How many desktop images do I really need?


One of the main goals with desktop virtualization is to reduce the number of required desktop images. The fewer number of images, the easier it is to support and maintain the desktop environment, which makes desktop virtualization so promising when compared to the traditional desktop approach. The goal is a single image, but oftentimes, other factors play a role in slightly increasing that number. Take, for instance, the ABC School District.

The design called for 5 different desktop images, as shown in the figure.
Continue reading How many desktop images do I really need?

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How Much Bandwidth Do I Need for My Virtual Desktop


Do you ever wonder how much bandwidth you need to do a desktop virtualization implementation? Regardless of the flavor of virtual desktop being implemented (hosted shared, hosted VM-based VDI, local streamed, etc), the network plays a critical role. That should not be surprising (if it is, we need to have an even bigger discussion). If you don’t plan your network bandwidth appropriately, you will have unhappy users, who will make you unhappy.

As we would expect, the user experience degrades as the latency increases and the bandwidth decreases. Proper network planning must be based on the type of work users are performing and the overall network topology. Back in the XenApp-only days, many people used 20 kbps as an estimate for network bandwidth requirements. Can we use that for virtual desktops? NO (although I could configure XenDesktop to only use 20 kbps).
Continue reading How Much Bandwidth Do I Need for My Virtual Desktop

I Choo, Choo Choose You


From the words of Ralph Wiggum, I Choo, Choo, Choose You [to be my FlexCast model].

Choosing the correct FlexCast model always leaves people wondering if they made the right decision.  The answer to this question requires us to look closer into the user requirements.  For example, the ABC School District Reference Design was recently published, and as can be expected from the title, it is based on a large school district (70,000 total users, 20,000 concurrent).  How did we decide which FlexCast model was most appropriate?
Continue reading I Choo, Choo Choose You

The truth about XenDesktop 4 scalability


We’ve heard about it, we’ve seen it and we’ve read about it from Citrix, from VMware, from Microsoft and from just about everyone else. We see one report showing one technology is better than the other but then we see another report showing the exact opposite.  Doesn’t this leave you wondering what you should do next.  You might be wondering what in the world am I talking about?

I’m talking about SCALABILITY!
Continue reading The truth about XenDesktop 4 scalability

Danger, Danger My Server Crashed


We all know the impact a server failure can have on a group of users, but what if that server was a core component of a desktop virtualization solution?  That’s a lot of unhappy users.  Before desktop virtualization, nobody gave a second thought about desktop availability. If a desktop failed, it only impacted a single user and chances are you wouldn’t hear much. However, if a certain server fails in a desktop virtualization environment, that one server could impact 50, 100 or 1,000 users.  I can guarantee one thing, you will hear that many users.
Continue reading Danger, Danger My Server Crashed

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, and executive buy-in to name a few).

Before we get into the seven requirements, we must understand the point of desktop virtualization.  Continue reading Seven Requirements for Virtual Desktop Success

This School House Rocks with Virtual Desktops


Imagine an environment where:

  • The endpoints are over 5 years old
  • Users’ personal computers are state of the art
  • Applications have not been patched in over one year
  • Each office has different configurations, although they should be identical

These are some of the challenges with one particular environment: the ABC School District.

This particular school district consists of 50 school campuses that supports 70,000 users.  Due to limited funding, the technology infrastructure is aging quickly.  Thanks to a voter approved tax levy, the ABC School District is receiving an infusion of money to upgrade their computing infrastructure. Instead of going down the same path of distributed computing, the ABC School District has decided to implement desktop virtualization based on the following architecture: Continue reading This School House Rocks with Virtual Desktops

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My virtual desktop journey