Our first article in our new virtualization series described the evolution of this technology while also emphasizing the importance of hardware and availability.

We tend to think of virtualization as a solution to reduce IT’s reliance on growing data centers and server farms. This is true – virtualization can be an extremely effective way to improve agility and reduce total costs.

Yet this is not the only benefit virtualization can provide. Today, businesses are increasingly turning to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to create individual desktop environments on virtualized servers running in a data center or a cloud. In this example, virtualization can reduce costs, improve productivity and security, and help IT departments regain control over the entire enterprise.

Critical components for a successful deployment

VDI provides connection brokers that act like traffic cops, directing users’ request to the right place in the virtual infrastructure to access their personal devices. The connection broker and other core VDI components are critical parts of the overall virtualization strategy.

They’re so critical that any organization must have a resilient availability solution as part of their virtual desktop infrastructure deployment. To understand why, consider the impact if the host servers supporting the virtual desktops fail. Many (if not all) users will be affected, and business will inevitably grind to a halt. Failure is simply not an option.

Expect the unexpected

VDI changes the way we think (and act) about hardware. It used to be that companies would own a few business-critical applications that required highly available hardware. These companies then chose to run “less important” software on commodity servers.

Yet in a virtualized world, these types of applications become business critical. Why? Because they are aggregated on those physical servers dedicated to so many virtual machines. So now, their loss would have a much greater business impact.

Worse, any downtime could affect the management controls of a virtualized environment, preventing IT from creating and managing virtualized machines – wasting precious time, energy, and money.

All of this is evidence for the right availability strategy that properly aligns the overall infrastructure with the existing mix. In our next article, we’ll take a closer look at the virtualization paradox: the fact that it removes hardware dependencies while also making hardware more important. We’ll also examine ways the right hardware can prevent downtime and keep businesses running.

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