Let there be VDI – hopefully

Ok, so maybe that’s a little strong. After all, it takes a bit more planning than simply declaring that VDI is implemented!

I’ve been considering VDI at Westminster College for quite some time, but have had two major stumbling blocks:

  • Cost. I simply couldn’t get the economics to work. At the very least, I need to see break even on the upfront costs when compared with replacing a slew of PCs. I’m even willing to spend a little more than breakeven in order to achieve the expected benefits of VDI – mobility, easier management and lower ongoing operating costs.
  • Reasonable graphics performance. This is closely related to the first stumbling block. It’s been tough to find a good way to support reasonable graphics on campus with regular VDI solutions. I’ve looked at Wyse’s solution as well as others.

Sometimes, it just takes having some time dedicated to looking for a solution. At VMworld yesterday, I stopped by the Teradici booth and found that the company EVGA was there showing off their just announced Teradici-based terminal sporting dual DVI ports and everything else necessary to support workstation connectivity including USB ports, an Ethernet port and power plug. The EVGA rep indicated that the company has not yet finalized pricing for the product but I heard that estimated list prices are fluctuating between $249 and $299. Unfortunately, the product isn’t available quite yet.

This is for a unit with a Teradici processor that works really well with VMware View using PCOIP. The demos were incredible and of the real-world variety. At a cost of $250 or so for the terminal, I’m no longer looking at $500 terminals from other companies in a fruitless effort to try to cobble together a solution that works. I’m planning to test a Teradici-based terminal in my environment and see what I can make it do.

At the same time, I saw demos of the Samsung NC240 monitor at both the Dell and Teradici booths. This is a 24 inch monitor in which a Teradici processor has been installed. So, all you need to do is add this monitor to a user’s desk, connect it to the network, plug it in and get going on a VDI infrastructure.

Of course, as I get into testing these devices, I’ll be reporting back with my findings! Maybe it will and maybe it won’t live up to expectations, but we’ll only discover this through testing. My primary interest is on campus video performance. From off campus, I’m not as concerned, but need to be able to replicate the desktop environment as closely as possible.

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