What is VDI? Virtual Desktop Infrastructure involves running a desktop operating system on a centralized server in a data center. It enables users to work on desktops and applications that run on fully functional and centrally hosted virtual machines (VMs). Although companies can perform the same operations on PCs, VDI simplifies management and efficiently assigns resources by consolidating and centralizing desktops. It also promotes end-user mobility by allowing staff to access virtual desktops and applications anywhere, anytime and on any device.
Not long ago, experts predicted virtualization solutions to effectively replace the slow, power-hungry standard desktop environment. However, some industries remained cautious about moving to virtual desktops because of their perceived costs and complexity. Today, there is vast training being offered on VDI applications, backend software, and hardware aspects. Now, there is greater awareness of how these resources secure data, deliver remote and mobile access, and reduce TCO.
Here’s the thing. This technology includes many components and considerations which may seem overwhelming in the initial stages. In order to make the most of your initiative, you must plan ahead to balance performance and your project budget. Let’s explore some tips to help you get started.
Keep it Simple
In any case, the greatest motivation for companies to adopt VDI is to simplify user management throughout the organization. The key is to focus on aspects that deliver great user convenience and experience. At the same time, they should allow IT teams to better manage operations.
How do you begin? Start by carrying out benchmark testing. This helps determine the maximum number of desktops which your VDI environment can manage. Once you have this figured out, you will not overload your network or cause potential resource and storage bottlenecks. Consider user activities, resource, and power consumption so that you can optimally adjust memory, bandwidth and CPU allocation to VMs. Provision extra server resources to virtual desktops which run demanding applications and assign a limit for those with everyday tasks. In order to accurately identify the needs of each virtual desktop, you must understand how each employee works with it. Next, create a testing plan that covers individual project demands. Ideally, deploy VMs which have the minimum requirements so that you can easily add functions when users manage more complex tasks. Server performance monitoring plays a crucial role in all this so that you do not under or over provision.
The next step is to decrease desktop display demands. This is how it works. On PCs, you have local coprocessors that handle graphics tasks. As for virtual desktops, they render each screen on the server and transfer image data to the endpoint for display. Now, here is the tricky side of things. Visually intensive programs do affect server and network performance and this automatically impacts desktop performance. So, you must ease virtual desktop traffic demands by reducing the visual needs of the application. In turn, this brings down the amount of server memory which you will need for video buffer.
Tip: go for endpoints that offer comprehensive remote display protocol support to greatly improve display performance. ClearCube provides configurable VDI Clients which support high-performance protocols like PCoIP, Blast Extreme, CITRIX HDX and Microsoft RemoteFX. Visit our website to learn more about the VDI Thin Clients and Zero Clients that make this possible.
Thirdly, look for resources which virtualize the GPU on the host so that you can reduce data stream to the client. This is useful in situations where you need to deliver rich media experience involving 3D graphics and video. Moreover, for delivering graphics intensive applications remotely, you might want to consider Blade PC workstations hosted in the datacenter. These VDI solutions deliver powerful datacenter to desktop computing efficiencies for all users in the workplace.
In a nutshell, your platform must:
. Boost security.
. Improve client system manageability.
. Reduce upgrade, support and maintenance costs.
Achieve Easy Scalability
Select a VDI desktop solution which can easily scale to adapt to your organization’s future growth. Your virtualization plan must have a clearly defined expansion path that can easily and quickly respond to unanticipated growth demands. Take into account the effects of expansion on the infrastructure. For instance, exactly how many more users will the virtual desktop solution be capable of managing? Will adding users to your system affect the performance and experience of other employees? Can extra server or storage hardware communicate with your existing virtualization hardware? These are all important questions which need to be answered beforehand. For this, calculate the number of users in your organization so that you can choose between Integrated or Standalone solutions.
An Integrated setup involves users being added to the current environment. You only need to add user software licenses and run the users off of the existing hardware resources. This is suitable for small VDI initiatives where there are usually less than 20 users. The reason is any number exceeding this will affect the performance of other applications running on the same hardware. On the other hand, Standalone solutions work differently. Although these leverage an existing network, they come with their own software and hardware components to support VDI setups. This makes it easier to secure, manage, maintain and scale deployments.
Opt For End-to-End Vendor Support
VDI is a vast technology and even today, many companies are in the process of realizing its capabilities in IT environments. For this reason, work with a highly available, knowledgeable and detail-oriented vendor to support your virtualization plan. They must be able to:
. Assist with deployment.
. Answer any queries you may have.
. Modify solutions to effectively and efficiently fulfill user needs.
. Demonstrate preparedness by offering 24/7 support in case you urgently require immediate assistance.
Ideally, understand the vendor’s support process and how they work so that you know what to expect. This provides a better understanding of the management software, tools, and Thin/Zero Client computing recommendations they make to pilot your setup.
Please visit our website for more information on how to get the most out of your virtual environment. We are always online and ready to help!