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How does hyper-converged infrastructure help VDI shops?

Some hyper-converged infrastructure vendors developed their products with VDI shops in mind. IT can reduce VDI-related headaches with the right HCI platform.

Hyper-converged infrastructure provides two primary benefits for VDI shops: it reduces hardware-related complications and also simplifies support. Hyper-converged systems come with matched hardware and some also include software designed to facilitate VDI.

Obviously an organization cannot run VDI without hardware, but using a hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) system eliminates some of the hardware-related issues VDI shops run into. Admins in VDI shops commonly put a lot of effort into hardware selection, capacity planning and hardware tuning, but hyper-converged systems are designed to be an all-in-one package that more or less eliminates these challenges.

An organization will still have to determine which hyper-converged system is the best fit for its needs. Hyper-converged systems are available at various price points and with varying hardware capabilities. Admins rarely have to worry about the hardware after making that initial purchasing decision. A shop might periodically need to add another HCI stack -- which would include compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources -- as a way of increasing capacity, but IT departments never have to worry about fine tuning the hardware configuration or performing a hardware upgrade.

The other thing that HCI can do for VDI shops is simplify support. There are a number of different VDI software providers and not all of them have partnerships with hardware vendors, but some do. For example, if an organization wanted to use VMware's EVO:RAIL HCI platform, it would be able to purchase a unit that not only has VMware software, such as vSphere and VSAN , preinstalled, but that has gone through rigorous testing to provide optimal performance in a VMware environment. Although it doesn't include the Horizon View VDI platform, EVO:RAIL comes fully optimized to use View.

The best part of this is that VMware provides full support for configuration. If a problem occurs, the administrator doesn't have to worry about the hardware vendor blaming the software vendor, or vice versa. Instead, the administrator can call a predetermined support number and get help resolving his VDI problem regardless of whether it is related to the hardware or software component.

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This was last published in August 2015

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Do you think the benefits of a hyper-converged system would make it worth the investment for VDI shops?
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