Terminal Services versus VDI: Brian's presentation from VMworld Europe 2009

This is a video of the presentation I gave at VMworld Europe 2009 called "TS versus VDI" in Cannes, France last month. It's in front of a fairly large audience (about 500 people) and it was one of the technical breakout sessions at the conference.

In this presentation, I focus on when you'd use TS and when you'd use VDI. It's important to note that I don't talk about VDI versus traditional desktops or TS versus traditional desktops since in today's world both TS and VDI are different forms of server-based computing (SBC). So in order to figure whether TS or VDI "wins" in your environment, you first need to figure out which applications can work via server-based computing. Then you can figure out which of those are most appropriate for VDI and which are most appropriate for TS.

I spent a decent amount of time discussing the pros and cons of each technology, but again, that's purely in the context of them both being server-based computing, and looking at the pros and cons of TS versus VDI for your server-based computing use cases.

I close the presentation with a quick conversation about the future, covering where VDI is going and how soon we'll get there.

This presentation is the evolution of a presentation that I gave with Benny Tritsch at BriForum 2008 Chicago last summer. In that presentation, Benny played the part of "TS," dressing up as an older gentleman in a three-piece suit representing the "proper" way to do things. And I dressed up as "VDI," a young dude with sunglasses and earrings and cargo shorts and sandals, representing the "echo generation"  who's excited about VDI.

Thanks to VMware for inviting me to speak at VMworld this year and for giving me the video of this presentation!

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Great Presentation Brian, I think you've got it right on the money with a lot of your points.  We're looking at XenDesktop VDI right now as well to supplement our Citrix TS Farm, and it's 99% likely to be running on our ESX boxes.  Keep up the good work!


One of the major limiting cost factors of VDI at this time is Windows Licensing.  VECD is expensive, especially if you want to use Thin Clients as the primary access method.  I recently did a cost comparison between VDI and Physical PCs.  

The cost of VECD in my VDI solution was $440 over 4 years; Add in server hardware, thin client cost, vmware licensing, maintenance, etc.... and the VDI solution was over $1300 capital cost of acquisition  

The cost of my Physical PC in it's entirety with an OEM vista license was SUB-$500.  with a 4 year bumper-to-bumper warranty :)

After full TCO analysis, I realized a savings by using VDI.... but only after 8 years.

VDI will be a cost effective solution once: 1. VECD licensing pricing drops 2.Server RAM becomes less expensive 3. Thin Client competition (those that can support advanced protocols) heats up.


Yes this is such a really nice blog. Here is very informatics thing. i shall thanks full to you shear such a great blog.  


Nicely done !

This was a well balanced and thoughtful look into the available technologies and options plus you managed to keep it entertaining :-)