Seven Requirements for Virtual Desktop Success

What do you think are the main ingredients to any successful desktop virtualization project?  Is it application integration methodology? Is it hardware? What about the IT team?  Based on my experience, the top requirements really boils down to a few core items, all of which I’ve discussed many times in previous blog postings (applications, standards,… Continue reading Seven Requirements for Virtual Desktop Success

Desktop Virtualization… The Right Way (Politics and Puppy Chow)

Politics and dog food… some might say they go hand-in-hand (especially if you watched any coverage about the healthcare debate). But politics and dog food are also relevant in most organizations, especially when undertaking a massive restructuring in the way you deliver desktops to users. Desktop virtualization is not something you can just turn on… Continue reading Desktop Virtualization… The Right Way (Politics and Puppy Chow)

Desktop Virtualization… The Right Way (Migration)

We’ve followed all of the best practices, did a proper analysis and design and are ready to start moving users to their brand new virtual desktop. But not so fast. We need to make sure we have the proper plan in place or else we will end up with incorrect applications, confused users, or lost… Continue reading Desktop Virtualization… The Right Way (Migration)

Desktop Virtualization… The Right Way (User Experience)

Desktop virtualization architecture will only get a users so far: access to a virtualized desktop. If the virtualized desktop does not provide the required experience in different scenarios, users will find ways of reverting back to their traditional model or find a way to make life very difficult for you, the architect of this less than stellar solution.

Desktop Virtualization… The Right Way (User Topology)

One office with one type of desktop… Easy. Hundreds of offices with any type and age of desktops… Difficult but not impossible. Most organizations find themselves in the difficult camp. A user’s desktop can be completely different (in terms of hardware, resources, applications and configuration) than the person sitting next to them doing a similar job. As the environment includes users from different departments, in different offices, with different requirements it becomes clear that the understanding of the user topology for an organization is critical before one can create a desktop virtualization solution. In previous blogs, I’ve discussed how understanding the underlying standards, applications and storms plays an important role in creating a successful virtual desktop design. The fourth requirement is to understand the organization’s user topology. More specifically, one must get a grasp of the endpoints and user locations.

Desktop Virtualization… The Right Way (Standards)

Total power often leads to corruption. No, I’m not talking about business or politics. I’m talking about desktops. Have you been in a meeting where people talk about giving users admin rights to workstations. I have two words for you… Be afraid… Be very afraid… OK that was 5 words, but the point is clear. Be afraid.

Desktop Virtualization… The Right Way (Storms)

One of the questions you must ask yourself when designing a desktop virtualization solution is understanding the user patterns. This has a direct impact on XenDesktop farm design and scalability with respects to boot up storms and logon storms. Let’s take two different examples so you can get a better idea for what I’m talking about. In this scenario, all users logon in the morning and logoff in the evening. There might be some sporadic users working after hours, but for the most part users stay within these working hours. This is a fairly easy scenario, which is why I’ve started with it. To design your environment, you need to make sure that the boot up storm doesn’t overwhelm your environment. You will be starting a large number of hosted virtual desktops and that has a direct impact on your hypervisor of choice, your storage solution and your network infrastructure. You can easily overcome any challenges with a boot up storm in this scenario by using the XenDesktop idle desktops configuration to pre-boot desktops X minutes before the main rush begins (X is based on how many desktops you need up and running before users start connecting). By the time users come online, the system should have calmed down from the boot up storm.

Desktop Virtualization… The Right Way (Applications)

User supported applications account for the largest percentage of applications within the organization. IT does not have visibility into these applications, which makes a move to desktop virtualization difficult without proper analysis. By focusing on Application Assessments, Application Layoffs, and Application Delivery Strategy, the challenge of applications can be overcome in time for the virtual desktop.