I've been going slightly nuts since yesterday after Cisco announced the CIUS. It looks like the perfect tablet for the sorts of things I really want a personal screen device for - communicating with other people. This review by Erik Parker of InfoWorld is a pretty good read and it summarizes key advantages and disadvantages of CIUS. If it can make the technology of video conferencing transparent to end users, it will be a big deal.
But the hidden story to this is that Cisco is also making a play to get into the corporate desktop/laptop business with the CIUS. The idea that companies could deploy these with VDI is definitely part of Cisco's grand plan for world domination. Whether or not the CIUS could replace laptop or desktop computers remains to be seen, but there are reasons to think they could eventually if the stars align.
The arguments for VDI are strong, but there are still a lot of hurdles to overcome, such as back end storage performance to support boot storms. By the way, people looking at large VDI implementations might want to look at 3PAR's wide striping storage systems to get the sort of affordable IOPS needed to support large VDI environments. My previous post illustrates our design for massive throughput, which supports a huge number of IOPS without needing SSDs or requiring storage administrators to create special disk pools to isolate the VDI workload from other applications running in the same storage array.