A common barrier to desktop virtualization projects is that the new virtualized desktop is not always able to support all of the business applications. There can be a variety of reasons for this:
- Scalability issues – the applications could be too resource intensive to run on centralised servers.
- User Experience – the need to access the application via a remote protocol reduces the user experience.
- Resource Requirements – the application requires direct interaction with hardware attached to the user’s device.
- Legacy Support – the virtualised desktop needs to support a legacy application that cannot be virtualized – perhaps the software is incompatible with the virtualised desktop OS – for example the hosted desktop is Windows 7, but the application requires Internet Explorer 6.
The centralisation of desktop services can generate cost savings through simplified management and faster, more reliable implementation time. But, the process of centralisation through virtualisation has a number of costs associated with it for example:
- Hardware costs – storage for maintaining disk images; servers to hold the virtual hosts
- Hypervisor Management costs – while some hyper-visors, Hyper-V for instance, may well have no license cost they all incur a management and maintenance cost
- Migration costs – the process of understanding the capacity requirements for migrating desktops to a virtualised environment can itself be costly and time consuming.
The start-up cost can be an inhibitor, especially for SMBs, to generating savings. Can desktop management costs be reduced without VDI?
Both Presentation Virtualisation and Desktop Virtualization can be used to provide a Windows desktop experience and to deliver applications, such as Microsoft Office, not only to desktop hardware that might be older but to non-Windows desktops (e.g. Linux PCs. Apple Macs or Thin Client devices). Both virtualization technologies can help your business centrally manage and support applications allowing you to make savings in improved productivity. Moreover, such centralization technologies can extend applications beyond your network – to home workers, to contract staff, to roaming users – and to an ever growing set of devices – be it a netbook, a Windows Mobile device or an iPhone.
While technologies exist to deliver your applications anywhere at any-time – have you factored in the additional cost of application licenses to achieve this?