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Time to Start Testing VDI

Along the lines of Virtualization Review editor Keith Ward's post inquiring as to whether readers should hold off on virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), I think many organizations will pass on it -- for now. If you have not started working with VDI in some capacity, you may want to.

I make this recommendation because I believe you will quickly find that VDI requires much more of a planning process than the server-side counterparts. I have been going through a couple of scenarios for a few VDI solutions, and it is not as easy as it may seem. Do yourself a favor and take time to identify your requirements, and make sure you think about the entire solution of endpoint client or device, broker and hypervisor. This can help identify issues that may or may not be addressed by VDI solutions as they are right now.

In my example, there was a specific requirement related to the computer name of the guest VM that could not be addressed by any of the three solutions that I worked with. While the naming requirement is the issue -- not the VDI products -- it underscores the fact that current VDI offerings may not address all situations. Other administrators are constantly battling other issues related to Flash-based multimedia, bandwidth usage and a client-to-core ratio in selecting a device, broker and hypervisor for VDI.

Make no mistake -- the VDI solutions available are robust; they simply aren’t going to fit every environment. The good news is that administrators have resources available to them, for free. Make a request with the sales representative for your virtualization platform to set up an evaluation VDI solution with the products. This is an indispensible resource as you can get a solution for your requirements. This can be an in-person, over the phone or Web-based event, but the benefits are clear in that you will be more equipped than going about it by yourself. Even with that help, you may still find yourself not where the solution needs to be.

The issue is that VDI has come a long way very quickly, but based on my experience with three brokers there is still room to improve from the management perspective.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 02/02/2009 at 12:47 PM


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