One of the first questions that Project Accelerator asks you is what technical skillset you current have, with a list of about 20 different technologies. Why do we care?
Let’s say you have App-V experience, then when you get to the application delivery portion, we will probably recommend you use App-V for a subset of applications.
They same can be said for hypervisors as well. We might recommend vSphere or Hyper-V instead of XenServer for your deployment. I can hear Citrix people saying “Are you kidding me?”, but it is true. The most important goal is to make you successful. Unfortunately, with all of the new technology you have to learn, the time before you can achieve success might be pretty far away. If we can shorten that learning curve and rely upon your skills you already have, we can speed up a deployment and bring success closer. So if you already have the technical prowess of Hyper-V in your environment, then we will recommend it instead of suggesting you learn a whole new technology. Of course cost of the technology is another factor, but that is a decision you will have to make for yourself. So if you have vSphere skills, but the cost of the solution is much greater than XenServer, you will have the ability to modify the hypervisor when the “customize your design” portion gets released.
Try it for yourself. If you select Hyper-V for your technical skillset, the architecture diagram will show clusters. XenServer will talk about Pools. vSphere will talk about clusters as well as vCenter servers.
The technical skillset question does more than recommending a hypervisor. It also plays a big part in determining which user group should be deployed first, second, third, etc. It’s funny, many people start a project by focusing on the most complex use case first. Not only are you trying to deal with a difficult scenario, but you are also trying to learn a new set of technologies. A better approach is to focus on the easiest use cases first. Those use cases where you already have skills. So again, we use the technical skillset, plus a few other items, to help us make a deployment order recommendation. Let’s say I have skills with XenApp and I have 3 user groups with the following FlexCast models:
- XenDesktop users
- XenApp users
- XenClient users
Who goes first?
Based on this scenario, the XenApp user group moves to the top of the deployment order because that user group should be easier to deploy as I already know XenApp. Of course the deployment order recommendation is more complex than that, but this is a topic for another blog.
If you want to see these things for yourself, go ahead and take Project Accelerator for a spin.
Daniel Feller – Lead Architect
Citrix Virtual Desktop Handbook – The Architect’s Guide to Desktop Virtualization