Barry Phillips, CMO at Wanova
There is tremendous value in desktop virtualization for reducing operational expenses (OPEX) through centralizing desktop image management in the data center. IT is able to manage one copy of Windows and one application copy centrally, instead of a separate copy of Windows and a copy of each application on thousands of PCs. While centralization has enabled IT to reduce operational expenses, it has come at the expense of the users. Users want the same or better PC experience as the PC they have always had. They want to use multimedia apps, they will need to operate over a slow connection or disconnected from the network completely, and they want to install their own apps. This is especially the case as PCs become more powerful for essentially the same price.
At the same time, organizations are having a hard time justifying the capital expenditure (CAPEX) of VDI. Typically, VDI supports 20 to 40 users per server and requires expensive, high I/O storage. This equates to anywhere between 250 to 500 servers in order to support 10,000 users, in addition to the networking gear and increased bandwidth requirements. Complexity of the configuration and ongoing management in terms of hardware and “tuning” the protocol is also difficult.
Specific to security, disk and file based encryption are being used by most large enterprises today. Bitlocker is included as a part of Windows 7 Enterprise. This enables IT to secure the data without impairing the experience of the user.
For desktop virtualization to be truly successful, it will need to provide the centralized image management that IT needs as well as the real experience of a PC that users demand – all without breaking the budget.