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Hyper-converged infrastructure lets VDI scale

Hyper-converged infrastructure offerings give a boost to VDI through their simplicity and ability to scale easily.

Although the "year of VDI" never really came about, the desktop virtualization industry has seen a lot of changes over the past year. Cloud computing, the consumerization of IT and improved graphics delivery have all contributed to a better virtual desktop experience -- making virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) viable in more organizations.

To help you get a handle on the big picture of VDI, we posed this question to five desktop virtualization experts:

What technologies or trends had the biggest impact on VDI in 2013?

Kees Baggerman: We've all seen the problems with traditional VDI: IOPS and high latency causing a bad user experience, and sometimes misaligned products and product support. One of the game-changing developments in VDI over the past year has been the introduction of hyper-converged infrastructures from companies such as SimpliVity and Nutanix, both built for a different purpose but extremely powerful for VDI as they improve simplicity and time-to-market without desecration of management and performance.

By using hyper-converged infrastructures for VDI projects, we can speed up time-to-build and eliminate risks by removing unnecessary components. The bottom line is: It's KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), while guaranteeing performance and improving the virtual desktop user experience.

So how does hyper-converged infrastructure accomplish that? It uses fewer components and reduces complexity: no more shared storage in a SAN or NAS configuration, no more SAN networking. Storage, CPU and memory are crammed into one box with a software layer to control the three components, offering the hypervisor an optimized resource model for VDI.

That means as you need to scale up or scale out, you can add to the hyper-converged infrastructure architecture. You can start small without overspending on hardware and use a pay-as-you-grow model when adding extra desktops, or add more powerful models or components.

My take on VDI trends this year and next is that converged infrastructure will be of great importance for VDI as we can scale out and up in a fast and reliable way while optimizing user experience.

Stay tuned for more responses to this question as we determine the biggest trends of the year.

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What trend or technology do you think had the biggest impact on VDI in 2013?