TS / VDI – are we really needing VDI yet? Doesn’t TS deliver similar stuff?

There have been lots of very interesting posts on this subject over the past few months, varying in focussing in on the TCO of the solutions to comparing the technical abilities of each technique of delivering applications to users. However, we are seeing quite a few (read a lot :-)) of posts quoting the similarities between what we are actually delivering in VDI to that of the “old” TS model….

Some of the more recent articles such as Brian Madden’s “Madden’s Paradox” (http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/brianmadden/archive/2009/08/12/introducing-madden-s-paradox-the-gotcha-of-the-vdi-versus-ts-debate.aspx) of just a few days ago, and the one which is linked into Brian’s post written by Jim Moyle of VisionApp (http://www.jimmoyle.com/2009/05/why-is-vdi-changing-into-terminal-server/) some time before then, tend to hit the nail on the head rather well.

So, is that all bad?  Well, no – the TS model worked then and guess what, it continues to work well now, and hence why these folks out there are kind of coming to the same conclusion as Jim.

The point now being, we need time to consider the reality of what VDI will do for us?

OK, so assuming that the Personalization Management is dealt with [and I think it is fair to say that all the posts seem to focus in on AppSense, RES, RTO, TriCerat and Scence to fulfill these capabilities,] the other area that keeps coming up is that of User Installed Applications.

If there were some technology that would deal with the user installed application sets, including those apps that have filter drivers etc, where would we be? Would we remain scared and concerned about the stability of our TS platform or might we be prepared to embrace the opportunity?

 Certainly a year or so ago I would have been very afraid of this proposition. However, if you consider the vast improvements we have seen recently with the performance and scalability of the platform(s), and pay particular attention to the new performance management features of Server 2008 R2, then actually much of the scalability concern has been removed, since no user installed application would be able to “steal” resource away from the other core applcations / users. These are the handy lessons Microsoft perhaps learned from Citrix (with the Aurema technology OEM) and AppSense with their Performance Manager product.

If that User Installed Application technology could guarantee that the applications are “sandboxed” and will *never* tarnish that shiny gold build of your TS farm, don’t we begin to have a rather handy solution that could just could keep our costs low, delivering most of what we are presently thinking we are wanting from VDI? 

Keep your eyes peeled, at AppSense we are working on the technology that may well unlock this wonderful opportunity.

Perhaps this just gives us all the time to really rethink exactly what it is that the VDI solutions are going to do better for us, as Jim states?

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