What Should A VDI Desktop Cost?
A small business should be able to configure a viable 250 desktop VDI installation for less than $150 per desktop.
Recently I met with an organization's IT team after they had completed the initial rollout of their virtual desktop infrastructure project. The VDI install went quite well and desktop performance was by their description "acceptable." Although I am not convinced that the users think "acceptable" is, well, acceptable, but that is a story for another entry.
What jumped out at me in our meeting was the cost per desktop. Based on the number of desktop instances they felt that their "pod" of host and storage could support, the average cost per desktop was about $500 to $600, prior to the actual device that sits on the desktop.
Obviously the device has some bearing on the cost per desktop, but this company was counting on the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend to alleviate all of those costs. However, the company reimbursed for the device brought in by employees, so it really should have been factored into the overall cost. But for now, let's leave the cost per desktop at $500 to $600. I think that cost is still way too high for broad adoption of VDI to make sense.
The key factor that drives up the cost per desktop is simple. How many desktops can you support per host? Obviously 2,000 desktops per host is going to be far less expensive per desktop than 1,000. What is the big limiter to desktop density? Storage -- primarily storage performance, not storage capacity. Capacity issues, assuming your storage has the performance capabilities to handle the dynamic write nature of thin provisioning, golden masters and linked clones, have largely been solved thanks to the efficiency of these technologies.... Read full story on InformationWeek
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