One of the interesting conversations that came out of BriForum was around the storage capacity for VDI. Frequent readers know that when it comes to VDI storage, I focus on performance, rather than capacity. That said, I've also taken the position that VDI environments ought to mirror your traditional desktop environments, and so if your traditional desktop environments are based on persistent disk images then your VDI environment should be too.
I was talking to Kevin Goodman, CEO of FSLogix about this at BriForum. (Recall that FSLogix has an app hiding product where you can install all of your apps in your base image and then "hide" the apps that users shouldn't see or aren't licensed for. Gabe did a write-up on them last year.) Kevin and I were talking about how in the FSLogix world, you can do VDI on non-persistent disks while still getting all your apps into one image which you can use for every user and every department. (Since FSLogix isn't app virtualization then you don't have the compatibility limitations like with App-V or ThinApp.)
While we were talking about this, one of the BriForum attendees who was standing near by said something like, "Yeah, sounds good, but it will never work with us because we can't afford to use all that storage for each disk image."
Of course if you're using non-persistent disk images, then your cloning or mirroring or whatever VDI system will take care of managing just a single master image along with small delta images for each user. (That's nothing new.) But what was really interesting as we got into the conversation more was that this guy was holding off on VDI because he wanted to do persistent images, but his calculations for the needed disk space made the project too expensive.
That got me wondering—what storage is this guy using where persistent images actually take up all that physical space? We've had block-level deduplication for what, five years now? Even if you put your primary VDI storage as hard disks or SSDs in your VDI servers themselves, there are tons of software-based solutions that allow all your VMs to only store single instances of each unique block on the physical storage media.
Taking it a step further, I walked away from that conversation thinking, "Man, in today's world, if you're worried about the disk image size for your VDI project, you're doing something wrong!" I can't imagine building a new VDI environment based on storage that's so old it doesn't support that concept.
So I wonder . . . Am I alone in this? How do you view storage for VDI? While there are a million reasons to not do VDI, I can't possibly imagine someone saying, "Nah, I don't want to chew up all that expensive storage to give my users all their own disks." (Or "I don't want to waste the space to create 200GB images with every single enterprise app on there via FSLogix."