"The new VDI Reality" - a quick book review

"The new VDI Reality" - a quick book review

Summary: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure offers the opportunity to re-centralize IT infrastructure and reduce management and some operational costs. A new ebook by Brian Madden, Gabe Knuth and Jack Madden takes a useful view of the topic and is available for free download.

TOPICS: Virtualization

To keep up with what's happening in the worlds of system software, virtualization technology and the infrastructure, I find that I have to read everything available and speak with both suppliers and users of technology.  From time to time, I comment on something here.

This time, a PR friend sent me a copy of the eBook "The New VDI Reality: How the Biggest Barriers to VDI Adoption Have Finally Been Solved and What This Means for the Future of the Enterprise Desktop" and suggested that I might find it interesting. I had the expectation that it was going to be another self-serving advertisement disguised as a short eBook.  I was wrong. While the book does highlight what Atlantis Computing and Devon IT are doing, it offers useful information too.

The New VDI Reality is an extensive review (over 300 pages) of the technology behind a few, but not all, implementations of virtual environments to support desktop computing that offers interesting observations and useful insight. It is worth far more than its $0.00 price for those wanting to learn more about the technology and how it is used.

Here are a few excerpts from the book:

  • What we don’t like is when VDI gets a bad name when it fails because people try to use it for the wrong reasons. So we’re hoping that by sharing real-world examples of how other people have failed with VDI, you’ll be able to avoid these situations and (1) only use VDI where it makes sense, and (2) be very successful with it!
  • Since the first edition of this book was published last year, there have been two major technological innovations that have changed the game for a lot of VDI deployments. The first is around storage. We always argued that VDI had to be about persistent “1-to-1” disk images, but doing so with traditional server storage was prohibitively expensive…The second major breakthrough of the past year has been in the area of graphics performance, specifically the fact that multiple vendors now have plug-in cards for your remote VDI servers that can offload the processing, encoding, and compression of the remote protocol display streams.
  • Taken together, these improvements in storage and graphics capabilities mean that VDI is now applicable in far more situations than it was before. This sentiment is corroborated by the number of large (more than 10,000 seat) deployments we’ve seen kick off this year.
  • The good news around costs and VDI is that thanks to Moore’s Law, desktop economies of scale can be realized more quickly in the datacenter. While we already discussed the fact that Moore’s Law also applies to traditional desktops, much of those costs are wrapped up in the metal box and the power supply and the wires and the logistics of designing, marketing, selling, and delivering a $300 desktop. But when it comes to the datacenter, you can almost literally buy twice the computing power (which cuts the cost of a desktop in half) every 18 months, yet the “goal” of desktop virtualization doesn’t move nearly that often.

Atlantis Computing and Devon IT have sponsored the distribution of free copies of the New VDI Reality book for the next three months. It is worth the time to download and read this eBook.

Topic: Virtualization


Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • A total fallacy

    VDI doesn't work anywhere for anyone. It is a management "wet dream" to try and reduce costs and what it does is essentially double and in fact triple costs. It should not be used anywhere. Instead apps should be re-designed and re-architected for web apps, hence employing more server power the correct way. VDI is simply a patchwork band-aid to allow companies to operate legacy applications from a server farm. It is not for real-world applications no matter how many "examples" are produced to say otherwise.
    • Organizations don't work that way

      Sorry. Organizations don't re-architect everything as they evolve. Otherwise data centers wouldn't have mainframes or midrange systems. No, organizations evolve over time. New technology is used alongside of older technology.

      Another point is that often staff-related costs are far greater than software and hardware costs. If this approach reduces the overall administrative costs, that cost reduction will probably go all the way to the bottom line.

      Dan K