The big issue with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is that it has developed a reputation for being costly when it comes to the amount of storage and network bandwidth it consumes.
While this situation is steadily improving, a coalition of companies got together this week at the Citrix Synergy 2011 confererence to promote a VDI reference architecture that promises to provide a framework for understanding the real value of VDI.
Led by GlassHouse Technologies, Xiotech, Pano Logic, Silver Peak Systems and Virsto Software, the VDI Coalition is trying to educate customers about the role VDI plays in giving IT organizations more flexibility and security on the desktop, says Natalie Hahn O'Flaherty, VP of worldwide marketing at GlassHouse. In fact, Hahn O'Flaherty says VDI is not about lowering IT costs, but rather giving IT organizations more control over the desktop environment.
Of course, VDI now is only one variant of desktop virtualization, many of which claim to actually lower desktop costs. The reality of desktop virtualization is that most IT organizations are going to wind up supporting multiple variants of these technologies based on the application workloads they need to support.
But it's at least nice to see some groups of companies starting to clear the air around desktop virtualization in general and VDI in particular because thus far, the major proponents of these technologies seem to have lost sight of the customer in the battle for virtual machine market share.