Last week, we gave you some insight as to why many government agencies and private industries are making the switch from traditional networks to Virtual Desktop Solutions (read more here). This week, we look at the integration of the Virtual Desktop Solution and cloud environments.

Hosting the virtual desktop typically requires a data center or cloud-like solution. Commercial cloud hosting is able to produce low capital expense and operating expense through the miracle of multi-tenancy. The commercial cloud is like a strip mall. Rent is affordable, but you can’t pick the other tenants who share the building. The landlord keeps the prices low by building out a high volume of resources, keeping them fully-utilized, and spreading costs across all the tenants. A commercial cloud provider already has a buzzing “strip mall” in place, and can quote a very attractive rent for a new tenant in this very efficient infrastructure. However, multi-tenancy is a double-edged sword for many of our Government customers, as the security concerns of multi-tenancy may be unacceptable. 

A move to private cloud hosting for Virtual Desktop environments solves the security challenge, but creates a significant cost barrier. A private cloud is like an empty office building that needs to be built out and then dedicated to a single tenant. The tenant only wants to be charged for the portion of the building that is occupied, but also expects plenty of room to grow. Ideally there would be no up-front cost to the tenant, no guaranteed minimum rent, with all the financial risk on the landlord. This “private” option is a significant cost driver and can dramatically swing the cost of a virtual desktop deployment.
To achieve affordable cloud hosting, multi-tenancy is a necessity.

Read more about virtualization and our virtual desktop services:
Visualizing Virtualization
Virtualization: The Road to App-iness
Virtual Desktop Services


The writer of this Virtualization series, Ben Goss is BAE Systems' Virtual Desktop Service Provider technical lead. He brings technology and lessons learned that improve cost and user experience for our government customers.