Yesterday's conversation on BrianMadden.com was about the real-world non-BS reasons people use VDI today. So I thought a fun follow-up for today would be to have the opposite conversation where we look at the real-world reasons that customers decide NOT to use VDI. Like yesterday, I'll kick off the conversation by sharing the reasons that I've seen customers say "no" to VDI:
Perception that thin client computing doesn’t work
Since VDI is a form of server-based computing which is a form of thin client computing, there are definitely people in the world who believe that thin client computing doesn't work (or that it doesn't work for them). They'll claim that they need multiple monitors or that they have intense graphical requirements of that they need to use their USB accessories.
Unfortunately they don't know that thin client computing has come a long way in the past fifteen years or so, and a lot of things that used to suck about ICA and RDP have been fixed.
Personally I believe that probably 95% of all the world's corporate desktops (not laptops) can be replaced with thin clients. But a lot of people wouldn't agree with that, claiming that thin clients just don't work. (I think it's a variation of NIMBY syndrome.)
Perception that VDI is too complex and/or not ready yet
The big vendors' products are complex. Lots of moving parts. Lots of options. Lots of hype. Not a lot of customers (relatively). There are some smaller players with more turnkey solutions (Pano Logic, for example), but they're more geared toward the SMB space and not everyone's heard of them.
But beyond the product complexity, the whole concept of VDI is complex. We (the collective community) don't quite know if you need application virtualization for VDI. Or disk image sharing. Or offline. Heck, we don't even have a reliable way to predict how many users you can fit on a given piece of hardware.
And if that's not enough, the fact that there are well over 100 vendors in the space doesn't help either. Sure, it's great that our space is so vibrant. But talk about confusion! Of the 100+ vendors, probably 10 are VDI infrastructure vendors, 5 are hardware vendors, and maybe 10 are thin client vendors. That leaves more than 70 companies who could be classified as niche software makers that make some kind of add-on product and tool that will help you with VDI.
So while that's really cool on one hand, it also makes things more complex for customers. Just imagine a new IT admin trying to understand desktop virtualization. If this person attends Synergy, VMworld, or BriForum, he or she would be bombarded with dozens of vendors whose products address the shortcomings of VDI user environment management or printing or monitoring or planning or... And the problem is that each of these products is cool! (Which means it seems like the admin would want them all.) So maybe after all that, the admin just gives up and decides to revisit the technology in the future when the main products have matured.
Perception that it’s too expensive and/or doesn't really save money
Even if a company is not planning to implement VDI just to save money, if the VDI system is too expensive, it's never going to happen.
Acquisition costs are dropping all the time (as we've discussed it before), but there's still not 100% agreement on whether VDI is cheaper to acquire than traditional computers. (Especially once you throw in stuff like VECD.)
And when it comes to operating expenses, it looks like no one really knows whether VDI is actually cheaper to operate than traditional desktops. (Especially since it's so easy to manipulate your cost analysis!)
They use Terminal Server instead :)
Ok, so this one's in here just for me. (See "Madden's Paradox.")
So that's my short list. What am I forgetting? Have you tried to sell a VDI project (either internally or externally) that didn't happen? If so, what were the show-stoppers?