E-Handbook:

VDI values hyper-converged infrastructure benefits

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Clearing a path to HCI and VDI cohesion

Hyper-converged infrastructure is an enticing option for companies that want to deploy VDI, but there are still snags that IT administrators must watch out for.

New virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments take a bit from each IT resource, and they scale out rather than up. To that end, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) vendors have touted hyper-converged infrastructure benefits to VDI shops since convergence's infancy.

Although VDI and HCI may seem like a match made in heaven, admins must still carefully plan an HCI deployment for VDI. That starts with determining the resource demands that VDI users will place on the HCI system, and then provisioning the hyper-converged infrastructure to meet those demands.

It's the provisioning that presents a couple of the challenges IT administrators face when using HCI. First is the possibility of over-provisioning one or more aspects of the IT structure, because HCI scales out with nodes that contain compute and storage resources. Admins can't simply add more disks to get more storage, if that is what the need is.

Another challenge is not properly accounting for the way the end users eat up IT resources via their virtual desktops. Not all VDI deployments are the same, and not all users access the compute and storage resources to the same degree. IT admins must be fully aware of workload patterns before designing an HCI system for VDI, and they must remain flexible as those workload patterns change over time.

Despite these few challenges, HCI can make a lot of sense for any organization that uses or plans to use VDI. Hyper-converged infrastructure benefits closely align to a VDI deployment's demands. 

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