Desktop Virtualization in 2015: What's coming, what do we need?

Following up on my 2014 year in review article from last week, I want to start off 2015 with a look at where we're going and what's going to be important in the world of desktop virtualization. (Jack will write a similar article covering enterprise mobility on Wednesday.)

Following up on my 2014 year in review article from last week, I want to start off 2015 with a look at where we're going and what's going to be important in the world of desktop virtualization. (Jack will write a similar article covering enterprise mobility on Wednesday.)

For me the major "story" about desktop virtualization in 2015 is that there is no major story. I mean look at everything we wanted before:

  • We wanted better remoting protocols which could support multimedia, high graphics, lower bandwidth. We have that.
  • We wanted to be able to remote applications that require GPUs. We have that.
  • Storage isn't a problem for VDI anymore. If you want to do persistent desktops (where every user's disk image is different), we can do that, no problem. (And cheaply!) If you want to do non-persistent (shared) desktop images, we have modern app delivery solutions that can hit darn near 100% app compatibility.
  • The major DaaS providers (VMware, Amazon, Microsoft, etc.) have all launched their DaaS platforms. For $50 a month you can have a full Windows desktop ready to run in 20 minutes.
  • Citrix finally has competition for XenApp.
  • Microsoft has per-user licensing for Windows clients.
  • Windows 7 is out.

I mean really, what's actually left for 2015?

  • Microsoft can still add Windows client to SPLA and remove those asinine restrictions for hosting providers around physical hardware separation of clients.
  • Windows 10 is a thing? Will be a thing? Though it's not like enterprises are going to run out and migrate to it.
  • Windows Server 2015 might have better features for VDI, RDSH, and remoting. Though again... meh?

You know, I started this article as a look-ahead for 2015, but really, considering how far we've come in the desktop virtualization space in the last decade, what else is left? I feel like all the big problems have been solved, and everything else is just gravy?

As for trends for the year, I guess it's just more of last year: People thinking about DaaS. People using VDI where it makes sense. Maybe slow growth of the market.

I dunno. What do you think? What are the big stories of 2015? What would you like to see?

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Abstraction.  It's pretty clear from all the fun discussions at the end of 2014 that this is an interesting and explosive (at least from a personality perspective!) field.  What I'm looking for is expansion of scalability.  All of the solutions are limited in their ability to scale without serious compromises like multiple instances, weird storage requirements, etc;  Reliable, scalable layering paves the way for many of the other technologies that are currently a pain in the ass to implement.  Namely non-persistent ;)


Oh, and an end to the SPLA nonsense.  It will be the Year of DaaS in truth when that happens.


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Things I want to see.


1> Linux VDA side by side with Windows VDA.  And bring back provisioned Linux with PVS please Citrix.


2> More technology like CloudVolumes that doesn't cost an arm/leg per user.


3> Enough on the cloud already.  Yes it should be an option, but not for every body.  Lets see some "local" upgrades to your products as well.


4> More for Less, but that is the motto every year.  More features, less bandwidth.


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Even if you can get storage on the servers you do not want to duplicate all the files on to the storage like you did for your desktop.  For example it makes sense to "sync" files from Sharepoint, Box, OneDrive, File shares etc., to physical laptop since you might be disconnected some times but it does not make sense to do the exact same thing on the virtual desktop.  The model should be different there.  You should be able to simply "mount" everything as a drive and directly access them on demand instead of duplicating the files.  So we need that...


But wait... we already have that.  It is called Unifyle :).


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I'd like to see all of the vendors get more competitive on their pricing. Especially Citrix and VMWare.


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Customers!


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Careful Brian, you might put yourself out of a job! 😊


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I'm thinking that we need more discussion about backing up and disaster recovery for DaaS and VDI instances. Also, I think we're going to hear a lot more about security.


Just my $.02!


--KB


Karen J. Bannan, commenting on behalf of IDG and VMware.


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