The Transformation of Virtual Desktops

In business, companies who shift from building solutions that they believe consumers will use, to building solutions designed based on a customer’s needs, can completely transform an entire industry. I can’t recall the last time I stood in line at a bank, or at a Starbucks for that matter, to wait for what I came for. Consumers want products and services that were designed for the way they work, the way they play, and for the way they live. Netflix, Airbnb, Uber, PayPal — all examples of business that were created to build upon and transform traditional business models by improving the consumer experience.   In doing so, they changed the whole industry.

It’s been over twenty years since companies like VMware showed the world that multiple virtual servers could be created and run simultaneously on physical servers.  Virtual Desktop solutions hit the market for the first time in 2006. Like Virtual Servers before them, a VDI (Virtual Desktop) approach offered many benefits: extending the lifespan of PC’s by turning them into VDI clients, enabling customers to purchase inexpensive workstations when it was required, and manage a handful of virtual desktop images rather than hundreds if not thousands of physical workstations saving the business significant  IT support cost. From a security perspective, the data is kept behind the firewall in the datacenter and lost devices were no longer the security threat they once were.

Unfortunately, the promise and expectations of virtual desktops set by a first generation of products either didn’t live up to expectation or created an unwelcome amount of cost and complexity. Many companies bought into the promise of simplicity and cost savings for server and endpoint hardware, but it vanished rapidly once customers factored in the additional infrastructure required for management. The excitement around VDI quickly dissipated and became cost prohibitive due to the cost of infrastructure, the increase in management overhead, and the lack of available specialists. Early stage customers that bought into VDI for what they believed would cut costs were faced with funding increasing capacity requirements not to mention the cost of training, hiring, and retaining certified experts.

Then, there was the challenge of network connectivity. Due to the immaturity of protocols like RDS, weak network connectivity had a significant impact on performance and the promise of the Mobile WorkForce.

Now that was twenty years ago. It wasn’t that it was a bad idea, no different than investing in a taxi medallion twenty years ago was a bad idea. So, what’s changed? The needs of the consumer have changed. Businesses have literally and figuratively transformed the way in which they deliver services to customers. From an operational perspective, businesses are now focused on driving out cost, complexity, and overhead while reducing dependencies on an endless list of proprietary products and services. No different than Apple did for Mobile, today’s CEOs are focused on “the problem, not the solution,” on designing and transforming their companies’ products and services into the way business partners interact, into employee productivity, and into the way consumers live their lives.

When the founders of HiveIO looked at the virtual desktop market, what they saw was an endless sprawl of complexity and infrastructure requirements created by a handful of multi-billion dollar giants who, like other giants before them, survived by convincing customers that the answer to their problems was the next bolt on feature. This is completely counter intuitive to the direction that business is going. These giants will soon be faced with the same challenge that the Telecom giants are facing today, reinvent yourself or face extinction.

With Hive Fabric, HiveIO has delivered a solution built to address the needs of today’s business. The Hive Fabric solution captures and leverages thousands of datapoints in near real-time, allowing it to make data driven decisions, reducing the number of human driven decisions, and ensuring optimal performance for the end user. Unlike first generation Virtualization solutions, Hive Fabric provides all of the core features required to deliver Virtual Server, Virtual Desktop, Software Defined Storage and HCI from a single install.

The fact is, the market is now reevaluating the benefit and return on investment of their initial choice of a virtualization solution. Many of the reasons that customers either didn’t choose or weren’t pleased with their VDI solution have been addressed by Hive Fabric.

Hive Fabric’s focus on simplicity removes the requirement for certified experts;

  • Hive Fabric’s single install of VSI, VDI, and Software Defined Storage, reduces the cost and complexity of licensing;
  • Hive Fabric’s agnostic approach to hardware and clients extends the use of existing hardware, saving refresh dollars for other more pressing needs;
  • Hive Fabric’s ability to turn RAM into storage allows the delivery of a high performing virtual desktop, dramatically improving End User Performance;
  • Hive Fabric leverages, manages, and shares all available storage across hosts for workloads dramatically reducing cost;
  • Hive Fabric’s Visualizer provides a 360-degree view of the data center components, empowering administrators to significantly reduce mean time to resolution;
  • Hive Fabric’s clustering and message bus strategy enables scale without requiring management infrastructure; and
  • Hive Fabric leverages the latest release of Microsoft’s RDP protocol, providing a better end user experience and decreasing bandwidth consumption.

At HiveIO, we don’t want you to stand in line, we don’t want you to get certified.  Re-use your existing infrastructure, deploy commodity servers, simplify your day-to-day.  We want you to spend your time on your business not on your infrastructure.

George Nealon, CRO