Investment and maintenance costs associated with deploying virtual desktop infrastructure are a classic illustration of step costs – those that are incremental at discrete points versus being smooth over time. Sounds difficult to plan for, right? Just like most technology platforms, VDI costs are measured by the number of users on a system. When “X” number of users are on the system, capacity upgrades are necessary, and they cost “Y”. With each environmental upgrade, overall IT costs increase, and over time, incurred costs will look like a stair step pattern – there will be no change over a period of time, then a sudden increase, followed by another period of no change.
These steps can turn into speed bumps if you aren’t able to plan for growth initiatives like new projects, sales spikes or acquisitions. From an IT perspective, this might require a detailed analysis and some guess work to anticipate when certain infrastructure components will hit their capacity. Your analysis may look something like this:
Inflection points where IT must make a recommendation or provide costs to the business can be tricky with so many variables. As an example, let’s say the VDI environment was scoped to initially support 300 users. After an unanticipated acquisition, you need capacity for 365 users (or, you might need to support a new, resource-intensive application). You already know there is a six-figure hardware investment (not to mention staff hours!) to support users 301-600. Does the core switch have enough capacity to support the increase in traffic? What about the SAN fabric? The list of considerations goes on. The business is now faced with a decision: over-build the environment for a small number of users (and have a lot of idle capacity) or over-subscribe the environment (and risk a poor end user experience).
As we’ve covered in previous posts, getting VDI to perform at scale can be difficult. It’s one thing to create a solid user experience when you have 10 users, it’s quite another challenge to have a good user experience when you have 150+ users all fighting for limited system resources (read/writes on the storage, network throughput, compute, etc.). Scaling in this fashion is precisely what drives cost, and ultimately a level of unpredictability when implementing VDI internally.
Relying on a service provider partner like Dizzion can eliminate the difficulty in planning for costly infrastructure upgrades by offering greater flexibility, SLAs for performance and uptime, ease of new user deployments, and much more – all within a predictable monthly cost model that won’t slow you down. Remember the previous task of giving the business the cost of adding “X” number of users? With Dizzion, you can, without question:
Cost = (fixed cost per desktop) x (number of new users)
Driving greater predictability in these costs, as well as performance, can keep your business and your infrastructure on a smoother growth curve and faster pace.