VDI: What’s in your office?

Virtualization has been around for a good while, but it hasn’t caught on everywhere yet. Here’s where companies stand with the technology – and insight into what they’re running it on. 

According to Evolve IP, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), or desktop-as-a-service, is a popular choice for many workplaces. Of organizations surveyed for its State of the Desktop Survey:

  • 63.5% use traditional desktops only (including PC towers, notebooks and laptops)
  • 33.5% use a combination of traditional and virtual desktops, and
  • 3% are completely virtualized, running VDI or desktops-as-a-service (DaaS).

Those that haven’t undergone any virtualization yet may not necessarily be opposed to the idea. One-third (32.5%) plan to implement VDI or DaaS within three years.

Benefits of virtualization

By now, the upside to virtualization are pretty well-known. It allows for increased flexibility and the ability to access work desktops from anywhere.

Also, while most companies have VDI on laptops (77.5%), 44% also used it on iPads and 19% had it on Android tablets. That allows Mac and Android users to run Windows on these devices natively (if that’s something your organization values).

But according to the survey, there were other benefits, too:

  • Cost savings. VDI can extend the life of devices because there’s less wear-and-tear on the device itself. The service does most of the heavy lifting, which allows companies to replace devices less frequently or with less expensive models.
  • Convenience. If workers are able to access their desktop from anywhere, it makes it easy to complete work when they can’t make it into the office. From IT’s perspective it can make provisioning easier.
  • Monitoring. VDI or DaaS will often come with monitoring capabilities beyond the accessibility benefits.

Potential downsides

There are some things to be wary about with virtualization, however: Some applications may not run properly on virtual machines, and some app vendors may not support or encourage the use of their apps on VDI.

And server sprawl – adding more servers than is necessary or wise – may result in spiraling costs.

Finally, it may just not be necessary: With a combination of cloud services and traditional infrastructure, you may already be achieving optimal performance.

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