VDI is not stupid. Recently, Eric S. Perkins on his blog proclaimed that VDI is Stupid. Well, actually, the way our competitors have been treating VDI is problematic; which might have led to Eric’s assertion that VDI is stupid. So, I want to take this opportunity to go over some of his concerns.

One important point on VDI – VDI is not merely another server workload and must not be treated as such. This is perhaps why many of our competitors’ VDI implementations have failed and have also created significant costs for their customers. Furthermore, VDI is not for every user in the enterprise – it is best suited for certain environments.

Desktop virtualization, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive solution that encompasses VDI. By separating the three core components of the desktop – OS, apps, and user profile – into three different layers, desktops are managed centrally and dynamically assembled for users regardless of the location and device the users are logging in from. The separation of the three core layers provide tremendous flexibility for IT to manage users desktops.

Citrix has been in the desktop virtualization space for a long time (admittedly we never talked about it as desktop virtualization) and have various forms of it available to our customers. Beyond VDI, Citrix FlexCast allows IT to delivery desktops to all users desktops in different scenarios:

  • For task workers sharing a similar set of applications, the most secure, cost-effective approach is Hosted Shared Desktops.
  • For office workers who need more personalized desktops, Hosted VM-based VDI Desktops is often the best approach. By running each user’s desktop in a dedicated virtual machine, this option combines the benefits of central management with full user personalization.
  • For technical workers and power users who run professional graphics applications such as CAD/CAM, GIS; Hosted Blade PC Desktops ensures dedicated processing power for each user.
  • Local Streamed Desktops leverage the local processing power of rich clients, while centralizing single-image management of the desktop. This is a quick and cost-effective way for anyone to get started with desktop virtualization by leveraging existing PC resources while keeping datacenter overhead to a minimum.
  • Virtual Apps to Installed Desktops offer many of the ROI and management benefits of a fully virtualized desktop with minimal setup costs. Although virtual apps run on the local device, they managed centrally.

Regardless of what type of virtual desktop you pick for your users, user experience is the most important aspect of desktop virtualization. Based on Citrix’s 20 years experience working with the end users, we are very sensitive to how users interact with their work environment. So when we created XenDesktop, a huge focus is placed on making the user experience much better than a local PC – with our HDX technology.

With regards to VDI being just another propaganda or niche solution. Gartner estimates by 2013, the desktop virtualization market will be at $65billion. And we are seeing this explosive growth at Citrix. There are real business issues our customers are addressing with desktop virtualization. You can see all these real world testimonials on our website.