Top 5 obstacles to wider VDI adoption

Server and storage virtualization are being embraced by companies both large and small -- so what's causing the roadblock for VDI?

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VDI obstacle 2: The nature of desktops has changed, but many IT organizations are at a standstill, unsure how to respond. Whenever there is change, some organizations embrace it, while others fight it. The organizations that embrace it in a proactive way with planning and foresight, typically end up with a leg up on the competition. In the world of desktop management, organizations need to face the music and recognize it's no longer a desktop-only world. Employees are accessing the network and their desktops through an ever-growing variety of devices, from every location imaginable. New devices are launched daily at a pace that makes it a challenge for management to keep up, especially for those organizations that want to manually provision, install and update each machine.

"Change is inevitable," exclaims Curtin. "Those resistant to change will face tremendous challenges. We think VDI solves these challenges and more. The sooner IT organizations recognize this and jump on board, the more competitive they will be."

Mark Bowker, a senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, said he believes the organizations that are willing to make the shift are driven by mobilization of employees, endpoint device support and application modernization.

VDI obstacle 3: Some people believe VDI is too costly, complex, and ineffective. "I think people are still under the impression that VDI is a one-size fits all solution, and it is not," said Bowker. "VDI is one of many desktop virtualization deployment models and understanding when to use it and when to look at an alternative model is key to success and long-term strategic planning."

"In some ways, it is complex and can be a bit more costly," explains Tyler Rohrer, Founder of Liquidware Labs. "However, it can be very, very effective if you focus on a truly real world design, and pick the right use cases. There are trends in one-to-many image strategies and falling costs of storage, however the premium for VDI will persist this year. Now, if you focus on 'does VDI make my staff, budget, and users more productive?', then you really have something tenable."

According to Curtin, VMware and Citrix have done a great service to the market by educating companies on the potential of VDI, but adds that they have also unintentionally created great challenges. "By coming to market with a re-purposed solution, they have made a strong impression on the market that VDI falls short of the dream. This disillusionment creates an opportunity for innovative, focused companies to learn from the mistakes of the Gen1 solutions in delivering a Gen2 offering that ultimately becomes the 'category killer' in this space. History is replete with examples of where Gen1 hype succumbed to inevitable disillusionment only to rise again stronger and broader as Gen2."

VDI obstacle 4: Companies are still looking to squeeze efficiencies out of their current investments. Expecting to save money by doing nothing is like not spending mortgage points to refinance the mortgage where the refinancing would pay for itself in only a few short months. The payback time frames on next-generation VDI and the innovations that allow companies to leverage a lot of existing hardware should encourage companies with tight budgets to revisit VDI. Not only is there a short payoff, but the benefits to security, business continuity, organizational agility, and worker mobility often more than compensate for any investment, as difficult as that investment may seem at the time.

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