Before we get into the requirements for desktop virtualization or VDI, let’s first make sure we are all on the same page with the definition. VDI actually refers to “virtual desktop infrastructure”, which is the hosting of user desktop environments on remote servers and/or blade PCs, which are accessed over a network using a remote display protocol.
Some of the key benefits of VDI include: efficiency, reduction in downtime, increased availability, and maintenance performed at the data center, rapid deployment, security, centralized management, and decrease in operational expenses.
If you are thinking about moving to desktop virtualization, there are a number of infrastructure requirements that need to be taken into considered. In addition to the VMware View and Microsoft Windows Pro desktop software, there will also need to be dedicated compute and storage resources in place for VDI as any existing ESXi compute and storage that is being utilized for server virtualization cannot be shared as part of the desktop virtualization process. Although you may temporarily get away with sharing the same server storage for small deployments or pilot installations, VDI has very different operational characteristics when compared to traditional server workloads. By having compute and storage resources that are dedicated to the VDI environment, organizations can deploy, manage and scale the desktop environment appropriately and ensure that the desktop workloads do not impact the server environment.
Virtualization is moving from a technology for servers and data centers into desktop environments as it is simplifying the administration and management of desktop computers. It is important before an organization virtualizes its desktops that it clearly understands the infrastructure requirements to ensure it reaps the maximum benefits this technology offers.