- Situation: Looking for where to start with desktop virtualization
- Challenge: Implementers largely report success in desktop virtualization projects. There are potential pitfalls if the project is not managed right
- Solution: This solution set focuses on tips and strategies for successful implementation
- Desktop virtualization is a potential desktop replacement technology but deployment projects should not focus on the desktop first. Instead, focus on delivering the service to a client user.
Impact and Result
- For best results in implementing desktop virtualization start with a pilot that provides immediate value, build the service from the server room out to the access points, and communicate clearly both service benefits and potential challenges to end users.
Get to Action
1. Build desktop infrastructure from back to front
Succeed in implementation. Think desktop-as-a-service with an emphasis on the service first.
Desktop virtualization isn’t really about desktop hardware. Build the service out from the server infrastructure to the end point.
- Storyboard: Steps to VDI Implementation
- Building VDI Thinfrastructure Top to Bottom
2. Start with a pilot that will have immediate business value
The pilot should prove the concept of desktop virtualization but can also solve a business problem.
Low hanging fruit includes:
Addressing a group that is due for a hardware refresh – pair with Windows 7 pilot testing.
Off site and remote access desktop users for DR and work at home scenarios.
- Desktop Virtualization: Compelling Option for Remote Access & Business Continuity
- Virtual Desktops Reduce Branch Office IT Burden
- A Use Case Scenario: Virtual Desktops for Remote and Home Users
3. Focus on solid communications to pave the way for user acceptance
Ensure project success by making end users allies in desktop virtualization.
User acceptance was identified as a potential problem area by VDI implementers.
Atone for thin client backlashes of the past. Focus on service improvement and full desktop experience.
- Communications Plan Template for Desktop Virtualization
- Building VDI Thinfrastructure Top to Bottom (pdf)
- Desktop Virtualization: Compelling Option for Remote Access & Business Continuity (pdf)
- Virtual Desktops Reduce Branch Office IT Burden (pdf)
- A Use Case Scenario: Virtual Desktops for Remote and Home Users (pdf)
- Communications Plan Template for Desktop Virtualization (word)
*Storyboard: Steps to VDI Implementation
VDI involves a change in perspective on desktop computing, from the management of assets to the delivery of service to end users. This storyboard outlines factors that will help to ensure the success of desktop virtualization initiatives:
Pilot the concept to prove the benefits and gain experience.
- Don’t start with the desktop. Focus on the back end and build forward.
- Get end users on board.
Early adopters have been experiencing a lot of wins. Take advantage of their secrets for success.
*Building VDI Thinfrastructure Top to Bottom
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology has given new life to thin client implementation possibilities. In a recent survey, the authors asked clients about their interest in the various forms of virtualization. Forty-five percent of respondents indicated they were interested in or planning to deploy a VDI solution – 21% higher than the interest in and plans for traditional presentation virtualization.
VDI is comprised of several parts:
- Thin client end user terminal.
- Network connection and connection broker.
- Virtual server.
This note explores the vendors who have offerings in these areas, how the pieces fit, and the cost of pulling it all together.
*Desktop Virtualization: Compelling Option for Remote Access & Business Continuity
While SSL VPN technology has emerged as the de facto standard for remote access and business continuity/disaster recovery planning, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is emerging as a compelling option. VDI addresses some of the limitations of SSL VPNs, and provides users with a desktop experience identical to what they are used to. Virtualization has exploded in the data center, and desktop virtualization is the next big thing. This research note examines virtualization options in the context of remote access and Business Continuity (BC) planning, specifically:
- Three ways to provide a virtual desktop to remote users.
- The pros and cons of each option.
- Best fit scenarios for the three alternatives.
Virtualization technology represents an excellent alternative or a way to augment existing remote access solutions, and should be a consideration in BC planning scenarios.
*Virtual Desktops Reduce Branch Office IT Burden
Enterprises that manage multiple locations, particularly smaller branch offices, can benefit from Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Branch office servers can be eliminated, desktop troubleshooting reduced, and administrative burden lowered. It's not a panacea, and IT management should understand the limitations, but for many it will be an excellent option to provide virtual desktops to branch office staff.
*A Use Case Scenario: Virtual Desktops for Remote and Home Users
Desktop virtualization vendors promise to deliver a full featured desktop experience and still provide IT with the associated benefits. Info-Tech has found that desktop virtualization can be a natural fit for some use cases. Read about a successful case study of a virtual desktop deployment for remote users.
- Remote users were ranked as the second highest category of targeted users, second only to stationary users.
- Drivers for implementation included secure access to applications, desktop and data for remote knowledge workers.
- Virtual desktops were a cost effective way of mitigating the need to provide secured high end laptops to remote users.
Successful deployments of virtual desktops had two things in common: slightly lower cost of hardware acquisition (5% average) and reduced cost of desktop support.
*Communications Plan Template for Desktop Virtualization
End-user acceptance is one of the biggest challenges to desktop virtualization adoption. IT should have a plan in place to guide communications efforts during the transition. By maintaining a consistent message and a consistent front, IT can ensure a smoother VDI implementation.