Another acronym – just what the IT world needs, but VDI is with us now. VDI – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is one type of desktop virtualization. It refers to hosting client virtual machines on a central server and deploying that virtual machine to any appropriate device –a PC, a thin client, a netbook on the road, etc. The other category of desktop virtualization is client-hosted. That model involves having two or more separate environments –as separate virtual machines on one client machine.
VDI is the more generally applicable model for business computing needs. This approach offers at first blush a lot of advantages. Your friendly, all setup as you like it office computing environment can be accessible to you anywhere from a lot of different devices.
Setting up a new desktop would take potentially minutes. Management, maintenance, updating of all of a business’s “desktops” is done centrally and probably more quickly than for separate desktop machine. The whole concept of a desktop PC goes away to some degree.
Cost, time and security advantages make the technology certainly intriguing. One disadvantage is the effort to get setup –without ending up with double the hardware investment. That is you could end up with bigger, more powerful servers and more of them plus be using desktops. A from scratch implementation with thin clients in place of desktops would make more sense.
The big players seems to be VWware and Microsoft. We will be deploying a pilot environment here at ERGOS and I will report back on our experiences.