“I don’t always VDI, but when I do, I VDI with my users under management.”

VDI is not always the answer but when you implement it correctly it CAN lower your OPEX and CAPEX of desktops.dos_equis

When you do choose VDI here are some thoughts to consider before you implement:

1) Properly plan – use a VDI or next desktop planning tool to help you determine who are good candidates for VDI in your organization, what applications are installed, what applications are in use, what is the current performance of legacy desktops and will VDI make for a better desktop?

2) Consider Non-Persistent Desktops – Dramatically lower your storage costs and management costs.

3) User Management – from a real user management vendor (not simply a profile only tool). Full user management will offer robust profile management, application availability management, provisioning of desktop configurations, and be able to deliver these key components on a context aware basis. Again, not a profile tool or profile speed up tool, I am talking full user management for any Windows environment. Profile only tools work fine in POCs but largely fail in real world large enterprises because they just don’t deliver what is needed to manage the user equation. Putting User Management in your environment before you roll out VDI will make user adoption really quick because their user persona, configuration settings, and data will follow them from the old to the new…even between XP and Win 7.

4) Application Virtualization – if your User Management solution does not include the ability for select users to install their own apps and application virtualization on a departmental basis, you’ll need to look into application virtualization to keep your golden images to a minimum. This will save during upgrades and save on OPEX costs.

5) User Experience – You’ll want to monitor the user experience in the environment to ensure that it is at least better than the desktop you took away from the user. Just monitoring the desktop, hypervisor, or network is not a solution. You’ll need an end to end solution that will monitor everything point to point per user and desktop. Without such a solution it will be very tough to know where your bottlenecks are on your brave new desktop infrastructure. You may suspect you have an IOPS issue but do you know which application and/or user(s) is causing it? You may also have slow application response times but do you know why? And so on and so on… a good User Experience solution will help you find the root cause. You can also use it to base line the legacy environment to prove better UX in the new environment.

Of course you may know that Liquidware Labs has offerings for steps 1, 3, 4, and 5 and we play well with all VDI vendors, including Citrix, Red Hat, Dell (vWorkspace), and VMware.

Good Luck, hopefully this advice will help get your thought process on the right track. VDI shifts traditional desktop delivery methods and therefore necessitates that you keep an eye on the important things that are integral to the desktop infrastructure. Successful VDI is all about planning, choosing the right components, offering a robust desktop with no compromises to your users, and keeping visibility in the environment so you know what goes bump in the night.

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