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Five signs it's time to upgrade your VDI software

If your VDI software doesn't support the latest hardware, or if it won't scale, it might be time to upgrade. Learn about some other signs to keep an eye out for.

VDI software constantly evolves, and it's important to stay up to speed.

Most organizations are good about keeping software up to date, but some adopt a philosophy of "if it isn't broken, don't fix it." Some major retailers, for instance, continue to run Windows 2000 on their point of sale systems. Of course, there is a fine line between keeping an organization's software up to date and jumping on every new release just because a vendor says so. With that in mind, here are five signs you need to update your desktop virtualization software.

The vendor no longer supports it

Running unsupported VDI software is a problem because it means the vendor no longer provides security updates or bug fixes. If a security flaw is discovered, the hacking community will seek out organizations that run the software. This situation becomes even more alarming when you consider that, because the vendor does not support the software, there will not be a patch for the security hole.

In addition, IT administrators never want to be put into a situation in which software fails and they can't get technical support from the vendor. Running unsupported software violates numerous IT best practices.

It lacks must-have features

Don't necessarily update to a more recent version just because it has new features.

A sure sign that it is time to update desktop virtualization software is that newer versions include beneficial features. Don't necessarily update to a more recent version just because it has new features. But if these features could solve existing problems or provide other tangible benefits, definitely look at upgrading.

It doesn't support the latest hardware

Often, newer VDI software ends up supporting hardware in a way that can decrease virtual desktop costs. For example, a dynamic memory feature could potentially increase virtual desktop density, allowing an organization to get a better return on its hardware investment. Similarly, support for an accelerated graphics adapter might open VDI up to more users, which could reduce costs if those new virtual desktops replace physical desktops.

It doesn't scale or isn't flexible enough

All desktop virtualization software has its limits, but they should not be so restrictive as to prevent scalability. In some cases, newer VDI software supports more virtual desktops per host than older versions. Virtual desktop density isn't the only limitation to consider, however. Newer versions typically allow administrators to run a mixture of personal and session-based virtual desktops, and they usually offer some level of cloud support.

It doesn't support touchscreen capabilities

The vast majority of endpoint devices on the market today are touch enabled. Older VDI client software treats touch input as though it were mouse input, which results in an awkward user experience. A truly touch-enabled VDI application allows for a more natural experience on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Vendors add features and improvements to their wares with each new version. It is usually in an organization's best interest to keep its VDI software somewhat current.

Next Steps

Virtual desktop updates aren't so simple

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This was last published in October 2016

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