The evidence suggests that businesses will increasingly turn to VDI over the next few years, but they need to consider the impact on the wider IT environment.
Networks are a key point to consider. Despite specialized transport protocols between remote client desktops and centralized virtual servers, VDI can be adversely affected due to limited bandwidth and competition with other applications like files transfer, unified communications and social media, resulting in users experiencing problems like delayed mouse movements and keystrokes. When it comes to productivity, users demand a seamless desktop experience. [Also see: "Prepping the network for VDI"]
So how can these issues be prevented? The solution lies in being able to classify and manage each flow of traffic over the network to serve the business-critical applications and align performance to the needs of the business user. In addition, businesses need to have a transparent overview of exactly which applications are running over the net and how much resource they each consume.
Available network offerings like MPLS or the public Internet do not have the embedded technologies with the granularity and cleverness to provide such features. This is why enterprises deploying VDI are looking for tools offering additional benefits. The first important capability is the ability to recognize and classify each user flow (virtualized or not) and then control each flow accordingly. This control typically consists of guaranteeing a minimum delay to the low-bandwidth/time-sensitive VDI flows (e.g., mouse/keyboard) while managing the available bandwidth between all the other flows in the most efficient manner possible. Finally, monitoring and reporting the application traffic (volume, performance) over the network is necessary for IT managers to plan, size and finally govern VDI over their network.
VDI has numerous benefits for businesses that choose to utilize it. But in order to maximize its efficiency, companies need the right tools. With multiple apps sharing the virtualized environment, there needs to be a way of managing the competition between them as well as between the non-virtualized applications, and prioritizing the ones which are considered more important. Moreover, it's of primary importance that the flow of virtualized traffic can be viewed in a transparent way, and that the business-critical, virtualized applications are therefore also highly visible.