I just ran across an interesting article comparing the cost of VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with that of upgrading an existing “rich client” desktop to Vista. According to analyst Barb Goldworm, it ain’t all that pretty:
The simplified bottom-line pricing comparison (using the very rough example numbers given here) is this: Upgrading a physical desktop to Vista might cost $300 to $400 (per desktop) in hardware costs and $200 to $300 in software costs, totaling $500 to $700 per physical desktop. Delivering Vista through a virtual desktop architecture (VMware’s VDI in this example) and continuing to use existing PCs as rich clients accessing virtual desktops might cost $700 per VM desktop in infrastructure costs and $23 per VM desktop, if using VECD, totaling $723 per virtual desktop.
She goes into pretty extensive detail comparing the two models, and I wonder if anyone that’s evaluating VDI would care to comment on her assumptions or has done his or her own math? Alternately, has anyone thought about using a virtualization platform other than ESX for VDI? If you’re serious about VDI, exploring alternate virtualization platforms seems like an obvious place to trim some costs.