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10 predictions about performance, user experience

Desktop virtualization deployments had some good qualities-but certainly not enough of them-in the first dozen years they were on the market. Latency in applications, problems with displaying video correctly and synchronicity challenges held the business back for a long time. Recent innovations in processors, hardware, software and networking have vastly improved user experiences in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and the sector has picked up steam. Yet many organizations still see user-experience issues and find that the conventional approach of treating performance as an afterthought and then addressing it reactively does not scale. Too often, IT is surprised by performance issues during and after a VDI rollout when everything worked fine during the pilot. When VDI performance issues show up, how does IT pinpoint what caused them: Is it the network, the profile server, the Web, storage or the VDI platform? This eWEEK slide show, with input from performance monitoring software specialist eG Innovations and its CEO, Srinivas Ramanathan, presents 10 predictions for 2014 that will define the way enterprises handle performance, improve the user experience and better manage VDI deployments.

  1. End-User Experience Will Determine Success

    Businesses will expect IT to find problems before their users do, pinpoint the root cause of the problem and solve the problem as early as possible. IT organizations will seek solutions that will allow them to provide great user experience and productivity.
  2. App Performance Management Will Be Virtualization-Aware

    Virtualization adoption will continue to grow in 2014. At the same time, enterprises are beginning to realize that virtualization is not just yet another infrastructure silo that can be operated and managed independently. In 2014, enterprises will start including virtualization as an integral part of their application performance management initiatives. Monitoring and management tools will also need to do the same; performance management and root-cause diagnosis tools will need to understand virtualization and its related dependencies to be effective.
  3. Virtualization Vendors Will Seek to Be Application-Aware

    In 2014, mission-critical apps such as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics will be virtualized faster than in the past. Faster, more accurate diagnosis and troubleshooting will be needed so administrators can quickly understand where the bottleneck lies-whether in the application or in the virtualization platform. Virtualization vendors will need to provide tools that enable faster, deeper and better correlated performance visibility. IT will be challenged to go beyond a hypervisor-centric view and basic virtualization metrics, and will need tools and processes to help them ensure user satisfaction and productivity.
  4. Domain-Specific Intelligence Will Grow in Importance

    For years, "how to monitor" has gained precedence over "what to monitor." Enterprises often have focused on how management products work (agent or agentless) and what protocols to use. This will change in 2014: IT organizations will seek management tools that are more intelligent, can find problems without human intervention and can do so proactively. Management tools will need to embed more domain expertise. Collecting the key metrics, setting the right thresholds and displaying the right reports out of the box will be required from performance management tools.
  5. Prioritizing Management Tool Consolidation vs. New Acquisitions

    Enterprise customers will want to invest in new tools only when necessary. They should look for solutions that can address several of their needs so that they do not have to acquire multiple tools and integrate them. The ability to cover multiple areas of management (performance, configuration and availability) to support multiple technologies (e.g., application tiers) and to operate across multiple platforms (Unix, Windows, virtual) will be important criteria for enterprises to assess what management tools will work for them.
  6. Flexibility Will Be Key to Performance Management

    Enterprise infrastructures are being changed constantly, and that will continue to be the case in 2014. Enterprises should look for solutions that can allow them the flexibility to manage different environments, so they do not get locked in to a specific hypervisor or application type and have the flexibility to reuse their existing management system for their new environments without a lot of additional investment.
  7. It Has Been All About Big Data; Now It Will Be About Automation

    IT managers and their management tools have always had to deal with lots of metrics and event storms. In 2014, the focus will shift to intelligent analysis of the collected data. Enterprises will seek tools that can help them make efficient use of their IT operations teams. Proactive alerting, predictive reports, accurate and automated root-cause diagnosis and single-click problem isolation will help enterprises lower their total cost of operating complex IT infrastructures.
  8. ROI Will Dominate Discussions on Management Tools, Processes

    The success of IT will hinge on its impact on business. The same will be true of IT performance management tools-which will need to help IT better serve its business by providing proactive alerts on business-impacting issues before users notice, by highlighting suboptimal utilization situations or identifying optimization scenarios that will allow IT to do more with less.
  9. New IT Will Create New Opportunities

    Mobility, bring-your-own device (BYOD) and virtual desktops will all continue to gain a foothold in the enterprise. The success of these new technologies will be closely tied to the performance that users can experience when using these technologies. Performance management will grow in importance in these areas, providing scope for innovation and new solutions in the areas of mobility management, VDI management and so on.
  10. Enterprises Will Shift From Silo to Collaborative Management

    In 2014, IT organizations will continue to feel increased pressure from their lines of business. Collaborative management will be a key theme, and organizations will be looking to provide a greater degree of performance visibility across their individual silo tiers to the help desk, so it is easier and faster to troubleshoot problems and identify the tier that is responsible for a problem.
- Chris Preimesberger

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