You can clear the path to desktop virtualization benefits by knocking down the barriers to entry, one by one.
Virtual desktop infrastructure returns IT control to your business. VDI also makes it easier to manage and protect user data and applications, because those resources live on servers in a datacenter, not on your employee's PC or device. Mobile and remote workers are free to go anywhere and still get access to their virtual desktops, but those resources never leave the secure datacenter.
Some companies have seen a 5 percent to 10 percent boost in productivity boost as a result of the convenience desktop virtualization affords for their employees.
Barriers to VDI entry
Great stuff, right? Then why has VDI penetrated just 1.5 percent of the total enterprise desktop market?
The path to desktop virtualization hasn't been easy, and many companies don't want to scale the barriers to entry:
Not like server virtualization
VDI isn't like server virtualization/consolidation. Server virtualization offers instant gratification in the form of immediate, tangible IT and cost benefits. By definition, server virtualization consolidates many servers onto just a few, which reduces energy consumption, frees floor-space, improves load balancing, and drives up utilization rates all within weeks of installation.
Complex to set up and run
The same cannot be said about desktop virtualization. To start with, you have to seamlessly integrate VDI with your networking, storage, authentication, and client IT to get it right. You have to decide which end points -- thin-clients, zero-clients, full functional desktops/laptops, smartphones, tablets, or some mix of all -- have access to your network, and ensure to provide them with the proper network bandwidth, switching, transmission protocol, etc.
Steep upfront IT costs
One of the biggest roadblocks to desktop virtualization entry has always been the initial IT costs. This includes virtual machine host servers, storage arrays, switching network and management/monitoring tools, a VDI solution, end points, operating system licensing, and labor to build it and keep it running.
- What you can do: Swap your VDI investment -- and management -- for a cloud-based solution. Manage only your virtual desktops with a monthly subscription service. Or, host your entire solution and let someone else do the heavy lifting. You don't have to buy the VDI or spend a minute on maintenance. You can choose a subscription-based cloud solution and pay only for the compute cycles you actually use.
One size doesn't always fit all
Maybe you want to incorporate existing IT into a custom VDI solution, or deploy more than one VDI option in your client environment.
In today's business environments, where BYOD (bring your own device) is becoming a fact of life, desktop virtualization is becoming a must-have. Don't let the old barriers hold you back.