Design XenDesktop for the SMB

I often receive questions around XenDesktop design like How should I design my XenDesktop environment for 50 or 100 users? What hardware should I use? What if I want to start small and slowly grow the environment? This is an interesting use case, the small to medium business. Do you need all of the bells and whistles that a large enterprise needs? Probably not. Do you need to include extensive high-availability options? Probably not. Do you need to dedicate infrastructure components? Probably not. In fact, designing a XenDesktop solution for the SMB can be done quite easily, which is what … Continue reading Design XenDesktop for the SMB

Upcoming webinar: Virtual Desktop Design for Small Environments

Many organizations looking to implement virtual desktops are looking at fairly small deployments, fewer than 500 users. In fact, I’ve been receiving more and more questions from partners and customers asking how they can utilize XenDesktop for environments with only 50 or 100 users. Questions like: What is the recommended architecture for smaller XenDesktop deployments? Do I need to use all XenDesktop components? Do I really need NetScaler? Can I consolidate the components even more than what is detailed within the Virtual Desktops for the SMB reference design? What if I already have XenApp, can I still use it? Do … Continue reading Upcoming webinar: Virtual Desktop Design for Small Environments

Consolidate for Small Scale

The Ask the Architect email inbox is getting quite large and I’ve received some great questions. I thought I would answer a question around the small-medium business (SMB) space, as it relates directly to a recently delivered Virtual Desktops for the SMB TechTalk and the reference design included within the XenDesktop Design Handbook. Namely, the SMB white paper focuses on use cases of 200-500 desktops, but what if you only have 50-100 desktops? Do you need all of the servers? Yes in that you will need the components if you plan to do single images but no you won’t need … Continue reading Consolidate for Small Scale


One of the big questions regarding virtual desktops is storage. In fact, I’ve discussed this numerous times (here and here and here). This has mostly been with a focus on IOPS. This time I want to focus on the high-availability aspect you get with shared storage, but with the focus of being on the SMB/SME space (small to medium business/enterprise). If you want to do live migration, you must have shared storage. So, let me get straight to the point… You don’t need it. You don’t need XenMotion, vMotion or live migration in a SMB hosted VM-based desktop model. Look … Continue reading SAN, VDI and SMB

Desktop Virtualization for the SMB

I’ve been part of quite a few desktop virtualization designs in my day. Most of these are for enterprise customers with over 10,000 desktops. When you get to this scale, you have to take into account so many different variables that you need many different options. What about the SMB organizations? The smaller organizations (500 or fewer desktops) probably don’t need as many options and flavors of virtual desktops. In fact, one can create an architecture that meets the needs of the SMB but without all of the components and features. See for yourself by accessing the XenDesktop Design Handbook. … Continue reading Desktop Virtualization for the SMB