Author: John Burke, CIO & Principal Research Analyst
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been “the next big thing” for more than a decade now. Most organizations of any size deploy at least some VDI. While a few have made it the basis of a whole new model of endpoint service delivery, all too often, enterprises conduct a proof of concept and then stop, or deploy VDI to a few users then stop.
The problems cover both politics and performance. Most political problems have been countered by demonstrating that the shift delivers improved security, flexibility, resilience, and support for mobile user populations. The thorny question of completely centralizing desktop control has been rendered moot in many places because local management of desktops has been eliminated anyway.
For a long time, the biggest performance challenges were in the data center, but those have largely been resolved with modern infrastructure and architectures. However, network challenges remain. VDI (and Desktops as a Service, by extension) consume a lot more network capacity than they did 10 years ago, as the desktop environment has shifted, and VDI is intolerant of packet loss, latency, and jitter.
SD-WAN makes the WAN ready for VDI. It not only vastly simplifies WAN management, IT can use it to add lower-cost network links to a branch, combining multiple links to make the pooled connectivity high-performing and ultra-reliable. Coupled with direct-to-Internet branches, direct cloud connections, and cloud exchanges, to optimize performance for DaaS offerings, SD-WAN makes the WAN what VDI needs: always-on, fast, and tuned to optimize VDI delivery.
IT professionals should
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