Hosted virtual desktop (HVD), desktop virtualisation, separates a personal computer desktop environment from a physical machine using the client-server model of computing.1 This model partitions tasks or workloads between the providers of a resource or service, called servers, and service requesters, called clients.2 Simply stated, a client is a device, such as a desktop, tablet or laptop, with local storage. The purpose of HVD is to make it possible for a user to access specific applications, programs, etc., located on a central server, through their user credentials. Access may be gained from anywhere through any enabled device, including desktop and notebook computers, tablets, or even smartphones (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Basic Hosted Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
According to a recent Gartner survey, by 2014, HVDs will be used to deliver client computing capabilities to 70 million users. Since the initial cost of entry is high, only the implementation of user groups of 250 or more users will provide a reasonable return on investment. Therefore, we assume that midsize and large businesses are, and will continue to be, the most likely candidates to adopt HVD (Figure 2).3
|HVD Installed Base (Thousands)
|HVD Users (Thousands)
|HVD Installed Base as a Share of Desktop Installed Base (%)
Source: Gartner - Forecast: Hosted Virtual Desktops, Worldwide, 2010 - 2014 (2010 Update), pg 9. See footnote 3.
FIGURE 2: HVD User Adoption
In a 2011 Gartner survey, 70% of respondents, when asked what was driving their organisations’ plans to invest in HVD technology, answered that business agility was the main driver. Almost 43% of respondents expect that the impact HVDs will have on their data centre infrastructure will come in the form of purchasing additional servers and/or additional storage capacity.4
What does this mean for Seagate? HVDs are a positive force. Additional storage is needed on both the client device and on servers used for HVDs by which the user, through the client, can access provided applications and programs. Because an important feature of an HVD is increased agility (giving the user access to work from any enabled device), a user may create content anywhere, at any time. Ultimately, as HVDs reduce content creation barriers and fewer barriers lead to increased access to created content, this drives the need for more storage. According to Seagate, average petabytes shipped has increased since 1995 at a rate of 55% year-over-year. This trend is expected to continue, and with companies that are implementing HVDs predicting that further servers and storage will be necessary for implementation, data growth will continue to rise. This, in turn, will require even more storage.
1Wikipedia, Desktop Virtualization - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosted_virtual_desktop
2wikipedia, client-server model - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/client%e2%80%93server_model
3Gartner, Forecast: Hosted Virtual Desktops, Worldwide, 2010 – 2014 (2010 Update), pg 1, 9, December 1, 2010
4Gartner, User Survey Analysis: The Impact of Server and Desktop Virtualization in the Data Center, Worldwide 2010, page 13, January 6, 2011