Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and Your IT Budget
Desktops and their management typically occupy a significant portion of an IT budget. The three areas that occupy the largest piece of the pie are hardware costs, software costs, and the costs related to the physical environment.
- Hardware Costs: Most organizations tend towards a 3-4 year replacement cycle on their PCs. This means that IT needs to budget for 25-33% of their desktops to be replaced annually. They must also maintain a PC and helpdesk department to handle the troubleshooting and management of all hardware.
- Software Costs: Minimally, each PC needs the OS locally installed – if not all of the applications as well. Every upgrade and patch to the OS and applications that are deployed on the desktops can become very costly (and complex) projects.
- Physical Environment Costs: There are other fixed and variable costs that generally go unnoticed, but are associated to the desktop equipment. The power costs for the PCs, the cooling costs for the heat they produce, and the actual space needed for a typical PC footprint are all examples of the physical environment costs.
Hardware CostsYou can now accomplish all of the above with a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployment. Today’s PCs are built to last approximately three years. During this time a PC might have fan failures, bad hard drives, and blown power supplies. All of these contribute to the total cost of ownership, as well as the maintenance and management costs. With a virtual desktop, companies can replace PCs with thin clients. Thin clients are built to last approximately seven years. Most thin clients have solid-state components and operate without a fan. And, most thin clients are priced less than the PCs they replace.
Software CostsVirtual desktop deployment is usually done from a centralized data center or a public cloud. In either case, the management of the environment can easily be accomplished from anywhere. All one needs is an internet and/or network connection. Virtual desktops are built to be mobile. No longer will your IT support staff be stretched across your environment, running from desktop to desktop. Everything needed to troubleshoot and manage the VDI is centralized and available from anywhere. A great example of this is the ease with which you can upgrade your company’s OS.
- Create a virtual desktop with the new OS and applications.
- Test everything to ensure it all works as expected.
- Deploy the images to the production virtual machines.
- Reboot the system.