After reading Daniel Feller’s post today on ‘VDI or TS’ I started thinking about one of the main arguments people have to justify VDI: flexibility to deliver a unique desktop/environment to the user.
The more I think about this, the less sense it makes to me. When we start to think about tools, procedures, regulations and a bunch more things that surround us every single day and that are part of our lives, we can find a common thing/trend there: everything has a set of rules that we all, as a society, accept and follow. Several without questioning.
Before we go ahead let’s take a look at certain examples. When driving, if you see a red light you stop. You never questioned why the light is red and not bright pink. Plus the traffic authorities will not really change the red/yellow/green traffic light at the corner of your house just because you prefer Purple/Bibbidy Bobbidy Blue/Crushed Mellon. Nope. Once you get your license you accept the fact these are the colors and that they have a certain meaning that you will follow.
Same for your bank. You know they are usually opened from 9:30am to 4:30pm and that you cannot withdrawn $100,000 in cash on that ATM close to your place. Again, the bank is not really going to acommodate your needs to be able to withdrawn $1,000 in one dollar bills just because you think it is more efficient for you if you could do that. Or open at 2:00am because your wife prefers that.
Once you go through all the scenarions/things that are around us it is easy to understand the reason why we have regulations in place like SoX, HIPAA, etc. To have a common set of rules/procedures that guarantee certain things will always be there, done in a certain way and so on.
Why IT services these days are seen in a different way I have no clue. What I mean here is simple. IT is always being pushed by users to deliver something extra because every freaking user these days has a different, unique requirement!
Why does someone need his icons shown using Hattenschleisse fonts instead of Arial? Why does he need a picture of his three year old single testicule three legged albino camel as a background instead of the corporate logo? You get the picture.
Why users cannot live with a common, standard set of tools? I do understand Engineering needs different tools than Accounting and I am fine with that. But why do we need to support twenty five different Accounting departments in a company that has 25 users in the Accounting department? Is there really a need, in a business environment, to give every single person a unique set of tools so they can work? Cannot they work with something called a ‘common toolset’?
TS can deliver that extremely well, assuming a common toolset is there and is enforced. At several places we deployed SBC the users had to adapt to the working environment and not the other way around.
I can definitely see the value on VDI and several reasons to use it. But the simple reason ‘TS cannot address all the user requirements we have at our company’ is giant, MEGA BS to me. Why all the sudden users do not need to follow rules on their working environment the same way they do for everything else in life?
If that was not the case we would have traffic lights with pink, purple and brown lights just because your grandma likes and wants it.
As proven over the years, IT goes through cycles, always coming back to something that was done years ago. I am sure that will be the case here.
Once this generation of architects/admins/consultants creating these ‘do-whatever-you-want’ business enviroments are gone, I am certain someone down the road will realize how much of a PITA these are to manage and we will get back to the old days where you would get the right tool for the job and nothing else.
Before you ask, no, I do not hate users. But I cannot understand why you need a pink keyboard matching a yellow mouse.
At the end, are these valid user needs or simply user ‘whinning/bitching’? Ask that yourself the next time you are asked to deploy XenDesktop.
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