This week, HP announced a bevy of thin clients and a virtualization architecture that promises IT managers that they can switch between Citrix, Microsoft and VMware as needed. This is a good development, but I'd like to share some insight I learned at the VDI Smackdown at Citrix Synergy today.
The announced products include the HP t5335z and t5565z, the HP 6360t Mobile Thin Client, and the HP Client Virtualization Enterprise Reference Architecture preconfigured for Citrix XenDesktop and Microsoft Hyper-V.
During remarks made at the "VDI Smackdown" session at Synergy, both Gartner VP and longtime virtualization analyst Chris Wolf and Ruben Spruijt, CTO of PRQ agreed that a VDI adoption is a 3-5 year commitment. To me that means that while it's nice that HP tells us that the thin clients can be switched about to work on a variety of the most important VDI platforms, this isn't likely a reason to buy them. Rather, consider that the same thin client can be used across your VDI deployments, thereby reducing the variety of physical devices or at least the number of device vendors.
With that said, however, I will be curious to see how well the various HP thin clients perform as I move them between VDI environments here at eWEEK Labs. Almost as important as the physical characteristics of the thin client devices, I'll be looking at the licensing considerations that should be taken into account. It was clear from the presentation today that licensing costs are much more tricky when it comes to virtualizing the end-user environment when compared to server virtualization.
Look for my reviews to begin appearing shortly after the products begin shipping in late June.