The virtualized desktop is a technology that comes with a lot of appeal. All but removing the cost and maintenance of desktops and laptops, this approach uses identically configured virtual machines in the data center, so that when a user logs on, they are assigned to an available virtual desktop from the appropriate pool.
There are two ways to set up a virtualized desktop: either a persistent approach, which provides each user with their own desktop image that’s saved for future use, or a non-persistent approach, which reverts to the original state when a user logs out.
Not quite the expected cost savings: While adopters of the virtualized desktop anticipated significant cost savings by having employees either repurpose old devices or purchase their own, they found that the costs simply shifted. They now had to invest heavily in the network to deliver a consistent experience and add expensive storage and compute power to their data center.
There are other drawbacks to the virtualized desktop. Because nothing is stored on the device, staff are unable to work offline. In addition, while the solution sounds clean, real life is messy and less easy to control. Users that have a device with a variety of other applications that they use, or an employee that utilizes a specialized app for a small but important part of their job, can cause complications. Finally, if the virtualized desktop server goes down, nobody is able to work.
An alternative in Desktop as a Service (DaaS): Many enterprises, particularly those realizing the benefits of cloud solutions, saw a better alternative in DaaS. DaaS gives the ability to hand over the desktop, removing the need for data center servers or storage.
The drawback in this scenario is that the enterprise hands over control of data and is forced to trust a third party’s security measures. Depending on the type of data being handled, this drawback could be a deal breaker.
A potential solution through hyperconvergence: New technology is making virtualized desktop a part of the conversation again. Hyperconverged infrastructure combines compute, storage, networking, and hypervisor in modular building blocks. The technology can also be adapted to include wide area network (WAN) optimization, backup, replication and cloud gateway.
One of the benefits of hyperconverged infrastructure is that the bundling of all data center components creates cost savings, but it also simplifies management, automates updates and reduces maintenance. It’s also easier and faster to scale up or down compared to alternative technologies.
If you’re interested in freeing your enterprise from the laptop replacement loop or need a better security solution for end points, contact us at One Connect. We can discuss hyperconvergence more extensively to see if it’s a good fit for your organization.