Is VDI on the Horizon for you? Maybe not after you see this video

There's nothing like a live demo to convince you one way or another about a technology. Watch a real-time, live demo of VMware's Horizon with View in a Hands-on Lab to see for yourself if you'd like to deploy a traditional VDI solution for your company.

I don't think there's anyone who could ever convince me that traditional VDI is a good idea. Performance is but one of the issues. Cost is another. Complexity is yet another. In a word, just don't do it. Perhaps this video demo will convince you not to waste your money or your time on it. The demo you are about to watch is a real-time, live demo of VMware's Horizon with View that's available on VMware's site in a hands-on laboratory. Now, if I were giving the demo of my product, I'd make sure that the performance would be absolutely the fastest possible and very reliable. And maybe I'm jumping to conclusions here in believing that VMware didn't do that. I have to assume that the good folks at VMware did put forth their best effort in making this demo as fast and as reliable as financially possible. However, its performance might say otherwise.

VMware Horizon with View Hands-on Lab

[Warning: The video is a little long (24 minutes) and frustrating/boring in places because I'm doing all of this for the first time live on the video.]

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But enough editorializing. You can see it for yourself. And if you aren't convinced that my test is valid, sign up and run your own test.

This is not a formal review; it's simply a test drive of the product(s) that I'm given access to for the demo. Draw your own conclusions from it.

To be somewhat fair and balanced, the Windows 8.1 desktop starts faster on subsequent openings. However, if you terminate your session (close View), then you'll have to wait again for the virtual desktop. I'm not sure exactly what happened to the XP desktop in this session after it required me to reboot it. I'll take guesses on that one.

The systems don't have internet access, which makes them somewhat difficult to evaluate completely as a solution, because I'd like to test the speed of browsing, downloading, installing, and other common activities. These systems also don't have any useful applications on them for testing.

In all, I have to say that this particular lab is a fail. I'm surprised that VMware would put this up for people to evaluate a technology, but you can see it for yourself.

My conclusion is that if the people who sell the solution can't make it work reliably and quickly, then it's something that you should stay away from. I don't mean to bash VMware specifically, because all traditional VDI is bad. I don't believe that anyone can make it work reliably, quickly, inexpensively, and sufficiently to convince me otherwise. There are some solutions that I've written about in this blog that attempt to resolve the inherent performance issues associated with VDI, but I'm skeptical as to their long term efficacy.

What do you think of the demo? Do you think it's a convincing demonstration for or against VDI? Talk back and let me know.