- Managed DaaS
- Happy End Users
As more applications move to the cloud, desktops are following suit. With the global VDI market predicted to grow from $3.7 billion to $10.15 by 2023 we’re likely to see many successful and less-than-successful attempts at desktop virtualization over the next five years.
The key to being in the successful category is understanding the technology, its best use cases and what pitfalls to avoid. Rushing into this digital transformation too quickly or under-prepared will leave organizations scrambling to replace a failed VDI attempt or wishing they had chosen a solution with better post-implementation benefits.
If your organization is considering desktop virtualization, keep these four tips in mind:
When desktop virtualization first emerged it was a disappointing solution that suffered from major performance issues. This wasn’t the result of a bad idea, but rather poor execution. Originally, VDI was built on infrastructure not designed to support the unique, high-demand nature of the solution. Today’s custom-designed infrastructure solves those issues, but it is also a high specialized technology requiring highly specialized personnel if you want to be successful.
Relying on a technology generalist or even someone who specializes in another facet of IT (a network engineer for example) means they won’t necessarily know the ins and outs required to design, build and maintain a successful virtual desktop initiative.
Dig deeper into this tip: What Exactly Does a VDI Expert Do? (Written by virtualization solution engineer, Brad Crossman)
Many VDI initiatives stumble because organizations don’t customize desktops to unique use cases. For example, developers do not need the same applications or computing power as customer service representatives. One of the main benefits of virtual desktops is that they allow IT teams to more easily manage desktops, applications, security and controls by grouping needs and use cases into customized Golden Images. Underutilizing GIs or creating too many unique Golden Images robs IT teams of this core benefit.
When initially planning for desktop virtualization or extending the solution to new users, teams should spend time carefully identifying the use case and outlining its needs. In some cases, the use case can be added to an existing Golden Image or it may even be a better fit for application streaming rather than full desktops. Basing virtual desktops on end users’ specific needs often results in cost savings for organizations as it reduces over-resourcing and unused software licenses.
Pro tip: Structure your pilot or initial use case around a fairly straight forward group of users (i.e. not needing overly complex application and resource support). This will allow you to more easily work through initial hurdles and prove success early. Tackling your most complex use case right out of the gate can be overly difficult and may result in the organization losing faith in the solution as a whole.
Dig deeper into this tip: Virtual Desktops: Start Slow & Grow
One of the biggest draws of virtual desktops is the ability for employees to work anytime, anywhere, from any device with the same application and data access and the same security and controls. While remote working offers a lot of benefits, it can also make it more challenging for IT and help desks to support these desktops. Trying to troubleshoot can be complicated enough in general, but trying to troubleshoot a computer that isn’t in front of you is even more complicated.
Virtual desktops are overall easier to manage since updates and patches can be pushed from Golden Images, but the help desk still needs tools to identify and address individual issues. Virtual desktops should be paired with a centralized management and monitoring hub that’s equipment with deep analytics, real time monitoring and remote assistance capabilities. These features help IT pinpoint the root cause of issues quickly to keep end users productive.
Dig deeper into this tip: Dizzion Control Center
When done properly and with the right features, desktop virtualization can marry two of today’s most popular tech trends: the cloud and big data. With virtualization, desktops no longer have to live in a black box. Analytics and insights tools allow companies to gather valuable information about how their environment is performing, how it’s being used and where it can be optimized.
These features are rarely built into in-house VDI projects as they take a deep level of development (on top of the labor and resource intensive VDI build itself), but insights solutions are available through some desktop as a service providers. These solutions turn desktops into a powerful business insights tool rather than just a simple IT solution.
Dig deeper into this tip: VDI Doesn’t Have to be a Black Box
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