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VDI Monitoring at a Business Process Outsourcer (BPO)

The Project: Virtualization of User Desktops

Key Benefits to BPO

  • Ensured the success of the VDI initiative
  • Increased user satisfaction with virtual desktops and improved productivity
  • Helped achieve significant ROI within days of deployment
  • Enabled help-desk quickly detect problems and minimize mean time to repair

Why eG Enterprise?

  • End-to-end monitoring coverage of the distributed IT infrastructure
  • In-depth virtualization visibility with VM inside-and-outside monitoring
  • Migration analysis of user experience from physical to virtual desktops
  • Proactive alerts, correlative intelligence and root cause diagnosis
 

The Challenge: Improve Productivity by Reducing Slowness and Downtime

VDI Monitoring at a Business Process Outsourcer - BPO - Case Study

A Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) engaged in data entry activities for multinational companies decided to virtualize user desktops to improve security, enhance operational efficiency, and reduce costs. VMware vSphere was chosen as the hypervisor and VMware Horizon View was the connection broker.

Users of VDI were data entry operators who connected to virtual desktops through Wyse thin clients. After the VDI deployment, users complained of slowness when accessing applications through the virtual desktops. Further analysis revealed that the performance of virtual desktop users, in terms of the number of records entered per minute, was much worse than that of users who were still using physical desktops. Moreover, since the users were paid based on the number of records they keyed in per minute, virtual desktop slowness left them very unhappy. Decrease in user productivity also translated into revenue losses for the BPO.

The monitoring toolset that the BPO used was mainly a set of silo tools for each tier of the infrastructure, such as network, storage, hypervisor, databases, etc. Administrators lacked end-to-end visibility of the infrastructure, and were not able to determine what was causing the slowness. Facing the possibility of a roll-back to physical desktops, the BPO approached eG Innovations for help in determining the root-cause of the poor virtual desktop performance.

The Solution: End-to-End Monitoring Coverage of the Distributed IT Infrastructure

The eG Enterprise Suite was deployed at the BPO's data centers located in Chennai (India), Manila (Philippines), and Columbia (USA). To ensure end-to-end monitoring coverage of the distributed IT infrastructure, all critical infrastructure servers and applications across the geographies – for e.g., VMware vSphere servers, the VMware Horizon View connection brokers, Microsoft SQL servers, Exchange mail servers, and routers – were periodically monitored by eG Enterprise.

Firstly, by emulating user accesses to desktops and applications, eG Enterprise compared the user experience on virtual desktops with that on physical desktops and confirmed that application access on the virtual desktops was slower, irrespective of whether the applications being accessed were within the BPO's Intranet or on the Internet.

Comparative analysis of the configuration of physical and virtual desktops revealed that virtual desktops were configured with lesser memory and processing power than their physical counterparts. The virtual desktops were then resized accordingly. This improved virtual desktop performance marginally, but intermittent slowness was still noticed by VDI users. Further analysis indicated that the ESX servers were sized correctly, and there were no resource bottlenecks on any servers. Network health checks also indicated no bottlenecks.

eG Enterprise's patented 'In-N-Out' monitoring technology not only measures hypervisor performance, but also deep dives into each desktop on the hypervisor and reports on the internal health of the desktops. Using this technology, eG Enterprise was able to figure out that a high rate of TCP retransmissions on the virtual desktops was causing the desktops to experience slowness. Based on the performance reports from eG, the Windows operating system settings were analyzed. These settings were then altered based on recommendations from Microsoft Corp. As a result, the TCP retransmissions fell drastically, thus bringing virtual desktop performance on par with that of physical desktops!

Benefits of Desktop Virtualization

VDI Monitoring Tools
  • Ensured Rapid ROI: The BPO could see value from eG within days of deployment, a thorny performance issue affecting business was resolved.
  • Increased User Productivity: Quick and accurate problem diagnosis by eG Enterprise significantly improved the productivity of virtual desktop users.
  • Enabled Success of the Desktop Transformation Initiative: By accurately revealing the source of the problem, eG enabled the BPO to successfully complete its VDI roll-out.
  • Provided End-to-end Monitoring from a Single Console: The BPO was able to monitor the entire VDI from a single, central console, without having to shuttle between multiple consoles.
  • Reduced MTTR of Problems: Using eG Enterprise, even first-level support staff of the BPO could easily identify root-cause of VDI performance problems and accelerate problem resolution.
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