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How to maximize VDI uptime

To maximize VDI uptime, you have to choose quality hardware, test software patches and find single points of failure. And remember that admins can be those points, too.

Maximizing VDI uptime comes down to three main things: hardware, patching and single points of failure.

First, you have to use reputable hardware. It's better to pay a little bit more for quality hardware with a good reputation and warranty than to go with less expensive hardware, as the cheaper option might have a questionable support policy.

Second, be careful about software patching. It doesn't happen very often, but software vendors do occasionally put out buggy patches. If your goal is to achieve the highest possible uptime for your VDI environment, then you absolutely must test patches prior to deploying them in a production environment.

Finally -- and this is the most important -- do everything you can to eliminate the potential for single points of failure (SPOF).

Finding and fixing possible SPOF

Most organizations use redundant host servers and redundant disks, but true redundancy goes beyond that. Consider every aspect of your virtualization infrastructure. Look at redundant storage arrays and redundant storage connectivity. You should also consider redundant power supplies and NIC teams with hot spare network adapters.

This is only a partial list, but the point is that you must look for any weaknesses that could cause failure and make sure you have redundancy in place.

Remember that administrative staff can be a single point of failure, too. Even the best VDI system can fail catastrophically if the administrative team does not monitor it properly. It is critical to monitor for conditions -- such as excessive storage or IP address consumption -- that could eventually lead to a failure.

It's also a good idea to periodically test your monitoring tool's alert mechanism. After all, it does no good to receive an email alert for a problematic condition if that email message goes straight to your spam folder.

This was last published in September 2014

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What points of failure have you identified in your VDI environment?