[clug] Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) for Linux Desktops

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Sun May 7 23:24:11 UTC 2017

On 7 May 2017, at 19:13, Paul Wayper via linux <linux at lists.samba.org> wrote:
> Personally, I think VDI is not going anywhere.
> The reason why is that computing is actually incredibly cheap.  A <$200
> machine on your desktop can run your OS, play games, play video, browse the
> web, and run most programs with ease.  With a VDI option you're going to spend
> at least $100 on a 'terminal' that can connect to your server via SPICE, VNC
> or whatever - and then your server is going to have to be capable.  I see this
> as very little difference in the per-seat cost.

From the corporate IT perspective, it's not the cost of computing power on the desk that's the issue, it's the cost of support and maintenance. It doesn't matter that a supposed <$200 desktop can do what is required on the individual desktop, it's that in a corporation with 1,000 desktops you will need 10 staff walking the floors to help people with their issues.

With a VDI solution that headcount can be reduced since all support can be done remotely, with the only desktop issues being replacement of hardware. So it's worth spending the equivalent of, say, 5 support staff salaries on the VDI solution to save the cost of 8 support staff salaries.

Then there are the savings in time and money from moving licences to per-user instead of per-seat. There's no sense deploying, say, Adobe Illustrator to 1000 seats if only 50 people are ever going to be using the program, and of those only 30 will ever use it at the same time. Allowing staff to fire up the workstation they want for a specific task means you can limit your licence obligation.

Well, that's the theory anyway.

Doing the same thing with X11 should be possible, if anyone was prepared to package X11 and all the required supporting software in a way that corporate IT departments can cope with.


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