Flashback: Our first article about VDI from 2005

Yesterday at VMworld Europe 2009, I gave a presentation called "VDI versus Terminal Services." During that presentation I talked how VDI came from nowhere very fast, and that even a few years ago people thought it was crazy.

Yesterday at VMworld Europe 2009, I gave a presentation called "VDI versus Terminal Services." During that presentation I talked how VDI came from nowhere very fast, and that even a few years ago people thought it was crazy.

To that end, I promised the audience that I'd post a new link to our first-ever VDI article because it has some GREAT comments. That article was "Providing Desktops to Users: Centralized Virtual Machines or Terminal Server Desktops?"

Take a look at my first-ever list of "VDI advantages" from that article:

  • Better performance.
  • No application compatibility issues.
  • Better / easier security.
  • You can "suspend" individual VMs and then move them from server to server.
  • The clients run the "workstation" version of software.
  • Users have more control over their individual desktop.
  • Users can take their sessions with them when they go offline.
  • Easier backups.

That list is actually pretty close to the advantages I talk about today. (For the "performance" point, in the article I qualified it to mean when using this with blade PCs. For the application compatibility issues, I totally missed the point that individual virtual machines would still be SBC, so while you didn't have TS-specific app compatibility issues, you still might have SBC-related issues.)

Ron Oglesby wrote another visionary article for us in July 2006 called "Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI): What's real today, what's not, and what's needed." That article also had some great comments, including:

  • Shawn Bass gets credit for being one of the first people to see where this will go. He wrote in his comment, "The question isn't 'Will you do VDI', the question is 'When will you do VDI'."
  • Another visionary comment from an anonymous reader: "Add softricity agent to VDI and then there is not need to install applications in the VM.  Keep the image small and stream the applications."
  • "Is Citrix pretty much done?"
  • "I think VDI will tempt people with the concept without understanding the lack of foundational elements you point out."

Even though I didn't think about it yesterday, probably the first VDI-type article on the site was way back from 2004, an article called "Will bladed PCs affect Citrix?"

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This is a hot topic as of late (TS vs. VDI), especially at the organization I currently work at. Being a proponent of both technologies where the use case and the budget drive the requirements and not the "soup of the day" technology, I feel there is a place for both.


Having implemented several Citrix  "Published Desktop" solutions, I feel that VDI does natively what that Published Desktop struggles to do. What I mean by that is, if you are already in a large organization and have a controlled and automated workstation methodology and process, adapting that process to VDI is as simple as integrating a driver pack (VMware tools/LSI SCSI) into your workstation build. If an application is already packaged for your physical world it is automatically available to the VDI world as well. Rapid deployment of applications that have already been tested and qualified, specifically in a regulated environment (Pharma), makes VDI more attractive that TS, in some cases!!!


I also love the above quote:


"Add softricity agent to VDI and then there is not need to install applications in the VM.  Keep the image small and stream the applications."


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