A Tale Of Two Technologies: How BYOD Can Help VDI Adoption

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) may be one of the new kids on the technology block, but with the relentless growth in mobile adoption in the workplace, along with the explosive increase in data, it is a huge and growing concern for CIOs. On the other hand, virtual desktops (AKA VDI) has been around seemingly forever and the only gray hair it may be causing among CIOs is concern over whether it will ever transition from (predominantly) vendor hype to useful reality. Once again there are those claiming this year will be the year of VDI, and that BYOD will play a significant role.

Pivot3, which conducted the recent survey that found 2013 will be the year of VDI in the mid-market, was surprised by the results, said CMO Olivier Thierry. “When we ran the study we expected to see it was still politicized, the complexities still there, and the costs. Quite honestly what we got back was we get it.” The study found that more than 80% of respondents consider VDI as part of their IT strategy, with reduced costs and faster deployments the key adoption points.

A recent survey from Forrester Research reported that the need to support employee access across locations had jumped to the top priority (53%) for driving VDI interest, ahead of previous top issues of increasing manageability (48%), lowering costs (48%), and providing remote access (45%). The company said this data correlates well with its Workforce Employee Survey data analysis, where it could see the growth of employee spending on computers (not just tablets) to do their jobs over a 3-year time horizon.

As more companies recognize the benefits of branch offices and a dispersed workforce, that being able to use a variety of devices while roaming and maintaining the same virtual environment – and scalability are essential, the attraction to VDI grows, said Pivot3. There are three compelling elements driving VDI, said Thierry: security, maintainability and deliverability. “It’s all about the app, but it’s all about how it’s secured, maintained and delivered.”

IDC has forecast unit shipments in the enterprise client devices (ECD) hardware market will grow at over 17% CAGR for the next five years, but the virtual client computing market will grow from $2.3 billion in 2011 to over $3 billion by 2015, with nearly a third of that coming from the centralized virtual desktop market (also called VDI). At 26.2%, HP holds top spot, followed closely by Wyse, now owned by Dell (25.4%), and NComputing. With over 600 customers, Pivot3 sells converged storage and compute appliances, primarily in the video surveillance and virtual desktop markets.

Looking ahead for VDI, Thierry said there will be increasing focus on integration. “The drive will be to manage the entire stack, not just the VDI portion, but apps and data.” For instance, later this month Pivot3 will ship a VMware Horizon suite-in-a-box, building off the appliance which is already shipping, he said.

Author: Steve Wexler

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