No matter if you are a seasoned administrator or just an up and coming IT professional, you’ve no doubt heard all the rage about this so called thing called “VDI” (virtual desktop infrastructure). I’m sure you have some general ideas of all the things it promises it can do for your company. These benefits range from saving your company a great deal of money, allowing the centralization of management and most important of all, allowing your users to practically connect to their virtual desktop no matter where they are and on what device they are using. The funny part is that I have to admit that I was one of those people who’ve drank the VDI Kool Aid. After having watched so many presentations and not to mention reading numerous white papers about this virtualization technology, I was sold for the most part. I mean when you look at the specs on paper, who wouldn’t want to deploy something as flexible as VDI? Everything sounds and looks great. That is until you read this book and actually take a step back to really analyze what is going on in the background. There’s always the popular saying that if something is too good to be true, then it usually isn’t. This is how the authors view this emerging technology because they spill the beans on many of the “gotchas” with VDI. However, the authors are anything but VDI haters and I’m glad because they generally are excited about this new direction enterprises are headed towards. It’s just that they make it super extra clear that VDI is not all that’s cracked up to be and only a small percentage of enterprises have deployed a successful VDI implementation. Key takeaway? VDI is not meant for everyone and this book will prove it to you.
I actually came across this book by accident and boy was I glad I did. Just like many folks out there, I’m a huge fan of virtualization but admit that while I’m not experienced in the area of VDI, I liked what I saw and read on paper. This book is absolutely perfect if you are actually planning on implementing VDI in your organization. In fact, I’m willing to go as far as saying that this book should be a mandatory read for IT professionals even having a remote thought on setting up a VDI. It would be really cool if a CIO in a company can actually force their virtualization administrators to read this book before/during the planning phase of a VDI deployment just to get rid of any doubts as to whether or not VDI is the actual solution they are seeking for. Some of the things I’ve learned from reading this book really opened my eyes and makes me think differently any time I now hear people talking about VDI.
For the most part, I believe the author stayed fairly neutral on the subject. They did a good job at countering their own points from a user or customer perspective and then giving another answer as to why their first answer is correct. I like this because rather than just reading about the authors going off on why VDI is bad, here they actually try to view things from both sides of the fence. The first half of the book actually goes into the positives and negatives of VDI. Other chapters talk about why a particular VDI implementation would fail horribly while giving examples of others that succeed. This gives you an excellent idea of what you should and should not be doing. The second half of the book actually shy a bit away from VDI itself and instead goes into a discussion about the traditional desktop as we know it today and the other big thing which I’m sure you’ve all heard of called applications and apps! One of the biggest mistakes that people make is believing that VDI is just about moving the desktop away from the computers and onto the data center and thinking that their job is done. What they don’t take into consideration is that they can avoid the whole VDI mess in the first place is by actually virtualizing or streaming their applications to their users instead.
All in all, this book is spectacular and like I said earlier, an absolute must read for anyone in the virtualization sector. Quest Software actually offers a free electronic version of this book, which you can register and download from here.