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How the move to Windows 10 could lead IT to deploy VDI

When IT moves users to Windows 10, it should take the time to also look at the potential of VDI, a technology that has grown a lot in recent years and become more affordable.

Before IT professionals make the move to Windows 10, they have a lot to think about, including ensuring application and hardware compatibility and figuring out how to approach the OS's automatic updates. They should also think about using the transition period as an opportunity to deploy VDI.

VDI has been left behind by many organizations that were burned by the technology early on. These are the organizations that, instead of testing the waters, jumped in headfirst only to find that users didn't accept VDI because of performance issues, a lack of functionality or just plain instability. For other organizations, a plan to deploy VDI was never even on the radar.

As organizations transition to Windows 10, however, IT pros should understand that modern VDI is not the same beast it was when the technology first came about. As a result, it's time for organizations to reopen their eyes to VDI and see how far it has come.

What has changed?

First and foremost, the cost to deploy VDI is lower than ever before. From a Capex perspective, VDI has always been a hard sell. However, hardware costs have plummeted and, coupled with a major boost in performance in many areas, including compute -- CPU and memory -- networking and storage, VDI is more practical and affordable than ever.

Enhancements in hardware, from faster CPU and memory to the rise of 10 GbE networks in the data center, have all helped make VDI more realistic for organizations. Hyper-converged infrastructures from vendors such as Nutanix have also changed the game. Solid-state drives and VSAN have replaced the venerable hybrid hard drive as the go-to storage device for network-attached storage.

Just because IT can deploy VDI does not always mean that it should.

In addition, the price for graphics processing units (GPUs), such as Nvidia Grid, has dropped, so IT can deliver a boost to graphics performance, which makes it easier to deliver more applications from a centralized location. It also helps ensure graphics-intensive apps, such as computer-aided design tools, work well with VDI. Improvements in application delivery and layering have dramatically eased the ability to produce desktops that can meet users' performance needs.

User environment management tools that are easier to work with have also enabled VDI shops to deliver nonpersistent desktops with a persistent experience more easily than ever. As a result, users can customize their desktops as they see fit, but IT can still deliver a fresh, fully patched, clean desktop on a day-to-day basis without the demanding storage needs of persistent desktops.

Ultimately, the move to Windows 10 is a good excuse to take a look around at what other technology is out there that could make life easier for IT rather than a true driving force for organizations to deploy VDI. IT should re-evaluate its entire deployment and make a decision based on sound business requirements and needs. Just because IT can deploy VDI does not always mean that it should.

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