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Understanding the basics of HDI and VDI and the impact on your bottom line

By Karen Brown, HP Client Virtualization Portfolio Marketing

 

The best way to understand new delivery models that support mobile desktops is to start with the users and determine what they need to make their jobs more efficient and easy.  In many companies, the IT organization supports a group of laptops with increasing capabilities and applications based on what their users need to be productive (and maybe how high they are in the management chain).  Options might include more memory, hard drive space, a bigger screen, and more “pizzazz-delivering” graphics cards.  You get the picture.  The objective is to provide the best solution for groups of workers in order to accomplish their roles – and at the most cost effective model for the company.

 

It’s the same idea when you provide mobile desktops to your users.  Not everyone needs the hottest graphics or the most memory to run their applications.  So why would you pay a premium for their desktops? The best strategy is to provide adequate resources, but not overkill, to each set of users.

 

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Not all users need the same functionality.  Simple task workers like bank tellers, may touch only one or two applications.  Productivity users typically use only office applications like email, spreadsheets and document creation.  These users can best be served perfectly with VDI solutions that exist today; and at a reasonable cost per user.

 

On the high end of the spectrum, power users run even more simultaneous applications that require more CPU and graphics performance.  And, finally, workstation-class users demand the highest combination of CPU and accelerated graphics performance for applications like CAD/CAM, manufacturing, or Oil & Gas.  However, the inclusion of powerful graphics cards and higher compute requirements raises the cost per seat for this class of users compared to other VDI users.  This user base is best served with the HP ProLiant WS460c Graphics Server Blade.

 

Between these two sets of users , a large segment of the PC user population (including knowledge workers)require access to multiple applications and/or business graphics & multimedia capabilities that are essential for web content, smooth video, and more demanding graphics applications  than are available with VDI. These end users expect not only consistent, reliable performance, but they also demand personalization and customization of their remote desktops.

 

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These are the users that need to run rich media applications for their jobs – consider a doctor needing to view imaging files; or an intelligence agent viewing satellite images and topography maps.  What about an analyst viewing complex financial charts? And what about all the software developers designing these graphics apps?  IT would certainly provide laptops with more memory and better graphics capabilities than a worker that used just Word or basic Excel.

 

The HP ConvergedSystem 100 for Hosted Desktops for Citrix XenDesktop is the first system to address this segment of the mobile workforce.  We use the term HDI (for hosted desktop infrastructure) to differentiate this delivery model with VDI and engineer it on HP’s award-winning Moonshot system.

 

Hosted desktops (HDI) leverage the security and manageability benefits of VDI by storing user profiles and data on servers in the data center rather than on user’s end point devices (such as laptops or tablets) where information can be lost or stolen.  These servers combine hardware, operating system and application software, storage, and networking to deliver remote desktops via broker software (like Citrix XenDesktop).    With HDI, the desktop images are hosted directly on the server (bare metal) versus in a virtual machine (VM).  This lessens complexity due with no need to install and manage a virtualization layer.

 

The HP ConvergedSystem 100 for Hosted Desktops utilizes the AMD Opteron X2150 System on a Chip (SoC) which combines a CPU and GPU (graphics processing unit) on one silicon die (Accelerated Processing Unit - APU).  The user has the full compute performance of the cartridge available to him or her. There is no sharing of resources, including the GPU. This enables users to do graphics-intensive work not supported on VDI architecture, especially valuable to today’s knowledge workers.  In addition to supporting rich graphics in the hosted desktop, the SoC provides an overall gain in processing ability without a commensurate increase in power use – all in a reduced space.

Want more information?  Visit our website  and be sure to come see us at Citrix Synergy in May and HP Discover in June. 

 

Karen

 

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About the Author
Technology marketing professional with over 25 years of experience in energy, semiconductor and IT industries.
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