No virtual virtues
in client-side VDI
Thanks to widespread broadband availability, vastly improved networking
hardware and software, and the fact that many C-level executives
are fed up with upward-spiraling licensing fees, virtual desktop
infrastructures are getting closer looks from a growing number of organizations.
By Chris Preimesberger
Try not to roll your eyes at this statement: Virtual desktops for enterprises large and small are now a ready-for-prime-time alter- native to conventional cli-ent/server networks.
Yes, you undoubtedly have heard
that one beforeÐ about every year
since 1998, or perhaps even earlier
However, thanks to widespread
broadband availability, vastly
improved networking hardware
and software from competing vendors, and the fact that many C-level
executives frankly are fed up with
upward-spiraling licensing fees,
VDIs (virtual desktop infrastructures) in several forms are getting
closer looks from more potential
users than ever.
The idea of deploying processor-less terminals connected to a central
enterprise computer system goes
way back to the dawn of digital IT.
The benefits of a virtual desktop system have long been apparent: faster
deployment and disconnection of
employee desktops as needed, lower
licensing costs, less complexity, automatic software updates and security
patches, easier and more efficient
policy enforcement, and so on.
All of these features are gold for
Although VDI often can require
a nontrivial up-front investment
in hardware, software and training, market competition is helping to bring pricing down. Also,
the inherent problems that shackled
VDI for a long timeÐ latency and
security issuesÐa re being solved by
improvements as each new generation system becomes available.
VDI deployments still have limita-
tions involving the number of users
and geographic locations of clients.
However, with market demand on
the rise, it' s a given that there is
more innovation to come that will
solve these issues.
A subsector of VDI that is earning the most attention at this time
is client-side VDI. It differs from
server-based VDI in that each actual
client, as well as the server, holds
a VDI agent: either a hypervisor-like one or a simpler connector to
A big advantage to this is that
when an Internet connection is cut
off, it doesn' t affect a file in process, as it would with a standard
VDI deployment. The user can keep
Newcomer Kaviza recently added support for iPads, iPhones and Android smartphones.
Users of these devices can access virtualized Windows desktops using Kaviza' s VDI-in-a-Box product and Citrix Receiver.