Will Cloud Lead to the Failure of VDI?

Cloud may be better for the long haul

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: VDI is not desktop virtualization. It is one of many deployment models that may fit into an overall desktop management strategy; but hang your hat on VDI alone and plan to fail. VDI is well suited for certain scenarios but, in actuality, all you are doing is moving your problem into the data center and introducing new responsibility for IT to manage, secure, protect, recovery, etc. VDI has a significant impact on the data center even with some of the newly baked-in storage efficiencies. In talking with IT operation administrators, I've found that they look at VDI as a new responsibility they prefer NOT to take on. Its one thing if an application goes down, but if hundreds or thousands of desktops go down, there are jobs on the line as well as user productivity and customer satisfaction. It's OK to consider VDI as part of your desktop strategy--just don't make it the only part. A better long term desktop strategy involves the cloud. ESG published a research brief on this topic about a year ago. The brief analyzes the potential advantages of, as well as initial customer interest in, hosted desktop virtualization solutions and identifies the vendors that have an opportunity to capitalize on this emerging trend. From a business point of view, more than half of ESG research survey respondents indicated they would be amenable to a hosted virtual desktop solution. For those of you following Microsoft, you also saw the announcement of Windows Intune at MMS 2010 and Brad Anderson incorporated desktops in the cloud into his keynote. The primary attraction of the considering the cloud as part of a desktop management strategy will have to be favorable economics and uncompromised user experience. Some are going to argue the security of data, which is fine. Just architect your solution to host applications, OS, policies, and settings in the cloud and maintain the data in yourself. Basically strip off all the cumbersome tasks, shift the responsibility to a trusted provider, and focus on maintaining your data. Some companies will choose to move entire desktop environments while others may just leverage the cloud for services like security and management. Regardless, the cloud will become part of desktop management strategies.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.