Top 5 reasons to consider VDI in 2011

Next-generation virtual desktop infrastructure solutions are making the move to VDI an easier pill to swallow

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3. VDI is more affordable now than ever and complexity has decreased
Like every technology adoption phenomenon, it is the second generation where things really take off. Early VDI solutions helped put a spotlight on many of the challenges that needed to be addressed. This opened the door for faster, perhaps more nimble and more purpose-built innovators to step in with second-generation solutions that are taking the cost and complexity out of VDI while offering benefits such as integrated offline VDI, branch VDI, the ability to transcend on-premise and cloud, and the ability to unify endpoint management. Providing these additional components and bringing the price down is what companies need in order to be able to execute on the VDI vision that pundits have been predicting.

"When the solution is traditional server-hosted VDI, I'm particularly excited about the incredible reduction in storage costs enabled by View 4 and optimized by vendors such as Dell with its XVS hybrid array," said Bartoletti. "Placing a single golden desktop image on high-IOPS SSD drives helps overcome the performance limitations that have plagued VDI projects to date, while slashing storage capacity and management costs in the process."

Bartoletti added, "The storage vendors (not only Dell, but NetApp and a host of smaller players) are bringing the cost of VDI storage down to levels that can compete with traditional desktops faster than I anticipated. This will upend many ROI calculations that have held VDI back, and open up new use cases for it beyond call centers and shared-terminal environments."

4. Growing data security concerns
There's no question that security is one of the top concerns in today's IT environments. Data is an organization's secret sauce, and if that information is lost, corrupted, or stolen, a company's competitive position can be quickly compromised. With virtualization, the OS, apps, and data are separated from the physical device and centralized on servers. This leads to simplified management and better utilization -- but organizations also experience better security because data now resides in protected rooms.

With VDI, sensitive data is protected on a server rather than sitting on unprotected desktops or worse yet roaming around public spaces like the backseat of a cab, in a coffee shop, or an airport. This is as powerful a motivator for moving to VDI as the cost reduction benefits.

5. Centralized support for desktops for simpler management
VDI provides users with a complete, unmodified virtual desktop that behaves just like a standard PC. Administrators can deploy new desktops in minutes rather than days or weeks using automatic desktop provisioning, giving users their own personalized desktop environment without the need for application sharing or end-user retraining. Administrators can manage these deployed virtual desktops from any location and perform upgrades, patches, and desktop maintenance without requiring an in-person visit. Because of that, they can respond more quickly to business needs.

"With virtualization, so many things will change overnight that within a few short years, you'll wonder how you ever did things in the past," said Curtin. "Like, how did we ever live productively without cell phones? How did we ever find out stuff before Google? Soon, we may ask similar questions when we look back on the PC era."

Are these reasons compelling enough to start a VDI initiative in your organization? Are there other reasons why you might be considering VDI? Or do you find yourself waiting for some other key reason to throw your support behind Gartner's numbers?

This article, "Top 5 reasons to consider VDI in 2011," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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