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Just because you can, doesn't mean you should virtualize the entire desktop

Toby Martin, Director of Product Management, Flexera Software | March 4, 2013
Although virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is well recognized, up until now, the technology has over-promised and under-delivered. The error has lied in taking an IT-centric approach to VDI.

For example, rather than conducting compatibility assessment for all applications used in a particular region or country (e.g. US-based apps), you're likely to ensure a higher success rate if you analyze blocks of up to a 1,000 users who are categorized by job function or department (e.g. finance). That allows IT to identify and migrate users in small groups, making the project more manageable and minimally disruptive. Getting migration right the first time must be a key goal for IT departments embarking on VDI projects.

The ultimate end point for the majority of enterprises today is the cloud. To successfully achieve this, a measured, best practice approach that puts users' needs at the heart of the virtualization initiative is imperative. This requires:

  • Evaluating system parameters and behaviors associated with application usage to identify the users or applications that are most suitable for migration.
  • Understanding the "before" state to compare and contrast to the "after" performance and user experience.
  • Planning the migration - the "who," "how," and "when" of the move.
  • Assessing what resources will be required - how many servers are required, what level of storage will be needed and the like.
  • Converting identified applications to the required formats ready for migration.
  • Deploying packaged applications.

Experience shows that undertaking detailed user assessment as part of the overall migration process is instrumental to the success of any VDI project. It facilitates a user-centric approach to VDI and ensures that the project truly enhances users' productivity and efficiency - in turn facilitating the achievement of enterprises' business objectives - the fundamental reason behind any IT project.


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