VDI “Virtual Desktop Infrastructure”
I think we all agree on the advantages that virtualization has brought us on the server side of the datacenter. Implementing virtualization technology does improve server utilization and provides better management resulting in a lower total cost of ownership. Next to server virtualization, we see a trend towards storage and network virtualization but these are not in the scope of this post.
The Desktop Challenge
During multiple meetings with different customers, the same questions were raised: How do I lower my TCO on desktops? How can I manage the desktops in a more effective way? And of course, a “desktop” is not the same as it was 10 or 15 years ago. A user wants to have access to his applications and data from any device, any location, at any point in time. This may sound easy, but it is a huge challenge for IT organizations. An extra challenge is that “a” user as such does not exist. Organizations must work with different profiles of users: marketing, finance, sales etc. all with different access rights to data and applications.
Dell Brainstorm and Workshops on VDI
We gathered all these customer questions and concerns and discussed these with our principal infrastructure vendor and partner, Dell. The conclusion of these discussions was that the best way to find out all about VDI and to inform our customers was to have a workshop, fully dedicated to VDI. All aspects of a VDI project would be handled: needed storage infrastructure, tips and tricks, sizing tools, thin client offering, management interface etc. and on top of these sessions: a demonstration of a working VDI environment.
Where else than in the beautiful city of Paris, where one of Dell’s European technology centers is located, is there to invite our customers to share our ideas and hold brainstorming sessions around VDI? I can confirm that the expectations were definitely met and were even surpassed. It was a very interesting 2 day workshop in which, we, together with 3 of our important customers, got to know all aspects of a VDI implementation. We learned how much storage we need to provide in order to be able to cope with boot and login storms, how much capacity and performance should be provided and got an update of the Wyse offering. As you may or may not know, Dell acquired Wyse in 2012. Wyse has a wide offering of multiple thin clients.
The Business case for VDI
The next step is to work out the business case around VDI, together with our customers. As in most IT projects, every customer has different challenges and expectations and we will work out proposals, tailored to the specific needs of our customers. The workshops helped us out to gather all needed information for the building and defending of the business case.
Paris on a Segway
Of course, in between the sessions, we provided some time to relax and as well as the discovery of all aspects of VDI, we had the chance to discover Paris using a very nice transportation method: a Segway. This was new to most of the participants and I can only recommend this to anyone thinking about discovering a city using an original means of transport. To conclude, I can only recommend our customers discuss their VDI projects together with us. We will be more than happy to share our insights and best practices. And if one day, you consider taking a Segway, don’t hesitate, you will not be disappointed.