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Another end of the year blog

by Gunnar Berger  |  December 20, 2013  |  2 Comments

I have heard over the past few years that this is the “year of VDI” I think we’ve all come to realize there will never be a “year of VDI” but I do think 2013 was the year VDI became simple. The tech nerd inside of me doesn’t want this. I got into VDI because it was extremely challenging, I got to be a storage/networking/hypervisor expert. You’re good at server virt? Ha! Try virtualizing a desktop; bet you never tried to get a DVD to burn using a remote protocol over a sat link with 1000ms latency. VDI was my tech nerd utopia, no matter where you looked there was something difficult that had to be fixed. I get bored if I’m not challenged, VDI was a perfect challenge that constantly kept me on my feet.

2013 ruined that.

Converged platforms simplified the deployment and management of VDI, hybrid/flash storage arrays delivered extreme performance at a very low cost per VM, software acceleration solutions can save the day when VDI projects go wrong. VDI management consoles have been consolidated making deployment and administration pretty straight forward. All in all, VDI is pretty mature, from a tech standpoint, the remaining issues are less tech challenging and more challenges for the market: reducing the cost, fixing the licensing.

So what’s next?

DaaS for starters. The DaaS vendors will most likely not agree with my last paragraph, they will focus on the weaknesses of VDI, and they wouldn’t be wrong. VDI isn’t “fixed” its just gotten to a point of maturity where it’s not nearly as difficult to understand and deploy it. DaaS providers will be able to capitalize on a lot of the weaknesses in VDI. I think the providers that know how to blend public/private (on-prem/off-prem) will have a leg up but we shall see.

Secondly, I see the rise of the workspace in place of the desktop. There are a lot of ways this could go, personally my vision is for this future workspace to center around an internal social media engine, from there you collaborate on shared documents which would launch directly from that engine, we get away from reply-all emails (this is more of a prayer than anything else), and we find that we live in the browser which becomes this new workspace. That vision is probably a far cry from what will actually happen, I just like the idea of a more collaborative desktop/workspace experience. The “workspace aggregator” market that we’ve been working on defining internally comes across as too much a portal, not a place to call your desktop/workspace.

Finally, Google. In 2014 I’ll be investigating a lot of areas where I see Google making ground in the enterprise. I’ll be looking at:

  • How Android and ChromeOS can work as alternatives to traditional thin clients.

  • How ChromeOS has the potential for desktop replacement in the enterprise (not just education) – I’ve been working on a Samsung Chromebox to discover what new challenges this technology brings.

  • How Google approaches the issue of applications on HTML5, and who they partner with to support Windows applications over HTML5 (Citrix/Ericom/VMware already do this).

  • How DaaS/VDI/SBC support a change in the way we view the desktop

So that’s what I see coming, DaaS, the Workspace, and potentially Google in the enterprise. That’s a very strange list for 2014, and honestly I know just by looking at it that my list looks like something better suited for 2015 maybe even 2016, but I can’t help myself, I like looking ahead. So I guess before I close I should probably focus on something a little more realistic for 2014, so here is my actual list for what I’m sure to be talking about next year:

  • More conversations about VDI

    • Using Windows Server as a desktop OS

      • Will DaaS be able to support client OS?

    • Persistent desktop start replacing Non-persistent desktops

      • Which is better for DaaS?

    • Storage company X goes under, storage company Y gets acquired, storage company Z goes IPO, and some new storage company shows up that believes they can change the world (and maybe they will).

      • How does this affect DaaS?

  • More talk about application virtualization strategy

    • Apps on DaaS

  • Offline virtual desktops (Moka5/Parallels/XenClient)

    • Not DaaS

  • DaaS

  • There is going to be way too much talk about DaaS next year, you have been warned.

So I guess the reality is that 2014 will be very similar to 2013, but that doesn’t make for a fun end of year blog. 🙂

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and I’ll see you next year.



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Category: daas  sbc  shvd  vdi  

Gunnar Berger
Research Director
1 year at Gartner
14 years IT industry

Gunnar Berger is a research director for Gartner's IT Professionals service. He covers desktop, application and server virtualization ...Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Another end of the year blog

  1. Dave says:

    Maybe it’ll be more of the same, but you also have to push the envelope. The nature of this post shows that some things that seem like old hat are really new to many people.

  2. After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment. Is there a way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

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