Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) has long had a compelling value proposition. It allows you to quickly deploy desktop environments from centralized servers and deliver them to end-users in virtually any location. VDI simplifies provisioning, management, support and updates, and minimizes downtime — if there’s a problem with an update, simply revert to a previous version. And with VDI, data is safer because it is stored on the host server, not endpoint devices.
Despite these benefits, many organizations have been turned off by the high cost and complexity of VDI deployments, which often require significant investments in server hardware, storage and network infrastructure. One way to reduce this cost and complexity is to deploy VDI on hyper-converged infrastructure. In fact, VDI is a top use case for hyper-convergence.
Hyper-converged infrastructure solutions tightly integrate and pool compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources in a single system that is pretested and preconfigured by the vendor. Hyper-convergence also includes features such as de-duplication, compression, backup, snapshots, disaster recovery and WAN optimization, all of which are centrally managed through a single pane of glass.
Hyper-convergence reduces VDI costs in several ways. First, organizations can save money by bundling data center components and hypervisor management software rather than purchasing and installing each component separately. There are also cost savings realized through simpler management, automated updates, reduced maintenance costs, and faster, easier scalability. Because of its modular design, hyper-converged infrastructure solutions can be seamlessly scaled by plugging in additional modules to increase capacity.
Depending upon the size of the VDI deployment, organizations may be able to reduce costs by purchasing high-end nodes that can support greater density of virtual desktops, applications and users. Purchasing such high-end nodes right out of the gate may be less expensive than buying more nodes as demand for IT resources grows.
As with any technological purchase, it’s important to calculate total cost of ownership (TCO), not just upfront costs. In addition to considering the purchase price of a hyper-converged infrastructure solution, you need to factor in the speed and simplicity of deployment. Hyper-convergence deployments are typically measured in days, while deployments involving products from multiple vendors can take weeks or months. Faster deployment means faster time to value. Some newer hyper-converged infrastructure solutions even automate VDI deployments, which not only reduces costs but minimizes performance and support issues.
Dell EMC recently reinforced its commitment to accelerate VDI adoption when it announced the expansion of its hyper-convergence offerings for VDI. The Dell EMC VxRail Appliance V Series solution is built on Dell EMC PowerEdge R730 servers. VxRail appliances are available with all-flash or hybrid storage and offer 250 times more configurations, twice the storage, and up to 40 percent better performance than the previous version. Single-node scaling allows you to start small with three nodes and scale to 64 nodes in as little as five minutes per node. VxRail appliances also offer enhanced virtualized graphics to support demanding use cases and deliver a graphics-rich user experience.
If you’ve explored VDI but decided against it because it seemed cost-prohibitive, consider recalculating TCO with hyper-convergence. Let ProSys help you determine if this approach makes sense for your organization, now and in the future.
by Jon Chappell