By: Clive Longbottom, Head of Research, Quocirca
Published: 31st March 2014
Copyright Quocirca © 2014
The use of server-based desktops, often referred to as a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), makes increasing sense for many organisations. Enabling greater control over how a desktop system is put together; centralising management and control of the desktops as well as the data created by the systems; helping organisations to embrace bring your own device (BYOD) and enhancing security are just some of the reasons why more organisations are moving toward the adoption of VDI.
However, in Quocirca’s view, there remain some major issues in VDI adoption. Our “Top 3” are detailed here:
So, does this mean that VDI is more trouble than it is worth? Not if it is approached in the right way. The use of 'golden images', where as few a number as possible of images are held, may hold the key.
Many VDI vendors that push this approach will start off with maybe four or five main golden images—one for task workers, one for knowledge workers, one for special cases and one for executives, say—but will then still face the problems of having these spin up and staying live on a per-user basis. Managing the images still requires either patching all live images, or patching the golden images and forcing everyone to refresh their desktops by powering them down and back up again—not much easier than with physical desktops. Dealing with leavers still needs physical processes to be in place, otherwise licencing still becomes an issue.
A better approach is to use a single golden image that can be used to automatically provision desktops on a per-user basis and automatically manages how software is made available and managed on an ongoing basis. This requires an all-embracing golden image: it needs a copy of every application that will be used within the organisation present in the image—and it needs a special means of dealing with how these applications are provisioned, or not as the case may be, to manage the licensing of each desktop. By virtualising the desktop registry and linking this through to role and individual policies in Active Directory, this can be done: as each user utilises their own desktop, it can dynamically be managed through a knowledge of what the virtual registry holds and what rights they have as a user.
The data held in the virtual registry also enables closer monitoring and auditing of usage to be made: by looking at usage statistics, orphan images can be rapidly identified and closed down as required. Unused licences can be harvested and put back into the pool for others to use—or can be canned completely and used to lower licencing costs with the vendor.
VDI is not the answer for everyone, but it is an answer that meets many organisations’ needs in a less structured world. If you have been put off VDI in the past for any of the reasons discussed above, then maybe it is time to reconsider. Today’s offerings in the VDI market are considerably different to what was there only a couple of years back.
This item first appeared on teh FSLogix blog at http://blog.fslogix.com
Posted: 31st March 2014 | By Jim Mills :
All three issues mentioned can be addressed with AppSense.
Licensing - AppSense can study your VDI environment to determine if and how often licenses / applications are being used. AppSense will also allow you to place controls around who can and can't use certain licenses / applications reducing license cost.
Storage - AppSense can reduce the amount of infrastructure required for VDI by up to 40% by increasing server density and exponentially reducing the size of the profile. Frees up the network as well.
Management - AppSense can manage users on both physical and virtual desktops regardless of device or OS.
Finally, AppSense's unique approach offers all of the benefits of a non-persistent architecture with all of the benefits of a persistent user experience.
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