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Why do virtual desktop integration deployments fail?

Today virtualization is a hot topic for IT. Servers have already been very successfully virtualized and now IT pros are moving on to virtualizing desktops. In fact, a recent IDC study showed that 45 percent of CIOs polled indicated that virtualization of the desktop is their number one concern and interest in 2012.

Yet, despite the interest and many attempts at deployment, many VDI rollouts fail due to performance and user experience issues. Why? As organizations move from VDI test and pilot stages to production, they are realizing that the “traditional” approach of treating performance as an afterthought, and addressing it in a reactive fashion, does not scale. Too often, VDI project owners are surprised by performance issues during and after rollout when everything worked just fine during the (often over-provisioned and less complex) pilot.

When VDI performance issues show up, how do you solve them without just throwing more hardware at the problem, killing budgets as well as return on investment (ROI)? When a user calls IT about slow applications, how do you pinpoint the true service performance bottleneck: Is it the network? Profile server? Web? Desktop Virtualization platform? Storage?

Some of these issues can be addressed if we look at the lessons learned from server virtualization. Below are some best practices, insight and predictions for VDI deployment success:

  • Systematic VDI Performance Assurance. Rather than relying on slow, manual, ad-hoc remediation of performance problems, systematic performance assurance processes need to be built early into the VDI infrastructure in order to avoid costly issues and re-mediation downstream, and to mitigate the risk of VDI failure during deployment. This is key to getting faster VDI deployment on a larger scale, with great ROI.
  • Pre-emptive VDI Performance Management. Silo monitoring tools fail to provide rapid insight into causes of VDI service issues. Companies require 360-degree VDI service visibility with virtualization-aware performance correlation across every layer and every tier ? from desktops to applications and from network to storage. They require deep, actionable insights into the true causes of VDI service performance issues to enable administrators to preemptively detect diagnose and fix root-cause issues ? even before end users notice.
  • Right-Sizing of VDI Resources. Throwing hardware at VDI performance problems only kills budgets and ROI. What's required are solutions that automatically pinpoint performance bottlenecks, identify excessive users, load intensive applications, and help VDI project owners to right-size the VDI environment and get more return out of VDI investments.

The key to a successful VDI deployment is the ability to automate monitoring and management of the entire VDI service across every tier of the infrastructure stack – from the underlying hardware, network and storage, to the virtualization platform and self service front-end applications. If that end-to-end automated approach is taken, user performance issues can be diagnosed and fixed more rapidly in with fewer resources – even proactively, before users notice.

Srinivas Ramanathan is CEO and founder of eG Innovations. Prior to eG Innovations, he was a senior research scientist at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Palo Alto, California. Srinivas has extensive experience in Internet technologies, performance monitoring and management, and multimedia systems. He has co-authored more than forty technical papers and has been a co-inventor of 14 US patents. Srinivas has a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of California, San Diego and a Masters in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, India.

- Srinivas Ramanathan

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