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Are high-density servers and VDI meant to be?

In his attempt to woo his future wife in the 1985 sci-fi hit Back to the Future, George McFly flubs his pickup line, saying “I’m your density” instead of “I’m your destiny.” That classic movie quote popped into my head recently as I was thinking about another potential marriage — one between high-density hardware and VDI deployments.

George and Lorraine are kind of like high-density hardware and VDI. George is a significantly more anxious person than most. High-density servers are the same way, but instead of nerves, they pack more compute power into less physical space than the average server.

Lorraine is like VDI; she’s a complex system that needs the right partner to flourish. (Case in point: In Back to the Future Part II, Lorraine breaks down without George and spirals into alcoholism.)  Likewise, without the right power behind it, VDI runs into I/O and memory constraints.

In both cases, it takes the right set of circumstances for these relationships to end happily ever after. So how can VDI and high-density hardware work in harmony?

High-density servers are a good fit for VDI in IT shops that have a large number of virtual desktop users and a limited amount of data center space. But compute isn’t often the resource that VDI needs most. Like the movie, there are unforeseen variables around every corner.

That’s why it’s important to consider the other resource constraints that virtual desktops encounter. The most dangerous one is the actual users behind the desktops, who can be very unpredictable. Some users might consume minimal resources whereas others open programs and never shut them down. It’s hard to predict how much memory users require on a given day.

The McFlys’ world isn’t perfect either. George is challenged by his rival Biff, but he eventually musters up the courage to punch Biff in the face, winning Lorraine’s heart.

Get the full story on whether high-density servers and VDI are destined for each other, taking into account some serious obstacles such as a potentially higher cost per desktop.