We need to talk about desktop virt
Readers, we want you
Sometimes we are forced to acknowledge that there is a group of people even more knowledgeable and informed than even Register journalists: you, our beloved readers.
So we turn to you for help with a question that bears proper scrutiny. All this talk of cloud (and let’s face it, there has been a fair bit) has prompted some more cynical heads to wonder: “Cloud? That’s just virtualisation with a shiny new label, isn’t it?”
That may or may not be so, depending on this kind of cloud project you’re talking about. But doesn’t it also slightly suggest that virtualisation is a simple business about which we know all, and have no problems?
It might be less cutting edge, but desktop virtualisation can still be a tangly problem, the knock on effects of a poorly planned project can be painful to deal with. So here’s a question for you clever people:
“How is desktop virtualisation likely to impact my existing network and storage infrastructure?”
As ever, we’ll be looking through the comments for the most interesting answers. If you have some thoughts, convert them to text below. If not, just vote for the answer you think hits the nail on the head.
Have at it. ®
Depends on the network
Many people think about the newest, shiniest parts of any infrastructure without giving some serious consideration to that old chestnut, that the pace of any group is the pace of the slowest member of that group. So if you have a dozen VM desktops running off a shiny new IBM BladeServer, with MS Windows 2008 R2 and a brand new app server, it's still going to underperform if you're using 100MBps Cat5e crossover cable. It's the pinch in the hourglass, and the reason why the 'cloud' hasn't exactly been popular amongst end-users.
Desktop virtualisation will only become viable, reliable and stable if all areas of the infrastructure are upgraded to support a greater amount of network activity comessurate with the increased demand from the client terminals.
The performance and reliability of our virtual desktops has singlehandedly destroyed all confidence our users have in the IT dept. and the good relationships with them.
The costs of engineer support and dual licencing (we’ve had to go for local copies too) must have wiped out the efficiencies too.
Other than that, I guess it's ok.
The VDI sales architects state virtualizing the desktop does not deliver the total virtualization ROI if you don't virtualize the apps. A four month project to evaluate virtualizing all the software used in my department found a definitive conclusion: software applications can be virtualized; software tools cannot. 50% failure rate.
And I just saw presentation where the current tool for virtualizing apps is known to be..ahem...difficult. A new app virtualization environment will Be Here Soon; but still does not solve the Software Tools Don't Virtualize problem.