Full Article – Part 1: VDI – How to Turn a Windows 10 Migration from a sunk cost to a positive ROI Business Enabler
Windows 7 migrations were ugly. Many organizations are still recovering from the experience which is leading to an overall procrastination to move to Windows 10. Who wants to repeat that experience? The cost overruns. The time overruns. The complexity of matching machine to user to application set. The applications that we finally got to work and are full of legacy data that we still can’t retire. Can we just poke ourselves in the eye instead?
In addition, we still have so many IT issues that we can’t seem to get ahead of:
- Half-baked DR strategies that we can’t find the money to complete
- User experiences that lack in mobility
- Data Center overload and CAPEX expenditures, and yet still lacking in capacity
- Security perimeters that are a moving target that leave us vulnerable and exposed
- An IT staff that only has time for run and maintain efforts which leaves the organization vulnerable to a lack of strategic vision and growth
With these issues still plaguing us since WIN7, it’s no wonder WIN10 looks like the IT project that will put the final nail in the coffin of our IT careers.
But what if we looked at WIN10 differently than WIN7? Are there better strategies to take advantage of when moving to WIN10? The answer is yes! And you will be surprised to know it’s nothing new, but it is better: VDI.
For the purists out there, let’s first clarify that when referring to VDI in this article, we are not referring to the purest form of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, which is persistent desktops in your data center. Rather, throughout this article we refer to VDI loosely as any remote virtual desktop; whether it is a shared, hosted, remote, or presented – pick your flavor desktop from your data center, a hybrid data center or the Cloud. In other words, any sort of desktop, including presented applications, that is NOT your own personal desktop tied to a physical device.
Deterrents to VDI
We’ve been helping organizations justify their move to VDI since 2005 – successfully. There are zero customers who – after having deployed VDI – ripped it out because they determined that they did not achieve the benefits they hoped for; including better security, higher resiliency, enhanced user experience, lower overhead, better IT management and eventually, a cost payback. The keyword in the last part is “eventually”. That’s assuming you did VDI right. We’ve seen botched deployments of VDI, but we haven’t seen an environment we can’t optimize (a.k.a. fix).
There is no doubt that the deterrent to VDI is the upfront cost. But there are also upfront costs moving to WIN10. We’ve done the math and can tell you that the cost of staying on physical endpoints and moving to WIN10 is far more costly – both up front and within 5 years – than moving to VDI as a strategy to migrate to WIN10.
Benefits of VDI
If you are considering VDI, it is usually because you hope to achieve these key benefits, which can also be seen as key success metrics:
- Enhanced User experience
- There are 2 key aspects: First, the VDI user experience must be the same as or better than the experience of the physical desktop. Second, does the user have the autonomy to work anywhere on any device with the same access to data?
- VDI will inherently improve your security posture by removing sensitive data from endpoints.
- IT Management overhead
- The biggest soft-cost savings of VDI is the lessened need for IT resources to manage physical endpoints. It is true that different skill sets are required, but the architecture of VDI means that it takes overall less people to manage more than a traditional environment.
- OPEX vs CAPEX
- It’s true that the IT world is experiencing a 3.5% increase in OPEX spending over CAPEX. There are many financial reasons for this, but perhaps the most compelling reason we see it is because predicting the future is so unpredictable. By consuming IT services as needed, the business stays agile; and OPEX spending can stay in sync with the business, as opposed to big upfront expenditures for guesstimates that could change.
- VDI – when architected correctly – will inherently provide Disaster Recovery resiliency. In addition, with cloud and hybrid cloud strategies deployed, you gain bursting and elasticity benefits that you just can’t get from a traditional data center/physical endpoint strategy. A VDI desktop experience also means less downtime than a physical endpoint. According to the most recent IDC reports, a VDI desktop will experience 1.7 hours of downtime a year, compared to 17 hours of downtime for a physical endpoint.
Exploring your options
You don’t have a choice – you must get to WIN10 by January 14, 2020. Don’t do the status quo of how you did WIN7; take advantage of the opportunity to do it better. Let’s lay out the options:
- Option 1: Status quo – WIN7 to WIN10 on physical device to the same physical device.
- Option 2: Leverage VDI to migrate to WIN10 from current WIN7 physical devices to the same physical devices via a conversion process such as Igel – OR – onto new thin devices or BYOD.
Both options have the same aspect of assessing the applications for compatibility. For this article, we will only be discussing the VDI and endpoint strategy. In future articles, we will discuss the applications.
The pros and cons of these two approaches to get to WIN10 can be summarized as such:
Option 1: Status quo – WIN7 to WIN10 on physical device to the same physical device.
The cost options vary depending on if you are doing an in-place upgrade versus “wipe and load” to the current devices. With this option, there will have to be an assessment of the current devices for their ability to support WIN10. If you choose to stay with physical devices there may be a contingency of endpoints that will have to be replaced. Many organizations have a 3-to-5-year device replacement lifecycle, which could happen organically during this migration process.
An additional point of consideration is the compatibility of the current physical device.
Of the options being discussed in this article, this is the most costly option – both upfront and over 5 years – regardless of device replacement or not. And the benefits are the least desirable. This is the status quo option that does not offer any leverageable changes in the way you do business that would give you a competitive advantage. IT Management overhead stays the same, as does user autonomy, security, and resiliency.
Option 2: Leverage VDI to migrate to WIN10 from current WIN7 physical devices to the same physical devices via a conversion process such as IGEL– OR – onto new thin devices or BYOD.
The upfront costs between this option and the first status quo option are surprisingly close. However, when comparing the 5-year TCO, this option is the clear winner; by about a 40% advantage. In addition, the key success metrics of VDI make this a far-superior path that will pivot your organization onto a new and better path filled with competitive advantages.
To VDI or not to VDI – that is the question for your WIN10 Migration.
The takeaway is that you have options. You can stay the course with a traditional upgrade path, or you can explore VDI as a viable path. Please join us for a webinar on Thursday, January 31 at 2:00 pm EDT, 1:00 pm CDT, or 11:00 am PDT where we will take a deep-dive in the into the TCO and ROI of VDI and work through real-world scenarios compared to industry published standards.
This is the first part of a 4-part series around various aspects of VDI.
JANUARY 31, 2019
2:00 PM EDT
REGISTER HERE FOR PART 1