Category Archives: Top 10 Virtual Desktop Mistakes

Virtual Desktop Mistakes Conclusion

The virtual desktop top 10 list is complete! Of course there are numerous things people can do to mess up their environment, but the 10 discussed are probably the 10 most critical. If you get them wrong, you will struggle to survive.

But the list doesn’t end there. My colleagues (Tarkan Koçoglu, Nicholas Rintalan and Doug Demskis) and I couldn’t limit ourselves to just 10 mistakes which is why we have honorable mention status to a few more items J. It’s our way of keeping the top 10 list while allowing ourselves some leeway. Besides, Top 10 is so much better than Top 13 or Top 19 (top 10 has worked for David Letterman for years).

So what are these honorable mentions I speak of?

  • NIC Teaming: Provisioning services streams the desktop image to the virtual desktop. Provisioning services NICs should be teamed for throughput/aggregation and not just for failover/redundancy.
  • NIC Optimization: Although Provisioning services can run with the default NIC configurations, the environment can run faster with optimizations like Disable Large Send Offload
  • Common Image: Reducing the number of images helps simplify management and updates as fewer image updates are required. However, using a single image across multiple physical end point platforms can become difficult to maintain. Specific hardware drivers can potentially conflict and installing multiple device drivers results in image bloat. It is often better to create different images for different hardware (not applicable if the end point is virtualized).
  • VDI for Wrong Reason: Organizations should do virtual desktops because there is a business reason to provide users with a Windows XP/Windows 7 desktop interface. Without a business reason, the virtual desktop solution will be seen as extravagant and costing too much money for no value.

That completes the current Top 10 list and honorable mention for virtual desktop mistakes. If you want, you can see the entire blog series via the Top 10 Virtual Desktop Mistakes link. If you prefer documents, then sign up for the XenDesktop Design Handbook where you will get the Top 10 list plus so much more.

Enjoy and good luck

Daniel – Lead Architect

Improper Storage Design for Virtual Desktops is a Killer

I’ve spent the last month or so discussing the top 10 mistakes seen on desktop virtualization implementation so you can learn from other’s mistakes. I’ve discussed 9 different things so far and they were:

10.  Not calculating user bandwidth requirements

9.    Not considering the user profile

8.   Lack of Application Virtualization Strategy

7.  Improper Resource Allocation

6.  Protection from Anti-Virus

5. Managing the incoming storm

4. Not Optimizing the Desktop Image

3. Not using your Cache Wisely

2. Using VDI Defaults

And now it is time for the #1 thing that people mess up with desktop virtualization? Continue reading Improper Storage Design for Virtual Desktops is a Killer

Beware of VDI Defaults

Default configurations are great in that they make the setup and configuration easy. Unfortunately, they don’t work for all environments. In fact, if you simply use the defaults for an entire virtual desktop deployment, you will miss out on tons of optimizations to allow your environment to scale. Simply following the defaults is the 2nd most common mistake people make when implementing XenDesktop. Continue reading Beware of VDI Defaults

Not Spending Your Cache Wisely

It almost sounds like I’m talking about personal finances. You better plan your cache appropriately or you will run out. I’m not talking about money; I’m talking about system memory (although if you plan poorly we will quickly be talking about money).

It comes down to this… system cache is a powerful feature allowing a server to service requests extremely fast because instead of accessing disks, blocks of data are retrieved from RAM. Provisioning services relies on fast access to the blocks within the disk image (vDisk) to stream to the target devices. The faster the requests are serviced, the faster the target will receive. Allocating the largest possible size for the system cache should allow Provisioning services to store more of the vDisk into RAM as opposed to going to the physical disk.  Continue reading Not Spending Your Cache Wisely

Optimize your Virtual Desktop Image

Building a virtual desktop is simply a matter of installing the Windows operating system. Right?  Slow down… although this will work, it won’t give you the best performance and scalability.  One of the items that many people mistakenly forget to accomplish is to optimize the base operating system.  This is the 7th mistake out of the top 10 mistakes made with virtual desktops: Continue reading Optimize your Virtual Desktop Image

A Virtual Desktop Storm Approaches

Rush hour. Something we all can relate to. Way back in time when I used to go to an office daily, I hated rush hour.  If I left home at a certain time, it would take me 45 minutes just to get to the office. But if I left just 15 minutes earlier, that same 45 minute trip would only take 15 minutes.  You might be asking yourself what this anecdote has to do with virtual desktops. Well, it’s all about managing a storm. I managed the rush hour storm by changing the time I left for work in the morning.  With virtual desktops, we need do something similar. If you don’t, you will encounter the fifth mistake in my list of top 10 mistakes to avoid Continue reading A Virtual Desktop Storm Approaches

Protection From Anti-Virus

Protection from antivirus.  Are you wondering if you read that correctly?  Yes, it is correct.  Odd isn’t it?  Anti-virus is there to protect us, but we also need to be protected from antivirus. Antivirus solutions are critical, even in a virtual desktop environment. Many people believe that because a hosted VM-based virtual desktop image is created from a real-only image that they are immune from virus.  That is only partially true.  When you reboot, the virus goes away because the changes to the base image are destroyed (including the virus), but what about that time period between getting infected and the next reboot? Those few hours are dangerous. Continue reading Protection From Anti-Virus