For a long time, the IT industry has had a love/hate relationship with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). It was a relationship that began before VDI even existed, though, first formed toward thin client solutions using Citrix Metaframe and Microsoft Terminal Services. These solutions failed to deliver the acceptable desktop experience to users that was expected. IT pros were not impressed.
When virtualization gained popularity for server workloads, it seemed only logical that virtual desktops could provide a desktop solution where previous solutions had failed. Early on, IT pros were beginning to run desktop VMs with RDP connections, simply because it was possible. Still, delivering virtual desktops to dozens or hundreds of users was another story.
Eventually, around 2006, the industry started getting serious about providing VDI solutions, and that was when the term VDI first started being used. Still, several years later, the industry was not impressed nor ready for VDI, as demonstrated by this article by Don Jones from 2010. Still, companies like Citrix and VMware continued developing VDI solutions.
But even after another six years, the industry wasn’t happy with VDI for many reasons like those outlined in this article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols in 2016. The user experience was moving beyond just desktops and laptops to include tablets and phones, making it even more challenging for VDI to deliver an acceptable user experience.
In the last few years, however, things have changed with VDI. New players are approaching VDI with a focus on ease of use and robust user experience. Most notably, HCI has been replacing traditional virtualization infrastructure, making deployment and management of the infrastructure far easier, and also less costly.
With a VDI solution combining more modern VDI components like Scale Computing Platform hyperconverged infrastructure, Leostream VDI connection brokering, and Parallels RAS, organizations can finally deploy VDI at a low enough cost and with enough ease of management to make VDI viable and accessible to even smaller organizations.
In particular, with appliance-based infrastructure, VDI can be scaled from only a few dozen users to hundreds, for a wide range of organization sizes. VDI may not be right for every organization, but there has never been a better time to discover if it is right for your organization.
More information on VDI solutions with SC//HyperCore can be found in our white paper, Introduction to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.