Here I am at VMworld and this is the year of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Heard it before? Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of buzz around desktop virtualization and that it would eventually replace the traditional desktop because of a lower total cost of ownership, improved user experience, and increased security. But if it were that easy EVERYONE would use VDI. So what is the current adoption of VDI?
The Facts of VDI
According to analysts, the adoption of VDI is in the mere 3-4% range! Gartner estimates that by 2017, only 8% of users using a Windows desktop today will use a virtual desktop. What I can now conclude is that a) VDI never really took off and b) it looks like it never will. According to Gartner, the two main issues with VDI are capital cost and complexity compared to a traditional desktop (and I thought a traditional desktop was complex). Gartner estimates 20-40% higher cost per user basis. Microsoft claims that VDI has 11% higher cost for an office worker. Approximately 50% of the hardware cost of VDI is associated with storage.
VDI Has Its Place
Even with the higher costs, VDI will not go away because it is excellent for specific user populations, such as healthcare clinicians, shift-workers, and contractors. Why? Because users can access their desktop from anywhere. The desktop can follow the sun, it’s easier to deploy new desktops, and security can be increased. Often a traditional remote desktop is more than enough to deliver instant access and improved security, but sometimes you need more. This is the reason why Citrix been successful with XenApp and VMware now supports both XenApp and Microsoft RDS in Horizon 6.
What does this all really mean? Old stuff never ever goes away! We’ve never seen a broader mix of desktop technologies and access devices. At the same time, our traditional users are becoming IT consumers with completely different behavior patterns and requirements than ever before. Beware though…Complexity kills.
So Now What?
We can safely say that VDI is the right choice in very specific use cases and we know, through experience, that traditional desktop tools don’t cut it when it comes to supporting today’s IT consumers’ expectations. We know we’ll have to live with a mix of technologies with increasing user demands. We also know that the IT budget is not increasing at the same rate as the amount of infrastructure we are adding, nor are they getting additional staff. How do we reduce desktop total cost of ownership then?
The well-managed PC concept has been talked about for years. It actually dates all the way back to when I first joined RES Software in 2008, and it stems from the notion that IT could drastically reduce desktop total cost of ownership by implementing better management solutions and processes.
Simplicity that can Manage Complexity
You can reduce total cost of ownership with a solution that is easy to manage within a single console. It should be able to manage a hybrid desktop environment with a mix of VDI, remote desktops, application virtualization and publishing, laptops and traditional desktops running any Windows OS version. Now when I talk about manage I don’t mean just deploying apps or desktops, I mean managing access to all of what users need including applications, printers, configuration, policies, security and the user profile – I refer to this as the last mile.
The solution has to be aware of the physical location of users (VDI and physical laptops) and dynamically adapt configuration and security ‘just-in-time’ to avoid long login times, unnecessary processing, and access to the wrong resources. It should, of course, manage user profiles and provide a simple troubleshooting interface. You need a workspace layer. And in my opinion, you need RES Workspace Manager.
In a study conducted by Forrester, one organization leveraging RES Software Workspace Manager freed up 1,250 hours per day in user pro ductivity by reducing login times. Forrester calculated a ROI of 225% and payback within 6.3 months!
RES Workspace Manager with Desktop Virtualization
Now back to VMworld in beautiful San Francisco. Do you really need RES Workspace Manager when you have VMware Horizon View or DaaS? Yes, and here is an example why:
Alan is working inside a hospital. He logs on to his View desktop from his thin client and launches the patient administration system (PAS). During his lunch break when he’s eating a delicious sandwich at a local café, a doctor calls him asking about a patient, and he quickly realizes he forgot to update the medical patient record. But, thanks to the new Horizon solution recently implemented by IT, Alan picks up his smart phone and connects back to his corporate desktop.
As soon as he reconnects, RES Workspace Manager detects a change in Alan’s physical context and immediately shuts down the PAS client application and disables access until he’s back in the hospital again. This prevents patient information from being exposed in a public location. This results in enforced security and compliance without relying on individual user knowledge, while supporting a mobile workforce and the latest technology.
RES Workspace Manager with Persona Management
Do I really need RES Workspace Manager when I’m using View Persona Management? Yes, and here’s one example of why (among many others):
Victoria, an accountant, is working on the very important final yearly accounts report when the application suddenly breaks down. Victoria tries to launch the application again but it won’t start. She opens ‘Restore Application settings’, selects the application, selects the point in time to where it should be restored, and clicks OK. After a few seconds, everything is back to normal again. No calling the service desk, no restore of the complete Windows profile, no hassle, just a happy user enjoying services delivered on the latest technology.
So stop by booth #2328 at VMworld this week and experience ‘no limits’. You can even schedule a demo in advance. We’ll tell you everything you want to know (and probably more) about managing workspaces and delivering real IT as a Service. See ya!