Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDIs) are hype. But are they really a strategic element of IT? Or are they just a deployment option? I think that the answer is influenced by two major aspects:
- Time and the maturity of Desktop Virtualization
- The functional breadth of VDIs
The other aspect is about management. Is isn't sufficient to integrate the management of server and desktop virtualization - and even adding storage virtualization management to that is not enough. Application virtualization has to be integrated as well. But even then we have some lack of capabilities:
- There will most likely be other types of desktops for a pretty long time - the more specialized ones for "power users" and "knowledge workers", for specific user groups like engineers or stock brokers, and so on. It is not only about the 50% or 80% of desktops which fall into few standardized categories. The main issue are always the remaining 20% or 50% of not-that-standardized desktops. And they have to be managed centrally as well.
- That requires configuration management and software deployment beyond building few standard images. Image management in reality is far more complex than just having few standard images. And not every application can be virtualized. Beyond that, we need several other elements which typically are found in Client Lifecycle Management today: Think about inventories and License Management. With other words: You will either need Client Lifecycle Management (CLI) or VDIs have to fully integrate that in the future.
So I'm a believer in VDIs - but I'm a sceptic regarding their short-term value for most use cases. What is your opinion on this?