Although 2010 is supposed to be the year that IT organizations test the merits of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) , a new survey suggests that more IT organizations may be further along than most people might think.
The survey of 1,500 IT executives conducted by Xangati, a provider of network management appliances, finds that 30 percent of the respondents said they have already completed or are in the process of deploying VDI. Another 17 percent said they already have a pilot project under way, and the rest said they are planning pilots this year.
Beyond the pressure of this rapid growth of VDI on Microsoft's ambitions to deploy Windows 7 directly in the desktop, the survey also found that the success of these VDI projects is going to be ultimately determined by just how happy end users are with the performance of their applications when they run on remote servers.
According to the study, the specific metrics IT organizations are going to be tracking include:
Over 83 percent cited end-user experience/satisfaction as the primary evaluation factor in determining the success of their VDI pilot.
Nearly 68 percent of respondents ranked latency/user experience as the most important network consideration for VDI.
Nearly 64 percent of respondents cited business/end-user resistance to giving up existing desktops as an obstacle to full-scale VDI deployment.
Unfortunately, most of these organizations don't seem to have the tools in place to objectively measure end-user experience when it comes to VDI. Dave Messina, Xangati vice president of product management, says the issue that IT organizations have with piloting VDI is that they can't cost justify expensive management frameworks to measure something they don't know will be successful. To solve that problem, Messina says Xangati allows customers to quickly deploy the Xangati management appliances that add zero overhead to the network in order to monitor VDI performance in a way that grows dynamically along with the deployment.
Whatever approach to measuring the effectiveness of VDI, it's pretty clear that end users can't be wholly trusted to objectively report their experience. So while their opinion counts, IT organizations testing VDI would be well advised to also have some real facts handy in case of a real showdown.