An excellent blog and whitepaper recently came out on BrianMadden.com: VDI Smackdown; Head-to-head analysis of Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft RemoteFX, Quest vWorkspace and VMware View that goes through the various benefits of the leading VDI options available to enterprises and organizations large and small.
It is a compelling read and articulates that (many) factors need to be considered when deciding on a VDI strategy. I highly recommend reading this blog and whitepaper but what it all comes down to at the end (spoiler alert) is: What is the goal of the organization and what is the desktop strategy that supports that goal.
In fact the very first comment post on the blog says as much: ”does anyone ever have their senior management team/teams tell them their vision/strategies for the desktop or does it always boil down to the admins?”
How many companies sit down with their IT teams and actively discuss and review. Right now, there are too many options for many companies to effectively consider.
Some of the considerations include:
- Server size and capacity, scalability and room to grow, how many cores etc.,
- Operating system, (still relatively straightforward with Windows the de-facto desktop standard.),
- Thin Client, how big, how fast, what thin client OS, windows or Linux based,
- Storage, including SAN, direct, NAS, etc.,
- Management software,
- Citrix, Microsoft , or VMware, for virtualization software.
Many of these are not easily alleviated today by VDI vendors. There are the normal software discussions, but also there are hardware issues as hardware vendors are structured to sell servers, storage and desktops. In addition within a medium or large enterprise there are different operating units, with different balance sheets and different IT budgets. Finally, many vendors structure their offerings around sales compensation, margins and overall corporate P&L. It does not make the answers, or even the questions easy to come by.
My prediction is that a hardware or software company is going to figure this out and they will produce a system that is relatively easy to size and configure and they will be able to deliver a “turn key” virtual desktop solution to help alleviate much of the difficulty in planning for VDI. This will happen soon and when it does we are off to the races!