Dell-VMware try to ride VDI wave driven by Win8, BYOD issues

The Dell-VMware and Piston-Gridcentric OpenStack VDI solutions are further evidence that corporate interest in VDI is spiking, and this time around it's due to forthcoming Windows XP -end-of-life issues and explosion in BYOD, experts say

The Dell-VMware turnkey solution announced today is further evidence that corporate interest in virtual desktop instructure (VDI) is spiking -- but not for the reasons one would expect.

Lower desktop management costs is most often cited as the No. 1 reason companies are interested in VDI. But what's driving renewed interest this time around is Windows XP end-of-life issues and the explosion of BYOD in corporate life, say systems integrators and analysts.

In a recent interview [published on ZDNet, Data Dimension and analysts concur that a myriad of reasons are driving new interest in the VDI space.

David Cottingham, group director of data center and virtualization at systems integrator Dimension Data, said the recent uptick in enterprise VDI adoption is being driven by Windows XP end-of-life issues, the explosion in mobile device use at corporations and corporate data security needs.

"VDI is beginning to take off, not for cost reasons, but because of the need to have tight control over the desktop, the need tomove to Windows 7 or Windows 8, the BYOD explosion and protection of corporate assets," Cottingham said in a recent interview.

"Clients are trying to reduce support overhead and you might save a little but it's the need to move to Windows 7 and 8, the explosion in using iPads and other tablets, and the need to bring legacy applications to new devices," he said, adding that "desktop and application virtualization are great ways to enable those at and also to control and protect corporate data assets and backup data.

"They're starting to drive the emergence of VDI," Cottingham said, careful to note that it’s beyond the infancy stage but still far from mainstream. "We've got a number of large deployments going on ... we've done implementations in the 7,000 to 12,000 seat range."

While VDI lags way behind server virtualization, Dell, VMware, Citrix and OpenStack pioneer Piston are all betting heavily that companies will start shelling out to transform their desktop infrastructure in 2012-2013.  Efforts such as the Dell-VMware and Piston-GridCentric solutions suggest that vendors are trying to address customer concerns squarely, namely performance issues and storage cost issues.