Home » Data Centers » Traditional PCs vs. Virtual Machines

Traditional PCs vs. Virtual Machines

Cloud solutions continue to increase in popularity. Virtual desktop environments (VDI – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) as a cloud solution (DaaS – Desktop as a Service) are becoming more and more common.

So, should every technology that is popular or increasingly widespread should be invested in? Could VDI be a fad?

Virtual Desktop

What I mean by virtual desktop is this: The end user will not have a computer (traditional PC) as we know it. Instead, when you turn on your monitor, it will connect to its environment in the data center (A small device will provide this capability). The operating system and the applications running on it will be in the data center.

What does Gartner say?

Gartner’s research helps us predict the future of VDI. Namely:

15% of current PCs will be replaced by VDI solutions by 2014. The market size, which was 1.3 billion dollars in 2009, will increase to 65 billion dollars in 2013. In 2013, the VDI market will equal 40% of the PC market.

Frankly, these data do not provide a very clear vision. Gartner’s “Hype Cycle” chart, updated in 2011, provides better information. I can’t post the chart here, but let me state this; The VDI is currently in the ‘disappointment’ phase and will be on a productivity plateau in 2 years.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

The result changes depending on which company calculates the total cost of ownership. According to Microsoft’s calculation, the VDI investment is meaningless. But if you look at Citrix’s account, it will be a very profitable investment. That’s why we can’t rely too much on TCO accounts that can be accessed over the public network (internet). If a consultancy firm does a TCO study specific to your company, this study will be the most beneficial.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Let’s set aside the estimates and biased TCO calculations and try to determine the potential of the VDI ourselves. For this purpose, I will clearly state their advantages and disadvantages over traditional PCs.


  • Lower hardware cost
  • More efficient use of energy
  • Facilitating support services
  • Low annual maintenance costs (OPEX)


  • High initial investment cost (CAPEX)
  • High license costs (Microsoft licenses)

As a result; I think it’s worth the investment.

Note: The infrastructure expressed as VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) may also be referred to as HVD (Hosted Virtual Desktop) in some places. Both represent the same environment.

Ned Sahin

Blogger for 20 years. Former Microsoft Engineer. Author of six books. I love creating helpful content and sharing with the world. Reach me out for any questions or feedback.

Leave a Comment