The mystery of the missing use case for state-full VDI

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Since I started doing VDI projects a couple of years ago on each project I run into cases where certain user groups demand a personal state-full desktop. I have heard lots of reasons, the problem is that I haven’t heard a single good one yet!

The first thing I run into is that customers want to squeeze all of their users onto VDI while most of the times 80% of the users will have the same experience on a RDS desktop. Would we ever think of letting a user install his own applications on a RDS desktop?? I don’t think so!

So what about the 20% of the users that actually need a VDI desktop? Do they also need to install their own applications? I would say no but let’s look at some of the use cases users think of.

I need to install my applications because I need them to be able to do my work.

I had a great discussion about this with Andrew Morgan on Twitter and the conclusion is: If a user needs an application to do his work, don’t we call that a business application? If so, we do want to make sure we present this application in a controlled and managed way and might even make the application available to colleagues doing the same work so they can benefit of the same cool and helpful functionality.

Aside from making the application available there are concerns about licensing, stability and interoperability of applications, this might just be me thinking old style in the “cloud era” but if all of those applications where cloud based we wouldn’t be having the “install” discussion.

The second group “and I do love this one” are developers

Developers are the nr. 1 group of people who demand the need for a state-full desktop.  Even better it’s the first group management wants to please, not counting hospital surgeons. The fun thing is that if we let the developers write and test their code on our VDI platforms they are actually doing this in a production environment. While IT is doing all of their testing in a safe and closed test environment we let developers do whatever they want in our production environment?

Think about it, test an application that is running massively on CPU or IOPS. That would result in a major impact on user experience for other users.

Why don’t we just give them a workplace with Office and all of their applications and next to that offer them test VM’s in a closed and testing environment?

Consumerization of IT

Consumerization of IT is one I can write a complete separate blog or even a book about. Although I love the whole device independent way of working myself I don’t see the need to combine bring your own device with bring your own (cr)applications. It’s the other way around in my opinion, you can bring / choose / create your own devices and as an IT facilitator we’ll make sure you can run your business applications, Windows / SAAS / Cloud on those devices.

A big thanks to Kees Baggerman and Andy Morgan for helping me write this article!

Please feel free to comment your personal views on my blog. I would really like to write a follow up article based on the discussions!

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