Virtualization Pro Tips Blog

Is there a Market for Micro-VDI, a.k.a. VDI-in-a-box? Will there be? PART 2

Click here to read Part 1 of my thoughts on Micro-VDI’s potential market.

Consider the real-world situation.  Your users need access to a set of applications.  Some are installed locally, or streamed via app virtualization.  Some are hosted atop RDS or XenApp.  Others don’t work well in either of those arrangements, and make good candidates for VDI.  It is those specific use cases where Micro-VDI can be the perfect solution.

Using a Micro-VDI approach, your business chooses to use VDI only in those scenarios where it most makes sense for the delivery of the specific application set.  Perhaps its just a few users.  Perhaps its just a few applications that are occasionally needed by a larger set of users.  The “Micro” in Micro-VDI describes the fact that you don’t need a big iron infrastructure to support its needs.  Instead, you might need a few servers that can handle a few dozen or few hundred connections.

This being said, I’m not convinced that we’re completely there yet.  We in IT have been long trained to avoid the “point-solution” approach, and creating more access infrastructures for users isn’t always better than consolidating into fewer.  However, when you consider the CAPEX costs of any wholesale VDI move, the Micro-VDI approach starts to look very smart from a cost-savings perspective.  It is also significantly less riskier, not requiring a dramatic all-at-once shift to a new app delivery infrastructure for everyone.

Most importantly, its incremental approach to desktop virtualization allows you to toe the water for a few years while the technologies continue to mature and gain needed capabilities.

What remains lacking (but is swiftly developing) in this approach are the tools to seamlessly pull Micro-VDI into your greater app delivery infrastructure.  Some companies, Citrix being the most obvious of these, are farther along this road than others.  But, gazing into my crystal ball, I see this capability gaining further mainstream support in the future.

What about you?  Do you see the value, either today or in the medium-term future, for finding ROI in the Micro-VDI approach?  Comment below and let me know your thoughts.

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