Update: This article was last updated on 28th December 2022 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.
VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) came into being around 2006 when the desktop virtualization was beginning to gain pace in the enterprise EUC (End-user Computing) market. Not many businesses were aware of the perks that VDI would offer by then.
RDSH (Remote Desktop Session Host) was a big deal, and the business world was looking into it as an option to replace their conventional desktops. However, since the introduction of VDI, it has evolved into a viable option for desktop virtualization needs.
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Table of Contents
So, what is VDI?
VDI, at its inception, was a technology that enabled users to access their desktops remotely through end-point devices like laptops, tablets, and even smartphones.
It was different from RDSH in the sense that VDI gave each user their individual desktop rather than providing a desktop session on the same server, as was the case with RDSH.
The entire VDI setup could be installed on-premise or an external data center. However, as the company was responsible for taking care of the maintenance, setup, and upgrade of the infrastructure, a competent IT team had to be deployed to take care of it.
Is VDI the future?
VDI was a promising technology at the start of its journey. However, it has come a long way from being a choice of companies using basic applications to being adopted by prominent industries with extensive application needs.
VDI started with the non-persistent desktops, which lacked the ability to retain any changes made to the OS post log off. Hence, if the user made some personalization in the OS, the changes would revert to default in case the user turned off the desktop or even logged off. The storage used was HDD, which in any case was not able to cater to high-performance needs. However, the good thing about the non-persistent version was the low storage requirements to create desktops (as it usually revolved around a golden image).
As VDI developed, persistent desktops came into being, which offered users the ability to work on their personalized desktops. Gradually, the HDD was also coupled with the more advanced SSD drives for better performance.
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It was the same time when cloud computing was rising and transforming most technologies. VDI also, slowly but surely, adopted the cloud. The cloud-based VDI started taking precedence over on-premise VDI.
According to Allied Market Research, the cloud-based VDI market is estimated to reach $ 10,154 in 2023 as compared to $ 3.654 in 2016.
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Latest Developments To Look For In 2021 & Beyond
As the VDI market evolves, the desktops are expected to be faster with the adoption of flash storage and high-end graphics processing. With methods like thin provisioning and data compression, the high storage requirement for persistent desktops is expected to be minimized.
2023 is going to be an exciting year for VDI, with major companies like VMware and Citrix introducing their cloud-based desktop management solutions.
VDI Deployment Challenges
There are some parameters that businesses will have to keep in mind during the adoption of VDI in 2023 & beyond. Whether the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is lucrative for a business depends on its type and size, among other aspects.
Some of the challenges posed by VDI are:
1. IT Requirement
The implementation of VDI means that the company itself manages the infrastructure. If the VDI is deployed on the premises, it requires a huge force of IT professionals to look after its maintenance, setup, and upgrade.
Especially in times when services like DaaS (Desktop-as-a-Service) are on the rise, where a third-party provider offers virtual desktops at a pay-as-you-use basis, VDI faces tough competition. Citrix’s Kenneth Oestreich once said –
“DaaS is VDI that is someone else’s problem.”
Hence, the efforts and revenue spent on the VDI infra seem a little far-fetched for some businesses.
2. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Cost
The cost of deployment will always be a factor when we talk about VDI. It is always better to compare before buying anything; true with the case of VDI providers, we should be looking out for different VDI pricing models & select the one which offers the best & cheap virtual desktop deployment.
Hence, before making a decision to switch to VDI, every organization should calculate the ROI depending on its functioning.
3. Existing Infrastructure
Another challenge that comes with adopting VDI is that most businesses already have a high-end desktop solution deployed in their office premises. As VDI encourages the implementation of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) by enabling access through smartphones and tablets, the specifications of the desktop are practically of no use.
VDI, like any technology, needs to be upgraded from time to time. Imagine a company that invests a large sum of revenue in VDI, only to find out that it needs to upgrade after every few years. Also, the more the company size increases, the more resources have to be scaled, which incurs more money and effort.
VDI Has A Lot To Offer In 2023 & Beyond
VDI is still among the top desktop solutions for many businesses. With over a decade of existence, VDI has started to gain traction as the related companies like Citrix and VMware have been successful in removing the operational and performance bottlenecks. The graphics have improved considerably with more efficient storage management.