January 5, 2009, 8:52am PST | Length: 00:02:58
By 2011, there could be more than 660 million virtualized desktops. John Whaley, CTO and Founder of MokaFive, talks about the issues surrounding current infrastructures and says that organizations deploying new systems need to think about four things--management, offline use, cost, and the user experience.
>> John Whaley : Hi I'm John Whaley the CTO of MokaFive, and today I'm going to talk to you about desktop virtualization. Desktop virtualization is a really hot topic right now. Gardner says by 2011, there will be 660 million virtualized desktops. So let's look at what we do today. Virtual desktop infrastructure is the most common architecture for virtualized desktops. In a VDI architecture, you have a central server that runs a number of virtual machines. Each of these virtual machines is an independent desktop and you connect to those desktops through a remote desktop protocol to a thin-client's machine, and you use remote desktop protocol to show the images. Now this has a number of benefits in terms of the management aspect, because all your images are now in a central location, but it has a number of downsides. First of all, you can't run while you're offline because using remote desktop protocol here, and so you'll always have to have a network connection. Second is that this is a very expensive solution, so these servers need to run inside of the data center. This server is very expensive to run the images. The San storage is also very expensive, and these thin-clients are also expensive. In fact IDC says that a VDI deployment is 10 to 20 percent more expensive than a traditional deployment. And finally, VDI doesn't give you a good user experience. Because we use remote desktop protocol, every bit and every pixel has to be sent over the wire, leading to a bad user experience. So can we do better? The next generation of virtual desktop infrastructures that's just coming now to markets, has a different architecture. In this architecture you have a single golden image and a set of individual user data, and these are streamed over the network to each individual machine... and actually run locally on the local machine. That means you can disconnect from the network at any time, and continue to run the image. It's also a lot less expensive because you don't need that big server infrastructure, and the user experience is a lot better because it's actually running on your local machines. It also makes management a lot easier, because in this model you have to update each individual virtual machine when you want to make an update; whereas in the new model, you just update the single golden image and that will automatically go to all of the users. So if you're considering deploying a virtual desktop in your organization, be sure to think about the management aspect, how you're going to actually manage the images, whether you want to allow offline use, the expense, how many servers you want to actually deploy, and finally the end user experience.