Recently I’ve seen some negative press concerning Virtual Desktop delivery. It’s been interesting to see the source of the negativity behind some of the press. The older I get—I’m 39, full disclosure—the more I realize that much of the so-called information we’re bombarded with is just static, that pervasive (or perhaps invasive), distracting white noise typically delivered by companies with a vested interest in some other product.
Desktop Virtualization: Back to Basics
One hundred percent of NetGain Technologies’ clients are responsible for delivering a desktop experience to their users. An obvious truism.
Like every small business in America, our clients have very real issues with their own desktop delivery story. They have legacy applications that newer Windows platforms don’t support. Their time target and the capital required to update those applications are too far away from their immediate budget. Or they have new requirements for mobile workforce and data security driven by compliance.
What is desktop virtualization? In its simplest form, a virtual desktop is created by moving the desktop operating system from the physical machine (you know, that space heater under the user’s desk with the keyboard and mouse attached) to the data center and running a virtual copy of the desktop instead of dedicating one desktop operating system per user. The current state of the technology provides a desktop experience to users that is imperceptible from their old physical desktop and also adds mobile access from anywhere, tighter data security, and simplified desktop management.
How is that virtual desktop delivered? The majority of our clients with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) house the solution in a private cloud (in their own data center or colocation facility), but public cloud solutions are also popular, often under a data-as-a-service (DaaS) program.
2 Cases of VDI in Business Environments
I have had two conversations this week with clients considering VDI. One is a LARGE healthcare organization with legacy apps back-ended on Oracle but front-ended with Windows XP-compatible software. That client asked us for a demo of Virtual Desktop Delivery of Windows XP to ensure it would fit the company’s needs (true multi-monitor was a critical requirement).
The other call was an insurance company with a niche market, looking to expand its workforce around North America. The company’s leaders were concerned about security and convenience for their looming mobile workforce beyond what their in-house solution can provide.
Know what’s interesting? Once we peeled back the onion with each client’s business need, and discussed pricing to deliver virtual desktop technology to bring resolution, both cases were cost justified but in very different ways. VDI can be more of a soft-cost play versus a hard-cost justification play due to cost of goods required to build the infrastructure. It really depends on the client’s requirements.
What’s involved with a VDI solution? That’s fairly simple. Server/compute power, storage/SAN (storage area network), VDI licensing, Microsoft Windows licensing and labor to successfully implement the solution.
The desktop is still that stalwart Wild West IT necessity desirous to remain monolithic and rigid. That one-user-per-space-heater approach just seems so 1995, doesn’t it? How can we address mobility, scalability, security and homogeneity amongst the user desktop experience? VDI nails it.
VDI solves the business problem of rigid desktop infrastructure for many of our clients, with companies ranging from a dozen to several hundred desktop users. Not sure whether it’s the right solution for your situation? Comment below and I’ll respond with insights from my clients’ experiences.