Essential Guide

VDI pilot project guide

How to ensure VDI implementation success

Introduction

Once you've decided VDI is right for your organization, it's time to get a project plan under way.

As you begin a VDI pilot project, check out all the product options and consider costs, management style, deployment options and more. You need the right product to suit your needs. Most importantly, you need a VDI project plan that will benefit the end users.

Planning your first virtual desktop implementation can be overwhelming, and you'll probably hit a few snags, but you can learn from those who have gone before you. This VDI pilot project guide will help you navigate vendors and software options and ensure that you don't fall into any of the common pitfalls. See how other pilots have succeeded and why some have failed.

1Understanding product options-

VDI project plan

Before you begin your VDI pilot, figure out what you need, check into different vendors and see what they have to offer -- and at what price.

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Know what you need

When you're choosing a VDI platform for your pilot -- and perhaps even for the deployment you'll ultimately launch -- you have to consider setup, maintenance, licensing and ongoing support. You must also figure out exactly which virtualization technologies you'll need: stateless desktops? Virtual applications? Desktop as a service? Make sure you know what you need before you commit to a product. Continue Reading

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Who, what and how much

Choosing the right products for your VDI project plan begins with understanding the vendors in the market. Your VDI implementation will benefit from finding out who the major VDI players are -- Citrix VMware, Dell and Microsoft -- and all that they have to offer. Continue Reading

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Comparing VDI vendors: VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop

Two of the most common VDI products are Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View, but they're different when it comes to cost and licensing. Pricing is a huge issue for most businesses, and although VMware has competitive prices, you can likely get better discounts from Citrix if you're doing a large deployment. Also consider the product features and whether your virtual environment is already based on VMware vSphere or Citrix XenServer. Continue Reading

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The pros and cons of small virtual desktop vendors

Big-name VDI vendors certainly have their place in the desktop virtualization market, but don't forget about the smaller guys. They can often offer just what you need for less money. Small virtual desktop vendors tend to offer products that focus on more specific needs, but beware of vendor lock-in when putting together your VDI project plan. Continue Reading

2Don't fall in!-

VDI pilot project pitfalls

Learning about some common mistakes IT shops make that can cause your VDI pilot to fail can help you avoid problems before they crop up.

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Top 10 reasons VDI projects fail

Before you get moving on your VDI pilot project, be aware of why desktop virtualization fails. Leave behind your bad habits, understand that desktops and servers are different animals, set specific goals and don't just implement VDI just because the cool kids are doing it. Continue Reading

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Desktop virtualization project pitfalls: Microsoft VDI licensing

To ensure VDI pilot project success, remember that VDI is not the same as server virtualization and, therefore, the virtualization process will not be the same for both. Also keep in mind that even the best VDI project plan may not save you money. Then take the time to digest Microsoft VDI licensing rules so you don't get caught up in the complexity later. Continue Reading

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Five more reasons VDI projects get stuck

A VDI pilot project can stall just about anywhere for just about any reason. If you're planning a Windows XP-to-Windows 7 migration, take care of that before tackling VDI to avoid getting overwhelmed. Make sure you know why you're implementing VDI and keep your user environment in mind throughout the VDI project. Continue Reading

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Question the sales hype

Virtual desktop projects can also fail if you fall into sales traps from the start. For instance, don't necessarily believe what vendors promise you; chances are they're just building themselves up so you'll choose their product. Vendors also have a tendency to estimate low costs with high returns on investment, which is more dependent on the size of your environment. Continue Reading

3How not to fail-

VDI project failure and success stories

Proofs of concept (POC) are important, but sometimes even they don't get off the ground. Luckily, there are steps you can take to keep things moving and revive your POC.

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Virtual desktop tips from the pros

A VDI pilot project can be overwhelming, so you can benefit from the lessons this IT expert learned the hard way. For example, focus your attention on the end-user experience rather than simply monitoring the system. Follow these and other pieces of advice to ensure that you're ready to take on VDI. Continue Reading

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What's the value of a POC?

When starting your VDI project plan, it's important to test product options so you know which one works best for your environment. Your company may be a faithful VMware customer, but you might discover a Citrix product that works even better, or vice versa. As you test VDI and compare products, consider the proof of concept virtual infrastructure, the end-user experience and whether to use thick or thin clients. Continue Reading

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How to revive a failed VDI POC

If you've already attempted a VDI proof of concept and it didn't go well, worry not. There are ways to recover. Take into consideration your budget, your initial assumptions about VDI and the users you bring to your test environment. Continue Reading

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