Status of the government VDI movement

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Status of the government VDI movement

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and mobility are getting a lot of attention in the government lately. IT departments are digesting information, considering ways to save money and identifying opportunities to cut security problems related to mobility. VDI rises to the top often. 

Interestingly, two recent surveys by MeriTalk show both progress and misconceptions in government IT departments’ views about VDI. MeriTalk’s general virtualization survey found that the two biggest challenges to VDI were “business applications not being compatible” (36 percent) and “concerns about security” (29 percent). However, both are confusing answers. 

None of the VDI offerings out there should have problems with applications. VMware’s federal VDI specialist, Bryan Salek, and I came to the conclusion that this misconception must be based on not knowing how View works or believing that spinning up VM’s and giving remote/terminal servicesis a virtual desktop solution. 

The second answer has to do with the VDI solution chosen. VMware’s View is the best solution on the market to solve mobility security issues. In another MeriTalk survey focused specifically on mobility, security was highlighted as the biggest challenge (78 percent of respondents). For all online connections, View removes local copies of the data completely. If the user requires offline usage of the desktop, the local data is encrypted to meet security needs.

The good news is, in the mobility survey, half of respondents believed that mobility solutions were necessary to enable productivity and attract top talent. The survey noted that just a 10-percent increase in productivity would mean $2.6 billion in either labor savings or added productivity a year. A total of 74 percent were either assessing or have/will implement VDI solutions (36 percent and 38 percent, respectively).

What’s concerning to me from both surveys are the results on funding for virtualization in general and for VDI. Virtualization in both server and desktops save tremendous amounts of IT costs, but only 48 percent say they have the funding for virtualization goals, and 38 percent said budgets were specifically a challenge to VDI implementations.

It’s understandable, considering the constricting budget crisis the government is under, but it’s also a shame considering the return on investments possible from virtualizing. VDI specifically offers tremendous rewards.

Want to learn more about those rewards and SwishData’s proven VDI methodology?  Visit our VDI solutions page, where you can download our solution brief and other resources.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Micky.!

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