The Workspot team built the first generation VDI products at both Citrix (XenDesktop) and VMware (View/Horizon). These products were built in 2007-2010 when the cloud was immature and Flash storage was unavailable in the data center. Further these products were designed for customers, and not for MSPs. Here are the challenges for MSPs in trying to deliver VDI solutions to their customers using VDI 1.0 solutions.
VDI 1.0 Solution Complexity
VDI 1.0 solutions like Citrix XenDesktop and VMware Horizon were built to work around the problems created by desktop workloads in 2009. Since data center storage was expensive, new features like golden images, app layering and dynamic desktop composition were introduced. In order to solve the problems with performance of SAN/NAS different technologies to leverage local storage, inline de-duplication, or Flash storage were introduced.
All these additional components increased operational complexity of VDI. When a user could not connect to their desktop, it was difficult to determine the source of the problem. Every problem needed engineers from multiple teams: storage, networking, servers, desktops, and virtualization.
VDI 1.0 is Single Tenant
VDI 1.0 solutions were designed for a single customer. They were single tenant products like SAP, Exchange, SharePoint. MSPs who wanted to offer VDI as a service to their customers had to host multiple copies of the software for each customer, thereby increasing the cost and complexity.
VDI 1.0 solutions have Little or no Visibility
MSPs need even more visibility into their deployments. Their customers depend upon them for the quality and availability of the service. VDI 1.0 solutions had limited visibility into errors, performance problems, or availability.
VDI 1.0 results in Low Margins
Since VDI 1.0 solutions were expensive for a single customer, and even more expensive to operate for MSPs in a multi-tenant hosted environment, MSPs operated with low margins.
In the next blog post, we will talk about how a next generation VDI 2.0 solution enables MSPs to deliver higher margin VDI solutions to their customers.