Before you dive straight into the desktop virtualization pool, dip your toes in and make sure it's right for your organization.
Start with a VDI assessment. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) doesn't make sense for all organizations, and your virtualization and management teams need to be up to the task. Even if everyone's ready to take the plunge, you still need to determine who will benefit from virtual desktops and figure out what resources and technology you'll need.
Your VDI assessment may indicate that you won't save money with a virtual desktop environment. The real benefits of implementing VDI technology will be simpler desktop management, less hardware and increased mobility and flexibility for end users.
Deciding whether to implement virtual desktops can be a challenge, but it will be smooth sailing if you know your goals and needs ahead of time. This VDI assessment guide can help you determine if virtual desktops are right for your organization.
Table of contents:
Defining goals for your VDI environment
Desktop virtualization step one: Know your goals
Establishing your goals for implementing VDI technology ahead of time will help you in the long run. Do you want to reduce the cost of managing applications? What about supporting operating system migrations? The answers to these questions and more can help you decide whether a VDI environment will fit your organization's needs.
Assessing your desktop virtualization needs
Implementing VDI technology probably won't save your organization money up front, but there are plenty of other reasons to virtualize desktops. For instance, virtual desktops can run both locally and centrally, making their flexibility appealing to users. Also, if a client device is stolen, you won't lose critical data, because data isn't stored directly on the physical machine. Also consider performance and long-term savings during any VDI assessment.
Analyzing virtual desktop benefits, efficient delivery options
To figure out if a VDI environment is right for your organization, take a look at your use case. If your employees are on the go, single connections via a basic interface are all they need to access their virtual desktops and applications on the road. It's important to keep your user requirements in mind when choosing desktop delivery options.
Including end users in a VDI assessment
Defining VDI users: Who should really be using virtual desktops?
Your VDI assessment should include the people who will be most affected by virtual desktops: the end users. Defining VDI users will help you determine if you need remote or mobile access, provisioned or dynamic virtual desktops and other considerations. Whether you have kiosk users, task workers or power users, identify their needs and then decide if a VDI environment is the right choice.
Does a mobile VDI platform make sense for your users?
Some of your end users may want to use a mobile VDI platform to extend virtual desktops to tablets and smartphones. Before doing so, find out how much mobility your users will actually need in a VDI environment. Consider what apps they need to access, what your mobile device policies are and whether efficiency or convenience is most important.
When is VDI the right answer for desktop, application delivery?
Wanting to get rid of physical desktops isn't reason enough to consider a VDI environment. When it comes to application delivery, there are many new ways to change how apps are delivered to your users. Do you want to stream them through application virtualization? Are the apps installed locally? How about remotely? Analyzing app delivery options will help you in your VDI assessment.
Are you ready for VDI technology?
Assessing your IT infrastructure for desktop virtualization
A complete VDI assessment should take into account user support, memory, disk storage and more. Most importantly, you need to consider how many virtual desktops you want and how that will affect your data center resources. Once you've assessed your IT infrastructure, perform a pilot test to see how adding virtual desktops will affect your environment's performance.
What VDI can and can't do for you
There are lots of myths about VDI technology. Some people think VDI is the be all, end all solution and it eliminates the need for desktops. That's not necessarily true. Knowing what VDI can and can't do for you is crucial when considering a VDI environment.
Four reasons why VDI might not be right for you
As you can see, a VDI environment may not be practical for everyone. Storage for virtual desktops gets costly and the additional server hardware needed can be expensive. Take these and other factors into consideration when you start your VDI assessment.