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Four root cause analysis benefits VDI shops should know

When it comes to pinpointing the source of a VDI problem, IT should turn to root cause analysis, which can also help enhance the user experience and save time.

VDI deployments can run into a host of problems, including service disruptions, inconsistent performance and poor user experience. IT can find out why these problems are occurring with effective root cause analysis.

There are several root cause analysis benefits IT can enjoy. Not only does root cause analysis get to the heart of the problem, but it can also help maximize performance and reliability, prevent issues from reoccurring, and save time and money in the long term.

Identify the true cause of the problem

One of the primary root cause analysis benefits is that it provides a tool to discover what is causing a problem. Only by understanding why a problem occurs can IT attempt to fix that problem. Otherwise, IT often ends up treating the symptoms rather than the underlying causes.

For example, what IT professionals might initially perceive as a processing issue could actually be the result of misconfigured network components. If they can't identify that, though, they could waste a lot of time analyzing the wrong thing.

Root cause analysis might also point to issues that only indirectly contribute to the original problem, or that are not in any way associated with the problem, but that still represent significant concerns. For instance, root cause analysis focused on issues related to user logins might also expose security risks within the login process.

Maximize performance and reliability

If IT pros run into a critical problem in their VDI deployment, root cause analysis benefits them by helping them find the fix quickly so they can limit downtime and minimize the effect on workflows and productivity.

Not all problems are showstoppers, however. Less critical issues, such as network bottlenecks, can also affect performance and user experience, resulting in more subtle workflow disruptions and hits to productivity.

By using root cause analysis, administrators can address these issues before they get out of control. Root cause analysis also ensures that administrators focus on the right problem and prioritize the most important issues rather than committing resources to ineffective fixes. In addition, because of the improvements it brings, root cause analysis can lead to better overall service quality while maximizing performance and reliability.

In-depth analysis can also help point to the best way to solve a problem while offering other useful details about the deployment, such as identifying over-provisioned resources or unnecessary components. In this sense, root cause analysis is not merely about finding the source of a VDI problem, but also about ensuring that users are getting the best experience possible.

Prevent issues from reoccurring

Thorough root cause analysis digs into both historical and real-time data to discover trends or anomalies that might be related to the original problem. IT can also use this information to prevent the problem from happening again. For example, root cause analysis might help administrators more accurately predict fluctuating data loads, resulting in more precise resource allocation or load balancing strategies.

One of the less tangible root cause analysis benefits is that it can help instill a greater sense of trust in the VDI deployment.

Root cause analysis can also help identify risk factors and patterns IT can apply to prevent the same problem from occurring in a slightly different form or on a different system. For example, an organization might implement several hyper-converged systems in different satellite offices to deliver VDI locally. If IT conducts root cause analysis on one of those systems, it might reveal issues that could also affect the other systems.

One of the less tangible root cause analysis benefits is that it can help instill a greater sense of trust in the VDI deployment. When users realize that IT is really fixing problems, they are less inclined to look for workarounds. If, on the other hand, the same problems keep cropping up, users will be inclined to take whatever steps they deem necessary to stay productive, even if it means bringing in their own computers.

Save time and money

If IT pros can address the root cause of their VDI problems and prevent those problems from reoccurring, while also taking steps that maximize performance and reliability, the organization is likely to save both time and money. Root cause analysis benefits IT pros by focusing them on what's important to keep systems running rather than diverting resources to less pressing matters.

At the same time, root cause analysis can help minimize the overall effect on workflows and performance, leading to more productive workers, which translates to additional savings in time and money. Disruptions in productivity can also translate to poor customer service and can lead to competitive disadvantages.

In addition, root cause analysis benefits IT in its quest to identify potential compliance issues, making it possible to address them before incurring regulatory fines or litigation costs. The same goes for identifying risks to sensitive data and its potential for compromise, which can be an expensive proposition in a number of ways. Even if root cause analysis is not focused on these issues initially, the analysis process might reveal significant holes no one knew existed. And if administrators are conducting root cause analysis because they suspect a security breach, the sooner they can discover the underlying causes, the better.

This was last published in January 2018

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