EMC World 2013: VMware CEO flags VDI adoption barriers

Pat Gelsinger claims storage costs derail VDI projects.

Pat Gelsinger

VMware has shed some light on the cost and technology barriers that have stopped more businesses from deploying virtual desktops.

Speaking to delegates at the EMC World conference in Las Vegas, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger set out his firm's software-defined datacentre vision, a topic along with big data and cloud that has dominated many of the discussions at this year's event.

The term is used by VMware to describe a datacentre infrastructure that is completely virtualised, automated and delivered as-a-service.

Enterprises that have embarked on server virtualisation projects have already taken the first step toward building a software-defined datacentre, said Gelsinger.

"In 2012, IDC indicated that 70 per cent of new [server] workloads were virtualised. That's pretty good, but our vision is 100 per cent," he told delegates during his keynote.

"[We want] every new workload provisioned and delivered as a virtual workload," he said.

VMware customers that embark on server virtualisation have saved around $10 billion, Gelsinger claimed.

"If we did that for the rest of the datacentre [those cost savings] could be around $60-70 billion," he added.

The desktop is another area VMware is keen to get more companies virtualising, with Gelsinger claiming that only 10-20 per cent of them have been so far.

"We want to enable new VDI deployments as the only way people move to Windows 7, making that the last migration IT ever has to worry about," he said.

"But the biggest challenge to that has been storage costs. And, as such, VDI has only been deployed in mission critical, high performance or task worker environments.

He claimed that storage accounts for around 40-50 per cent of the virtual desktop deployment costs, but the use of flash-based technology can help to reduce this.

"We see flash as an enormous breakthrough to enable VDI deployments," he added.

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