The pros and cons of using virtual desktop infrastructure

VDI might cost less than buying new PCs, but the biggest savings come from managing a single image for a host of workstations

By , PC World |  Virtualization, vdi

Pro: Instead of buying a raft of PCs that will be scattered around the office--or even outside the office if you're supporting a mobile workforce or employees who work remotely--you'll acquire one premium system with redundant power supplies, a UPS, high-performance storage, and high-bandwidth networking that will deliver capable hardware to all users equally.

Con: Procuring one big server means a large initial outlay, versus inexpensive PCs that can be acquired in stages or upgraded a few at a time. If that one server goes down, every user relying on that machine will be unable to work. If a single PC goes down, only one user is impacted.

4. Maintaining a single OS image can reduce management and support costs.

Pro: Install applications, patches, and drivers once, and every user relying on that image benefits from the update.

Con: Administrators will need to learn the VDI software's capabilities and limitations. Accommodating users who require unique applications or their own personalization settings can result in image proliferation, which can end up being more difficult to manage than operating separate workstations.

5. When you encounter problems, you'll generally have just one system to troubleshoot.

Pro: Problems can generally be resolved from within the data center; there's no need to run out to the actual PCs. Since images can usually be accessed from any connected workstation, a user experiencing hardware trouble on their usual PC can simply go to another workstation and access their data and applications.

Con: Server-side problems can affect multiple users--everyone using that server or that image. For that reason, it's a good idea to set up redundant servers as a failsafe.

Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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