VDI might not be the ultimate answer – but until you can access CAD from the cloud, we can help!

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One Response to “VDI – the final furlong”

  1. The growing pains of VDI | georgeswain.com Says:

    […] https://samroutledge.com/2014/01/28/vdi-the-final-furlong/ […]

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