Crossing the VDI Cost Threshold
VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure), the technology associated with providing and managing virtual desktops. In VDI, each user can access the personal virtual desktop from any authorized device; the IT department can centralize operating systems and applications scattered on each user's computer, improving management and security. Even though VDI has these advantages, the high cost is one of the crucial thresholds.VDI requires high-spending software licenses and powerful hardware equipment. Most SMBs consider purchasing PCs instead of VDI because they have a limited budget, even if they know VDI brings more benefits.
However, there is an increasing demand for remote work recently, and VDI becomes necessary. If an enterprise adopts a VDI solution with less performance infrastructure due to cost considerations, employees will waste lots of time waiting for the virtual desktop to respond - Because the VDI cannot provide enough computing power for every online request. It will hugely decrease the company's productivity. Therefore, it is necessary to have cost-effective and high-speed solutions at the same time without making remote work a bottleneck in enterprise production.
Figure 1 is a comparison graph of the total cost for PCs and high-performance VDI, the initial building cost of PCs is very low, but when the enterprise scales up, the cost of PCs is getting higher with the maintenance cost. The initial construction cost of high-speed VDI is very high, but through centralized management, maintenance becomes simpler. So, the total cost in the enterprise reached a particular scale and will be lower than PCs.But enterprise scale-up is not an overnight thing. If enterprises reduce the cost of building VDI (see figure 1), enterprises do not have to wait until the scale becomes larger to consider introducing the VDI solution.
Storage Costs is Gradually Decreasing.
For the real-time VDI, one of the most important keys is to choose all-flash storage with high-performance SSDs. In the past, enterprise-level SSDs accounted for high costs. However, as shown in Figure 2, the SSD cost has dropped rapidly in recent years. By 2026, the cost of SSDs will be predicted lower than HDDs. Therefore, purchasing all-flash storage no longer a dream for most SMB.
How to choose All-Flash Storage for VDI?
For VDI, regardless of the stability, performance, and number of virtual desktops, it all depends on all-flash storage. Therefore, it is crucial to choose suitable all-flash storage. Let’s revisit the 5P strategy of all-flash storage mentioned in the previous blog.
The desktop experience is the key to productivity. If the response time is slow, it will affect the output of the whole day. Also, Figure 3 below shows the performance changes of virtual desktops in the enterprise during the day. Plenty of logins in the morning and anti-virus and backup after getting off work will generate high IOPS peak. If storage does not have high-speed performance in rapid response, there may be overloaded or even make the virtual desktop unusable.
Enterprises may not be equipped with FC (Fibre Channel) and iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface) network environments at the same time. Supporting both protocols can reduce the cost of enterprise infrastructure construction and reduce external expenditures.
VDI is the source of value production for enterprises. Uninterrupted data flow and zero loss of data are significant. Even if it stops briefly, it will cause huge losses. Therefore, 99.9999% high availability with close to zero downtime is a fundamental requirement.
The price is not just the all-flash storage but also SSD (Solid State Drive). For some all-flash storage, SSDs need a fixed capacity and quantity and additional licenses or higher-level versions to expand capacity. There will cause unnecessary costs incurred, so if it can configure storage flexibly according to demand, it will save in price.
Entry-level all-flash storage has less than 1ms response speed, which can meet the high-performance virtual desktop needs of SMB (small and medium-sized enterprises), so there is no need to purchase high-end all-flash storage in the beginning.
Reduce VDI Costs
If you focus on high performance, choosing an overly expensive all-flash storage does not reduce costs. So, considering the appropriate storage within your budget will effectively reduce the cost.
Table 1 shows two all-flash storage at different price bands. A has a relatively high price, excellent performance; B has lower performance but sells for only 1/3 of A. For SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses), A can afford 660 people to log in at the same time is sufficient with VDI demands. It is equivalent to that the orange line in Figure 4 drops to the position of the green line, so choosing the suitable all-flash storage will effectively reduce the overall cost and allow enterprises to introduce VDI as soon as possible.
Choose All-Flash Storage Smartly and Enjoy VDI Easily.
Remote work is the trend of the times. Through the simple calculations above, the difference of all-flash storage can significantly reduce the cost. As introducing VDI into the enterprise, it is better to use suitable storage to start early. Start centralizing the equipment, reducing the burden, and enjoy improving productivity.
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