Guest blog by Lee Caswell, VP of Virtualization Products, Fusion-io
Back when VDI started, the persistent desktop was king. The first virtual desktop wasn’t that virtual at all since persistent hardware was dedicated to individual users. But it was fast and it was secure.
The downside of persistent desktops was cost. Dedicated hardware gave way to shared storage and more efficient provisioning techniques, but the cost of a persistent desktop remained far above the cost of a physical desktop. This made persistent virtual desktops a non-starter for all but the most security conscious customers.
Stateless desktops emerged to fill the gap with cheap desktops that were “good enough” for some workers. Tradeoffs in performance, customizability and flexibility introduced a cost point that justified virtual desktops for task workers who could stomach the tradeoffs.
Even with advancements in persona management, it’s hard to find knowledge workers who are satisfied with a stateless desktop. Knowledge workers have an absolute standard for what constitutes an acceptable virtual desktop experience. It’s simply a physical desktop. Any compromise in performance or functionality from a physical desktop is instantly noticed and irritating.
Stateless desktops also forced tradeoffs on IT. To meet aggressive cost targets, stateless architectures forced IT to give up shared storage along with the rich set of VMware tools, including vMotion, High Availability (HA), Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), and Site Recovery Manager (SRM). These features are critical in enterprise environments to simplify maintenance and provide maximum uptime at scale.
At Fusion-io, we have historically offered server-side flash solutions for stateless desktops. Our latest product, ioVDI, introduces a radical reduction in the cost of persistent desktops that we think changes how millions of knowledge workers will view a virtual desktop. In case you missed our announcement, read more here about how ioVDI software speeds the deployment of VMware Horizon View virtual desktops by intelligently combining the stateless cost economics of server flash performance with the manageability benefits of installed shared storage required for persistent desktops. You can also find out about Fusion-io’s complete line of VDI products here.