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Desktop Virtualization: For the Niche or Future For All

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Desktop Virtualization. It’s the hot topic these days. But is it all just hype, or will it revolutionize the workplace? There are many forms of Desktop Virtualization, ranging from Client Hosted Virtual Desktops (CHVD) to Server Hosted Virtual Desktops (SHVD) and even those two categories can be broken down into multiple subcategories, including Type I and II hypervisors, blade PCs, Hosted VDI and Shared VDI. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock in the middle of the Sahara, you’ve heard something about Desktop Virtualization.

And while it seems that every vendor under the sun is scrambling to get a product related to Desktop Virtualization out to market, is this really a technology that’s gonna stick or is it just the next fad destined to fade away when the next thing comes along? Honestly, how many people reading this have deployed some form of this technology on a large-scale rollout? And the more important question, which was recently posed by Brain Madden, ‘If Virtual Desktop is so great, then why aren’t YOU using it?’

I certainly think that this is a viable technology, but it’s not going to be as big as the hype is making it out to be. In my case, the push for this technology came on a whim from upper management in what seemed like an attempt to stay up on current technology and prove we could be on the cutting edge. The problem was, as we got into the project and performing use case, this technology wasn’t a viable option for mass deployment. Sure, we could have deployed it locally at our back office, or at a few locations, but there was no way this was going to be a mass roll out across all the branches and front offices due to current limitations.

And that’s where I draw my opinion from, because those conclusions we drew from our pilot are the same conclusions that a lot of my colleagues at other companies were realizing. I think Desktop Virtualization is a niche technology that has a viable place in part of the over all desktop solution, but it certainly wont be the death of the traditional desktop machine anytime soon. And to end, here’s a strong quote by Brian, who shares the same view:

The collected masses aren’t stupid. If VDI were so cheap, convenient, manageable, flexible, and wonderful then everyone would be using it. Don’t kid yourself: VDI is a niche. 10% max* at best. Mark my words.

*VDI will be 10% max. That might be 10% of all users, or 100% of users for 10% of their apps.


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