Desktop Virtualization and VDIs (Virtual Desktop Infrastructures) are key topics for many IT managers and decision makers. However, like with every hype topic, there are shortcomings. Investments in VDIs and Desktop Virtualization thus have to be done carefully, after weighing the opportunities against the risks and the strengths against the weaknesses. From the perspective of KuppingerCole, VDIs will play an important role in the strategy for providing desktops or workspaces to users. However, they are one deployment option amongst others and will co-exist with other deployment options for the foreseeable time. And, even more, it is not only about deploying an environment; it is about managing the environment.
This report provides definitions around Desktop Virtualization and VDIs, looks at the drivers for that emerging technology, analyzes approaches for Desktop Virtualization, looks and the management side, and finally gives some strategic advice.
The quintessence is that VDIs are important - but they are, in their current state, somewhat limited regarding as well the support for different types of users as their management capabilities for what happens inside the images. Thus, they have to be complemented by additional management tools. VDIs are, from that perspective, more one deployment option amongst others and even while they are strategically relevant within desktop deployment scenarios, they are not strategically relevant from an overall IT perspective. They are just a specific technical approach which can help solving issues in desktop management better than before. Sometimes they do, sometimes not.
However, in the context of Cloud Computing their relevance will increase, as well as with focus on upcoming approaches for client operating systems. This and other factors will drive their relevance - without changing the fact that Desktop Virtualization is an enabling technology, not a strategy.
Having said this, it is not about defining a Desktop Virtualization strategy - it is about defining how VDIs fit into the overall Desktop Management strategy, with deployment as one element within that strategy.