Busted! 4 Myths About VDI Desktop Virtualization

by / Wednesday, 15 August 2012 / Published in Business

Virtual desktop infrastructure (also known as VDI, VDI desktop virtualization, or desktop as a service) is gaining more and more traction as IT managers abandon the traditional all-in-one PC option. The rise of VDI lets managers centralize software, storage, and operating systems on a massive server, and buy basic, inexpensive machines for employees. But with any relatively new technology, VDI is accompanied by misinformation, exaggerations, and myths. Today, we’ll bust some of those myths!

Myth 1: Virtual Desktops are Not Cost Effective

The cost debate between a VDI desktop-powered office and traditional, physical PCs is largely a question of upfront versus day-to-day costs. No question, it’s much cheaper to buy 1,000 thin clients or netbooks than full-fledged PCs. But those savings are largely swallowed by the cost of buying and installing powerful on-site servers and storage (a cost that can be mostly avoided by cloud-based VDI).

But the real savings from VDI are in the day-to-day upkeep costs. Your IT team won’t have to spend much time servicing individual computers because employees’ machines have few moving parts and don’t have software or operating systems installed on them. That’s all on the server.

Myth 2: Virtual Desktops Don’t Perform as Well as a Physical PC

A solid VDI desktop definitely performs as well as a PC because it looks and functions much like a full-fledged PC. You can install the same OS, the same applications and programs, and the same configurations on your centralized server, instead of on each employee’s computer. And admin can easily add RAM, CPU, and hard drive space with a few clicks of the mouse instead of having a team upgrade each machine individually.

Myth 3: Virtual Desktops are Disruptive to Your Staff

Switching to VDI desktop virtualization can seem overwhelming—especially to non-technical staff. But virtual desktops can be configured to mirror the look and feel of traditional desktops, reducing the learning curve for new users. A VDI can actually be liberating for your employees. They’ll be able to access their exact desktop on their thin client at work, on their laptop at home during a snow storm, on their tablet in a coffee shop, or on their smart phone when traveling.

Myth 4: Virtual Desktops are Not Flexible

The burdens of having dedicated PCs for each employee include troubleshooting, upkeep, upgrades, and replacements. Your team is forced to treat each computer individually, which usually means fixing the same issues or installing the same software upgrades hundreds of times on different machines. And if one needs to be replaced, it can take hours of reinstallation and reconfiguration to get it up and running. What a waste of time—not to mention lost productivity! With a VDI, your team fixes problems and installs upgrades once, on your centralized server. If a thin client does have problems, just replace the machine and it’s ready to go—no need to reconfigure the desktop or install software.


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