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Desktop virtualization market guide

The desktop virtualization market can be intimidating, but VDI isn't the same beast it used to be. DaaS, hyperconverged infrastructure and other improvements have turned VDI into a more appealing prospect for many shops.


The desktop virtualization market has changed a lot over the years, so IT professionals who looked at doing VDI in the past may be surprised by what's available now -- DaaS, hyperconverged infrastructure and perpetual product improvements have all helped change the virtualization landscape.

Because virtualization technology evolves so quickly, it can be difficult to keep up with trends and how they can affect your users: Will VDI adoption ever take off? Is desktop as a service (DaaS) right for you? Should you try to sell higher-ups on the value of hyperconverged infrastructure?

Instead of getting bogged down in all the marketing babble, check out this guide for the straight facts so you can get out of the weeds and into desktop virtualization.


Know before you go

Before you take the desktop virtualization plunge, dip your toe in the water with these definitions.

2Opinions on VDI's future-

VDI, client-side virtualization adoption rates

When you're considering VDI or client-side virtualization, it's worth taking a look at market adoption rates. VDI adoption has been slow, and it's not projected to permeate every enterprise. Check out what the experts have to say about VDI adoption and whether or not the technology is worth the investment.


VDI adoption unlikely to find significant market share

VDI is a niche technology and adoption has been slow. Experts don't expect adoption to take off anytime soon, either. Increased user reliance on mobile devices, the option to use session-based virtualization and Microsoft licensing rules are all to blame. Continue Reading


VDI adoption to stall at 20%

VDI adoption probably won't ever pass the 20% mark in the overall Windows desktop market, so what will the other 80% of desktops look like? They can be physical desktops running virtual apps, or they can host virtual desktop sessions. Continue Reading


Who needs high adoption rates?

Physical desktops outnumber virtual ones, but that doesn't mean you should count VDI out. As long as VDI continues to provide value through access to enterprise applications and ease of deployment, it will have a place in enterprise environments. Continue Reading


VDI adoption is gaining appeal

Although VDI adoption hasn't become as widespread as originally expected, improvements to storage and graphics could add a lot to its appeal. Block-level, single-instance primary storage and plug-in GPUs for VDI host servers can make a world of difference. Continue Reading


How Microsoft's licensing costs disrupt VDI adoption

VDI has the potential to reduce the high costs associated with managing desktop computers, as well as upgrading hardware and software. But those are both problems Microsoft has made money solving. The company's response? Make VDI licensing so expensive that many companies can't afford it. Continue Reading


Complexity, storage requirements obstruct VDI adoption

VDI's costs and complexity are a hindrance to overall adoption. The difficulty inherent to VDI deployment, potential storage problems and diminished cost savings for certain environments make VDI a transitional measure for some -- it might be eclipsed by a simpler, more cost-effective technology in the future. Continue Reading


Three surprising facts about VDI

A 2013 survey showed some surprising trends in VDI adoption with a positive outlook for VDI overall: VDI adoption is slow among small businesses, larger organizations have deployed stateless VDI and app virtualization is popular with room to grow. Continue Reading

3VDI variety opens market up-

Options abound in VDI market

There are plenty of options for buyers in the desktop virtualization market. Ranging from all-inclusive packages from well-known vendors to more specialized offerings from smaller companies, there's a VDI option for every shop.


Top VDI platform feature highlights and pricing comparison

Before picking a VDI platform, take a look at the most popular VDI vendors' software and how its features and pricing compare. Whether you're looking for a purely low-cost offering or the total package with converged infrastructure, there's sure to be a product that tickles your fancy. Continue Reading


Citrix XenDesktop and VDI-in-a-Box, compared

Citrix offers two VDI products, XenDesktop and VDI-in-a-Box. Although they're both from Citrix, they differ in scalability, pricing, deployment, provisioning, management, graphics delivery and availability. Continue Reading


XenDesktop 7.5 breakdown

XenDesktop 7.5 comes with XenApp, HDX enhancements, hybrid cloud integration and more. With these components -- combined with an improved experience for mobile workers -- small and large companies alike can benefit. Continue Reading


Breakdown of Remote Desktop Services features

Remote Desktop Services (RDS) in Windows Server 2012 improves existing capabilities and adds new ones, such as RemoteApp and RemoteFX. The simplicity of Microsoft RDS makes it a worthy contender for VDI, but costs of licensing could be an obstacle. Continue Reading


VMware Horizon View vs. competitors

Ease of use, manageability and storage features help VMware Horizon View stand out when compared to competitors, but it isn't perfect. Features such as persistent disks for profile redirection and View's profile management tool lack fine-grained controls and stability. Continue Reading


Rejoice! Lower-cost VDI platforms actually exist

Alternatives to VMware and Citrix are out there. If you've had enough of the major providers, take a look at Virtual Bridges, IBM, Red Hat, Dell vWorkspace and more. Depending on your existing hardware, management and support needs, the market has choices for everyone. Continue Reading


Virtual Bridges: VDI market underdog

Virtual Bridges is one of the smaller vendors in the VDI market, making a name for itself with quick install and protocol integration. The company has even shaken up its leadership positions in an effort to get ahead in the desktop virtualization market. Continue Reading


Dell vWorkspace vs. the world

Dell vWorkspace sets itself apart from competitors with multi-hypervisor support and flexibility. Dell's unified approach through support for VMware ESXi, Parallels Virtuozzo and Microsoft Hyper-V helps differentiate it from competitors. Continue Reading

4Where is the market headed?-

VDI market trends and analysis

VDI adoption might be slow, but that's not stopping desktop, application and GPU virtualization. DaaS, hyperconverged infrastructure and other advancements move the market too. Are all those bells and whistles enough to attract potential buyers?


VDI needs improvements to overcome challenges

The VDI market has matured, but there are still challenges to VDI adoption that will need to be overcome before it gains wider acceptance. Security and storage concerns must be alleviated if VDI vendors want to tempt more clients. Continue Reading


Hyper-converged infrastructure could help VDI

IOPS issues and high latency can cause bad user experiences, and misaligned product support can create management problems. Companies looking for VDI that scales easily and is simple to manage are in luck: Extremely powerful, hyper-converged infrastructure offerings from companies such as SimpliVity and Nutanix can save the day. Continue Reading


Solid-state storage for the win

Solid-state drives (SSDs) are a great solution to many VDI performance problems. SSDs are readily available and effective, and they provide better disk performance. That means faster desktop response and greater efficiency. Hypervisors reap benefits from solid-state storage as well, thanks to shared-storage loads and scalability with user numbers. Continue Reading


VDI vs. DaaS fight leaves question about which will triumph

The market struggle between VDI and DaaS leaves some wondering if one will win out over the other, but DaaS is likely to become the eventual victor. DaaS remedies VDI's complexity, as well as the upfront costs it takes to build the necessary infrastructure. Continue Reading


3-D graphics comparison: Microsoft vs. Citrix vs. VMware

Desktop virtualization and 3-D graphics can mix -- with the right support. If you have users with heavy graphics demands and your hardware supports it, you might consider adding a dedicated GPU to your servers. Here's a look at how three of the top companies compare in their GPU support. Continue Reading

5Seeing is believing-

Videos about the virtualization market

Virtualization market experts have differing -- and strong -- opinions. VSAN, solid-state storage and more have given them a reason to talk. Check out our video interviews with these experts to see what they have to say.


Mixed feelings on hyperconverged infrastructure products

Attendees at VMworld 2014 saw new releases in hyperconverged infrastructure software and came away wanting something more. VMware released products such as the vRealize Suite and EVO:RAIL, but IT pros didn't have a united opinion about the new products, and they felt that the list of EVO partners was missing big hardware players.


VDI storage needs to be context-aware for a universal approach

VMware wants to normalize storage for VDI and provide a universal approach for businesses. After the release of VMware View 5.5, it becomes the user's responsibility to start finding the integration and capability gaps so VMware can develop accordingly.


Without a plan, storage technology is inconsequential for VDI

Storage admins working with virtual desktops spend too much time worrying about which type of storage technology to use instead of looking at how that storage can work for them. For their part, vendors need to differentiate themselves rather than focusing on storage technology.


How flash affects data center performance

Solid-state drives will become the storage standard, thanks to features that change data centers for the better -- flash can offer faster access, less power and less heat.


Costs of hyperconverged systems make VSAN worth watching

Hyperconvergence products are easy to set up, but they're proprietary, which means IT teams can't necessarily use their existing hardware. To that end, VSAN is an offering worth paying attention to.

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