Technology changes so quickly these days that it’s difficult for professionals to keep up. As the IT buying cycle accelerates, purchases made six months ago are becoming obsolete in some cases. So then, tech that came out 10 years ago is light years behind what is available today.
The first on-prem VDI solution came out 10 years ago. It was clunky, difficult to manage, slow and incredibly expensive. Deploying it took nine months or more, and IT teams struggled with an overwhelming number of components to get it up and running, including Windows servers, SQL servers, desktop controllers, provisioning servers, storefronts, load balancers and more.
From smartphones to wireless internet to robust cloud-native services, IT everywhere has vastly improved in the last decade in terms of efficiency, cost savings, user-friendliness, and simplicity. VDI and app publishing solutions are, for the most part, a major exception; they seem to be stuck in a time warp.
Take an Uber or build your own car?
A different kind of technology analogy will underscore how backward an on-prem, legacy VDI deployment is in today’s world. Imagine two neighboring families are both planning to go out to dinner.
The first family gets ready for their trip to the restaurant by calling a car manufacturer, which soon delivers a truckload of car parts to their driveway. At this point, they dutifully set to work assembling their car from scratch.
The second family requests an Uber ride from mom’s smartphone app. Within five minutes, they’re on the road. When they return from dinner, happy and satisfied, they wave to Family #1, which is looking a bit frustrated and haggard but is still busily assembling all those car parts.
This example is intentionally ridiculous: who would build a car from scratch just to go out to dinner? It sounds ridiculous, right? But that’s what you’re doing when you choose an old-school VDI 1.0 solution over a cloud-native VDI solution.
The shift to VDI 2.0
VDI 1.0 is expensive and loaded with risk. It takes months to get up and running. And once it’s built, the challenges just keep on coming. There are IT teams who run and maintain hundreds of servers just to support their VDI deployment. Imagine keeping all of those servers and VMs patched. You’re squandering precious time and resources just like Family #1 - don’t forget that after their car is built, they’re also fully responsible for all of its repairs and ongoing maintenance. Are they ever going to go anywhere? Wouldn't you rather just request an Uber, which not only provides the car but also provides a friendly, competent driver who takes you where you want to go. Now you can. The cloud is enabling a massive VDI paradigm shift. VDI 2.0 enables IT teams to move beyond clunky, on-prem VDI that never worked well.
Bear in mind that the challenges associated with legacy VDI don’t stop with the IT department. They also directly impact users. Logins take forever, and sometimes users cannot connect at all.
It doesn’t have to be this way anymore. Instead, imagine taking a new approach to deploying VDI. Using a cloud-native control plane combined with either Microsoft Azure or hyper-converged infrastructure for your data center is the ticket.
A set-up like this results in VDI deployments that take days, not months. You’ll spend far less money. And both your IT team and your users will get a huge boost to their productivity because they will no longer waste time with daily troubleshooting. With all the resources you’ll be saving, you’ll get to make far more interesting and strategic decisions to help grow the business. You’ll be a hero to everyone – your IT team, end users, and upper management.
Let someone else drive
The next generation of VDI provides a cloud-native control model while leveraging a cloud connector to orchestrate on-prem or cloud-based resources for virtual desktops. All of the typical VDI components (brokers, gateway servers, profiles, application delivery, etc.) are completely eliminated.You just don't have to deal with setting them up, patching them, scaling them, planning for high availability and troubleshooting them.
Deployments may take as little as 60 minutes, which IT teams appreciate, and all of the VDI control functionality is infinitely scalable and running in the cloud. In addition, when new client features are available, IT no longer needs to update end users’ devices one by one. Instead, the client updates itself automatically from the app store. Users appreciate it because they can access desktops, apps, and data from any device (PC, Mac, iOS, and Android) with a single unified experience – the interface looks exactly the same, every time.
It is also now possible to forego on-prem infrastructure altogether – it’s as easy as signing up for a subscription-based experience in which the provider provisions your Azure infrastructure for you. Even a hyper-converged infrastructure is an option with this model.
VDI is no longer stuck in a time warp, watching advancements in technology pass it by year after year. Forward-thinking providers are on the case, leveraging the cloud for greater efficiencies and reduced costs. IT teams are liberated to focus on other important issues, and users get a fast, reliable experience.