VDI Performance and Cost: A Deeper Dive
Lab tests aren't perfect simulations, but they do help businesses decide whether a virtual desktop infrastructure is for them. Here's why I stand by my advice on VDI and storage costs.
Recently in his blog, Art Wittmann took exception to a column in which I stated that capital expenditure (CapEx) could and should become a key factor in the evaluation of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) project. Although the goal of saving money on hardware and software acquisitions should not replace the goal of reducing operational expenditures (OPEx), a VDI project that achieves both would be that much more appealing.
In my experience, the main component that drives VDI costs up is the supporting storage infrastructure. If storage can be made to perform significantly better and still remain cost effective, the CapEx costs of a VDI solution would come down. As I covered in my original column, intelligent caching is one way to accomplish this.
My analyst firm, Storage Switzerland, recently was hired by caching software manufacturer VeloBit to run a lab test and potentially verify their product claims. My original column was not about any particular vendor, but more about the importance of reducing CapEx and the effectiveness of caching as a method to drive down the cost of the storage components of a VDI project. I did, however, link to that report as an example of our research.
The first of Art's concerns was how "real world" our tests were. That's a fair concern of any lab test as, obviously, no test can perfectly recreate a production environment. All you can do is accurately document the test methodology and the configurations that you tested. Users have to translate that into their reality. We learn something from every test we do and attempt to apply that to our next test suite.
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