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October 2011 Volume 10

Making virtual desktop infrastructure efforts pay dividends at last

For years, I was enchanted by the promise of the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). It seemed a natural extension of server and storage virtualization that could help me slow down my PC and laptop refresh cycle. The Real Niel Niel Nickolaisen I saw VDI technology as a way to achieve unprecedented service levels for remote and travelling users. I imagined wiping out and recreating a salesperson's device on the fly after he'd downloaded the latest malware. And with the trend to smaller, smarter mobile devices, a VDI seemed to promise a way to support a range of traditional and nontraditional devices. Each time I pursued my VDI infatuation, however, I was spurned. Each time I launched a VDI pilot, the technology failed me. One time, a vendor promoting its VDI product told me that in order to get the end-device performance I desired, I would have to install racks of blade servers, then allocate a blade for each end-user device. Then I would have to upgrade (by quite a bit) my storage infrastructure. The thought of having to ...

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