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Nimble Storage, developer of converged storage and backup solutions, announced the results of a survey of 600 enterprise IT professionals regarding their current and future plans to deploy VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) technology. Over half of the respondents (54 percent) identified storage performance or storage cost as the top challenge in supporting VDI. In addition, 30 percent identified overall costs of VDI deployments as the biggest obstacle to deploying VDI, with 40 percent saying that storage infrastructure incurs the highest capital cost.

The survey indicated a significant increase in interest in VDI, with 61 percent of respondents indicating they have implemented or intend to implement VDI in their environments, and nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, saying deployment size would range up to 1,000 virtual desktops. When asked about the leading factors in considering VDI, 66 percent of respondents identified easy, centralized management, and 60 percent identified reducing time spent on maintenance such as OS upgrades. In addition, 33 percent said that consolidation of storage and backup was a key motivator.

“One of the most challenging aspects of a successful VDI implementation is assuring enough storage performance. Boot storms created when many of our users login to their virtual desktops in the morning are a particular challenge,” said Tony Banken, network administrator of Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services. “These boot storms, which can last over an hour, could delay an employee from beginning to work for up to 15 minutes. This was huge pain point for us, causing a decrease in productivity and limiting us from expanding our VDI deployments.”

The survey found 56 percent of respondents indicated they would use existing storage infrastructure for VDI, with 25 percent of respondents indicating they would acquire new dedicated storage infrastructure for VDI and 51 percent of respondents indicated they would acquire new shared storage infrastructure for VDI and other applications. Three-quarters (75 percent) of respondents would like to combine virtual desktop workloads with other applications, indicating a move away from dedicated infrastructure for VDI.

“As more companies begin to explore VDI for the future direction of their IT infrastructure, this research highlights performance and cost as barriers to wide adoption of VDI,” said Dan Leary, vice president of marketing of Nimble Storage. “This is an issue that points to legacy storage architecture that is not optimized for VDI. This survey is evidence that enterprises instead need to look at a storage solution that is built from the ground up for VDI environments and will not only bolster performance but also contain costs."