2010 Prediction: Management Takes Center Stage in VDI Planning and Implementation

Here are my predictions for 2010. In summary, I think 2010 will be the year when desktop virtualization will move out of test-bed and development environments and into production environments, supporting a range of mission-critical remote access services in various verticals. With this in mind, we make the following predictions for VDI in 2010:

Administrators will seek new tools to address VDI performance management and capacity planning. Administrators will quickly determine that their existing server virtualization monitoring solutions leave critical gaps with respect to VDI monitoring and capacity planning. These gaps include end-to-end monitoring of all components that support the VDI service, an inside view of each desktop to see what processes are running and how they are using virtual resources, correlation of alerts for automated root cause analysis, and the ability to answer questions such as “how many concurrent users can my current VDI support?” and “where do I need to add resources to support all my users on VDI?”

Many VDI rollouts won’t go smoothly and there will be finger pointing.  The impact of virtualization on desktop performance can be unpredictable without the right planning, understanding of user requirements, vendor interoperability, and proper configuration. Any miscalculation can result in failure. Without the right planning and diagnostic tools in place, finger pointing will abound.

Management vendors will announce new tools for monitoring VDI. There are dozens of IT management vendors, but relatively few that have solutions specific to VDI. Expect several to make product announcements in 2010 to address the new user demand.

Administrators will encounter frustration trying to integrate the new VDI monitor tools into their current infrastructure. Monitoring VDI needs to be part of an end-to-end business service monitoring strategy. Any new point tools will need to be integrated into existing systems. Failures in proper integration and training will result in the new tools becoming ineffective and unused.

VDI and Server Based Computing (SBC) will coexist and administrators will want to monitor both from a single pane of glass. VDI and Server Based Computing will coexist based on different use cases. The groups who manage current SBC solutions will likely take on responsibility for supporting new VDI users. Since similar user focused monitoring and reporting is required for both environments, administrators will want one tool to manage both.

IT staff reductions will continue and, as a result, administrators will become more interested in tools that can automate routine troubleshooting. IT budgets will remain tight, ROI justifications will be paramount, and fewer staff will be asked to do more with less. Features that simplify installation, configuration and problem isolation will thus increase in value.

Administrators will seek tools that can help them right-size the VDI while meeting SLAs. Administrators will need to justify spending on VDI by showing the appropriate ROI. This means that over-provisioning to ensure SLAs are met will not be an option. Reports to indicate how physical resources can be optimized and reports that demonstrate SLAs from the end user perspective will both become key.

In 2010, enterprises and service providers alike will recognize that they need a monitoring solution that recognizes and caters to the differing requirements of virtual server and virtual desktop requirements. Vendors who can deliver on these predictions will provide measurable value to their customers and gain valuable competitive differentiation in the VDI space as well as in the overall virtual management marketplace.