Guide to virtual desktop management tools
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A surprisingly high percentage of VDI implementations never make it beyond the prototype or proof-of-concept phase, thanks to high costs, poor performance and end-user complaints. Combating these and other problems can make desktop virtualization an unbearable project for IT admins.
However, third-party tools can take some of the pain out of managing a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and reduce the number of problems that normally accompany complex IT systems. Those tools come in many flavors and forms and usually offer a subset of abilities that, when combined, can cure many of the ills of VDI.
For example, one of the biggest challenges associated with VDI is delivering a level of performance that is acceptable to end users, so performance monitoring and management tools are critical. There are several performance tools on the market, with varying levels of monitoring. The segment leaders include EG Innovations, SolarWinds, Ipswitch, Zenoss, Login Consultants and ManageEngine, all of which offer tools for monitoring end-to-end VDI sessions.
Choosing the right tools
After you've chosen a VDI platform to standardize on, you can begin researching third-party tools, many of which work only with a particular VDI product or ecosystem.
Finding a tool that offers all of the functionality needed to monitor end-to-end connectivity takes some research. However, some best practices should make the vetting process a little easier.
Here are some important features to look for in a virtualization performance and management tool:
While the above list highlights critical capabilities, it is also important to remember the basics, especially how things are measured. In other words, the metrics recorded should include more than just latency and bandwidth. Comprehensive tools will measure everything about the physical and virtual machines, including CPU performance and load, as well as the performance of other components that can affect end-user experience.
The product should also track elements such as virtual machine refresh rates, endpoint response times and what is accessing endpoint devices. Simply put, finding a product or suite that enables performance management, monitoring and analysis while meeting corporate needs is no longer impossible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frank Ohlhorst is an IT journalist who has also served as a network administrator and applications programmer before forming his own computer consulting firm.