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Desktop virtualization tradeoffs and benefits: What did I miss?

A couple of recent stories, “VDI vs. fat clients: The tradeoffs,” and “Virtual desktops and virtualized applications: An FAQ for IT executives,” caused a few readers to reach out to tell me I missed the boat on some of the key benefits of desktop virtualization.

One reader wrote:

“Your article today, ‘Virtual desktops and virtualized applications: An FAQ for IT executives,’ caught my eye. I did not notice any mention of disaster recovery/business continuity or security in your article.”

In response to the VDI vs. fat client article, another reader called me on having to be connected at all times when using VDI and not including a remedy for the high storage costs related to using this technology:

“I think some of the benefits of VDI were missed by this article. Granted, you need to be network-connected, but one advantage is you can connect to your virtual session from any device that can bring up a Web session. We are currently piloting a VDI solution — I have been running on a VDI session for about six months utilizing an HP thin client device. When I go home, I can hop on my personally owned desktop and connect to all my corporate applications — no lugging a laptop around, no added cost of a laptop over a desktop and no concerns that I will lose corporate data if my laptop is lost or stolen.

“From the storage perspective — some of these problems can be solved by thin provisioning. Also, the next release of VMware VDI will help mitigate some of the added storage costs.

“While the points made are valid — the article could have expounded on the benefits a lot more.”

Yet another reader said the piece was spot on as far as the tradeoffs of VDI but again brought up the question of how to address storage costs:

“It essentially confirms my own line of thinking, having investigated a thin client desktop solution. It would have been nice to compare the actual storage needs in a table so we could see just how much more storage you need for a virtualized solution.”

Storage, disaster recovery and security are obviously top of mind for these readers. Where else did I miss the boat?

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