Most large organizations use virtualization in at least some capacity, and over 50% of companies over 250 employees have deployed a full-scale VDI solution. The vast majority of these large-scale implementations are built on the full-stack legacy VDI model offered by the likes of VMware and Citrix.
However, these full-stack solutions, built by the enterprise, for the enterprise, come with costly hardware and licensing fees that all add up to an enterprise-level price tag. As a result, the full-stack VDI solution has historically been limited almost exclusively to the realm of the largest organizations.
So where does that leave the rest of us?
The reality is – VDI has enormous benefits for nearly any organization, in any vertical, and of any size.
Optimizing compute resources, providing remote or off-site access, while securing data locally? That’s a no brainer!
Enter Hyperconverged Infrastructure.
Hyperconverged infrastructure eliminates much of the cost and complexity associated with legacy VDI and condenses it all into a neat and tidy box that even the smallest of IT teams could handle dropping into a datacenter. It provides all the compute, storage, and virtualization software you need to make VDI work – on the backend at least.
Let’s explore what happens when smaller companies try to implement full stack VDI and how we can solve those challenges with hyperconvergence and connection management.
The legacy VDI model doesn’t work for the SMB and Distributed Enterprise
Let’s set the stage.
The word comes down from the top that it’s time for your organization to “do VDI” and you were tasked to figure out how. Logically, your first stop is the people who practically invented VDI – VMware.
A very friendly VMware sales rep is happy to take you through everything a VMware VDI solution has to offer – and if it’s anything, it’s impressive. Hardware, virtualization software, compute, storage, networking, connection management, and a display protocol – everything you could ever need for a large scale VDI implementation.
Perfect! Mission accomplished. You pat yourself on the back for being such a resourceful employee. Until the quote comes back, of course. Sticker shock would be putting it mildly.
If you can push through the hefty price tag, you’ll be quick to discover that implementing legacy VDI is not for the faint of heart – or IT teams of less than 10.
So, now It’s back to the drawing board.
Hyperconvergence is the key to on-prem VDI success for the SMB and distributed enterprise
So, what is hyperconverged infrastructure? Hyperconvergence, or hyperconverged infrastructure, is defined by the integration of storage, compute and virtualization layers into a single solution architecture.
The idea is to reduce or eliminate the complexity associated with the legacy datacenter architecture. If the primary goal of virtualization is consolidation, hyperconvergence works to apply those same principles on the hardware side.
By applying these principles of consolidation, hyperconvergence allows small and medium businesses to implement virtualization in their datacenters, without the cost and complexity associated with the legacy model.
Connection management turns hyperconverged virtualization into a true VDI solution
However, we know that infrastructure is only half the story.
When we boil it down, the primary goal of adopting VDI, or any technology in a corporate setting, is to promote workplace productivity. We all want to be fast, agile, well-oiled machines, and good technology is what makes that possible. Our goal is to provide our users with technology that saves time, reduces human error, and helps us serve our customers better. So, if any part of that technology process inhibits, rather than promotes, those goals, well –
Houston, we have a problem.
Therefore, we need to prioritize user experience. VDI is going to seem like a very lofty and nebulous topic to your average user, and frankly, they don’t care where their data lives – they just want access.
This is where connection management is the key to VDI success, no matter if your infrastructure is hyperconverged, Cloud, OpenStack, or yes, even VMware – you need a single portal for your users to access everything they need.
So, how can Leostream and Scale Computing help address these challenges?
Leostream and Scale Computing: A Match Made in VDI Heaven
Leostream and Scale Computing were both early pioneers in vendor-independent VDI connection management and hyperconvergence, respectively.
The Scale Computing HC3 virtualization platform is a complete ‘datacenter in a box’ with server, storage and virtualization integrated into a single appliance to deliver simplicity, availability, and scalability at a fraction of the cost.
Leostream installs quickly and easily onto a Linux virtual machine running in the Scale Computing environment. Once installed, it provides “user access for all” with support for nearly any display protocol, including in-browser HTML5 RDP, VNC, and SSH access, from almost any client device – including thin clients, Chromebooks, and tablets.
Additionally, Leostream integrates with multi-factor authentication providers such as Okta and Duo, or any other identity provider that utilize RADIUS or SAML protocols.
On the management side, Leostream makes it simple to provision pools of Windows and Linux desktops from a single master image designated in your Scale Computing environment.
Leostream policies can be configured to manage a wide range of business use cases, including persistent or non-persistent desktops, shared or personal desktops, and everything in between.
Leostream partners with software vendors such as Liquidware to provide user profile and data management, application installation and updates, and operating system upgrades for non-persistent machines.
Together, Scale Computing and Leostream are pioneering VDI for the distributed enterprise, SMB, and all those for whom VDI was unaffordable or unrealistic in the past. With their combined expertise in both datacenter solutions as well as VDI desktop and user management, they can provide a complete VDI solution that is simple to set up, easy to manage, cost-effective, while still offering all the same great features you’ll find from a legacy VDI solution.
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