Gartner VDI Predictions
VDI has followed the Gartner Hype Cycle perfectly. When it burst on the scene in 2009, VDI was going to solve a bunch of problems: (a) reduce the cost of operating desktops, (b) enable access from any device, and (c) improve security. And the initial customer response was tremendous: In less than 18 months, Citrix sold nearly a billion dollars worth of VDI licenses. However, once companies started deploying these licenses, they ran into tremendous challenges with performance and cost.
VDI 1.0 is Complex and Breaks the Data Center
Why did companies deploying VDI have so many challenges? The data center architecture of 2010 was optimized for server workloads, which equated to a few hundred virtual machines with mostly read workloads. Then, along came the first generation of VDI (which we call "VDI 1.0") where a small deployment could equal thousands of virtual machines with mostly write workloads. This situation inevitably led to performance problems: Traditional SAN/NAS simply could not support the i/o demands of virtual desktops. It also led to cost problems: Data center storage was 100x more expensive than desktop storage. As a result, deployments stalled as customers tried to sort them all out. What came next was predictable. Potential customers who were looking to acquire new VDI licenses read the horror stories about VDI 1.0 and stayed on the sidelines. So much so, that today VDI is an 8% solution.
To work around the limitations of legacy data center architechture, many new features and much complexity was introduced with VDI 1.0. However, in the past 3-5 years the data center has been completely re-invented thanks to new technologies, including Flash storage, converged-, and hyper-converged infrastructure. Flash solved much of the performance problems with traditional SAN/NAS, while convergence with de-duplication technology solved much of the cost problems. These new technologies have led to a silent revolution inside companies where they have deployed new data center technologies to successfully deploy VDI.
The Future of VDI is VDI 2.0
Introduced in 2009, VDI 1.0 was not optimized to take advantage of the newest data center technologies. Is it possible that there is a simpler, more efficient VDI architecture that takes advantage of Flash, converged-, and hyper-converged infrastructure? Can we take advantage of cloud and control plane architectures to design a simpler VDI solution? The answer is yes! We call this VDI 2.0.
By leveraging the power of the cloud, converged infrastructure, and flash storage, we can design a VDI 2.0 solution that is dramatically simpler and more cost-effective than VDI 1.0. Instead of having a stack of eight technology components with VDI 1.0, we can solve the problem with two technology components with VDI 2.0. Instead of having tens of management consoles across eight different solutions with VDI 1.0, we can solve the problem with two management consoles with VDI 2.0. And finally, the solution is 10x simpler to scale and manage. Scaling is built into hyper-convergence and the cloud. The savings are dramatic: 95% lower CapEx, deploy in days versus months, and 50-90% lower OpEx.
VDI Roadmap: Beyond VDI 2.0 is Workspace
VDI 2.0 solves data center problems for IT. But the end-user experience remains unchanged. The end-user still gets a Windows desktop on any device. Who wants a Windows OS on an iPhone? Why should an end-user have to go through a desktop in order to access one application? Why can't video and audio be delivered directly to the end point, leveraging the capabilities of the end point? This brings us to the concept of a workspace, which enables:
- Simple, consistent, and unified access to a hybrid world of on-premises/cloud, Web/Windows Apps/SaaS/HTML5/Native/CIFS/Windows Desktops. Consistent access delivers the same user experience from any device whether the user is in the office or outside the office. The experience is made simple by removing any repetitive un-necessary tasks like launching VPN or authenticating multiple times with different applications.
- Secure access on managed or un-managed devices: 80% of the devices in the world are going to be un-managed. The challenge for IT is how to secure the data whether the device is managed or un-managed.
VDI Predictions: The 5 Year End-User Computing Roadmap is VDI 1.0 -> VDI 2.0 -> Workspace
We believe that the end-user computing journey that started with VDI 1.0 will go through VDI 2.0 and evolve into Workspace. VDI 2.0 simplifies the deployment for IT. A Workspace simplifies and secures the end-user experience. By 2020, the Workspace will be the new VDI.
Learn more about the the evolution of the End User Computing Roadmap by downloading our free eBook, Future of VDI: