Monthly Archives: March 2015

Just when you thought the party was over, VDI is still jamming!

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I’ve talked about it before, and I’m talking about it again. Cloud providers have dabbled in the past with cloud desktops with little success, but the market demands have intervened.  VDI is alive and kicking.  Hosted desktops, VDI, or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure – it doesn’t matter what you call it, the people want it. I say give the people what they want.  Why all the drama surrounding VDI?  It had a false start.  A simple SAN architecture with spinning disks was not appropriate for VDI.  You needed modified hardware to deliver VDI. You needed solid state storage.  In the past, VDI worked wonderfully in the lab, and then crashed in production.  Why? Unique user profiles perform unique compute functions unlike servers.  Server performance is predictable, unique user profiles are not.  Secondly, you can cause a denial of service (DDoS) attack on the SAN if your architecture is not modified to handle unique user profiles.

VMware and Citrix have been dominating the VDI market, but there are new players like VDIworks which offer its own orchestration layer at half the cost, and twice as easy to implement and manage. Headquartered in Austin, Texas and founded in 2007, VDIworks is a leading provider of Virtual Desktop enablement and management solutions.  How come you never heard of it until now?  VDIworks has been an OEM provider up until 2013.  The software has successful past performance in the federal government, and several commercial vertical markets.

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At a recent customer visit, the support engineering manager listed some things down which he considered desirable features and benefits of VDIworks:

  1. Half the cost of VMware and Citrix
  2. Twice as easy to install and manage
  3. No need for costly certifications
  4. VDP is Hypervisor Agnostic
  5. VDI Pro is browser based (HTML5)
  6. Edge device management
  7. Self-Healing
  8. Easy Reconfig
  9. Custom skins, logos, and rebranding
  10. Spare desktop pools
  11. Connection history
  12. Capable of integrating via SNMP into Ticketing Systems
  13. Customization and Personalization

With cyber security becoming a very important matter in recent history, it is no longer economically viable for organizations to let end user data proliferate without control.  HIPAA violations prove to be costly, and credit card data is no less a hot target, but for corporations with IP, corporate data must be secured at all times.  To remedy these security risks companies are opting to centralize end-user data and applications to gain control.  In addition, they are able to deliver enhanced backup and high performance computing.  The only barrier to entry is network performance.

VDI has failed in the past because of a myriad of problems, but when implemented correctly it can yield many advantages over physical PCs:

  • BYOD
  • Mobility
  • Security
  • CapEx
  • OpEx
  • Energy Savings
  • Manageability
  • Support

End users can access their Windows desktops and applications anywhere, anytime from any device.  Critical applications are located inside the secure datacenter.  Thin clients, zero clients, and Chromebooks last longer than PCs and laptops, thus eliminating the need for a 3 and 5 Year PC refresh.  VDI makes it easier to deliver software updates and patches. With the push of a button you can load software to hundreds at a time, not hundreds of separate installs.  Virtual desktops don’t have the typical problems that PCs do, you can simply reboot back to a clean snapshot.

CLOUD DESKTOPS MADE EASY

How do you take advantage of these benefits? You must start off correctly, with a VDI Proof of Concept and Assessment.  Test plans are crucial to finishing well.  You must account for every scenario in the test plans or suffer the wrath in production.  Without perfect prior planning, you get piss poor results.  And lastly, nobody cares which virtual desktop you use just so long as the virtual desktop performs as good as or better than the local PC or laptop.  Register here to qualify for a trial copy!