One of the great truisms of IT is that the biggest expenses are often related to personnel rather than hardware or software. The money an organization saves on deploying workstation hardware in a VDI implementation is lost paying administrators to mind the infrastructure if a VDI implementation isn’t fully automated.
The best way to reduce the amount of time administrators must spend on VDI is to automate as many processes as possible: primarily, the tasks of applying software updates to operating systems and applications.
In many VDI scenarios, there is a “gold master” virtual machine from which IT employees can create VDI virtual machines. This “gold master” has to be kept up to date. It wouldn’t be all that great for users if each time they signed on to a new VDI virtual machine, they had to wait for software updates to download. Of course the alternative is worse: if updates aren’t applied, virtual machines are vulnerable to any number of attacks and issues.
While it’s possible for an administrator to sign on to each gold VM and update it by downloading and installing updates, this process is extremely cumbersome. Instead, consider the benefit of automatic updates of those gold masters. This automatic process would also allow for a fall back to the previous “gold master” image if the update has a glitch which impairs functionality on the VM.
Automatically updating “gold master” virtual machine images is viable using a variety of commercial products. Some organizations might balk at the extra license fees, but in the long run the expense of having administrators manually update “gold master” virtual machine images will exceed the cost of those software licenses.
Underwritten by HPE, NVIDIA and VMware.