Implement VDI on Time and on Budget Implement VDI on Time and on Budget
Getting started with VDI
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is on the front burner again. Though the technology has been available since server virtualization technologies became popular in the data center, enterprise adoption is recently on the increase. The past couple of years have been an exciting time for VDI because of the many vendors’ feature advances, an improved and simplified licensing cost model and the emergence of mainstream, affordable hyper converged technology. Planning the right VDI strategy can be a time consuming and challenging undertaking for any level of I.T. resource. Selecting the right VDI implementation practices will reduce time, control costs and most importantly deliver greatest value.
Have you ever heard the expression, “A happy customer will tell 1 person, an unhappy customer will tell 10”? In CMI’s experience, understanding users and their work process habits contributes more to a successful project than the technology you are implementing. You can have the greatest assembly of hardware and software serving up virtual desktops to a 1000 users; but it only takes a handful of users who have a bad VDI experience to label a VDI implementation project a failure. Believe us, this type of feedback makes it all the way to the CEO. Our advice? Spend collaborative, quality time with key users in various departments to understand how they use their applications and workstations. This exercise goes a long way in helping identify any potential issues and challenges as well as sets expectations and gains alignment for users transitioning to a virtual desktop from a physical one.
Understanding user habits trickles down into other areas that are equally important to the success of a VDI rollout, including cost control. Most of what you read on the internet regarding VDI includes some mention of the high cost to implement the platform. One way to manage and predict up front cost is to invest time creating a matrix of worker roles and their resource requirements (processor, memory and storage) based on workers’ productivity needs in your organization. Be sure to keep the list of worker roles small and manageable, at most 4-5 worker types. Remember, a major benefit to VDI is standardizing users. Having too many user profiles gets away from that benefit. Having this information contributes to cost management because the hardware and software is more accurately sized for the project instead of estimated.
Worker role examples:
- Front desk /Temporary staff users = 1vCPU, 2GB RAM, 20GB Storage
- Accounting users = 2vCPU, 2GB RAM, 30GB Storage
- Power Users = 2vCPU, 3GB RAM, 40GB Storage
A final consideration is the expertise that your company chooses to assist in planning and implementing your VDI solution. With CMI’s Adaptable Data Center framework, our VDI experts are in step with the latest practices and technologies available and can help you strategically plan and choose the right VDI features for your business.