Three Things to Consider Before Your Virtual Desktop Purchase

Three Things to Consider Before Your Virtual Desktop Purchase

One of the tasks that I help do at Accelera is talk to our customers about the end user computing solutions that we deliver. Part of that conversation - specifically around virtual desktop and application delivery - is about some of the things that they should consider when comparing virtual desktop delivery solutions. Below are the top three things I think are most important  to consider as you evaluate virtual desktop solution:

The first thing to consider when evaluating a virtual desktop solution is addressing use cases. Desktop and application virtualization is about having a comprehensive understanding of end users’ needs. The entire solution is about the end user, so understanding the use cases is key. This means having an understanding of how they work — peripheral use, 3D application needs, printing needs, and multimedia. Understanding where they work — whether it’s in an office, from from home, or from the local Starbucks. And understanding what resources do users need access to — the apps, data, and IT services — which drive their success within the organization. Not only does understanding these things help determine the architecture of a solution, but it helps maintain user adoption and ensure project success. Generally speaking, virtual desktop projects fail because use case requirements have not been well understood. This typically leads to inadequate infrastructure, impedes user adoption, and impairs the credibility of the solution.

The second thing that is key to the delivery of virtual desktops and applications, is having the ability to support end users. This one sounds like a no-brainer but it is often overlooked as people evaluate desktop and application virtualization solutions. This is because they are used the traditional support model used for physical desktops. These traditional support tools are geared towards physical desktops and are inadequate when supporting a virtual desktop environment. This is because the introduction of virtualization adds an additional layer of complexity to the traditional end user computing model, so we need to have tools that have visibility into the virtualization layer to help the support team resolve issues quickly.

This means:

  • being able to look into the processes within a user session to identify CPU or memory bottlenecks
  • tracking logons and troubleshooting disconnects
  • being able to look into the remote display protocol and making sure that we are seeing the expected behavior
  • having the ability to shadow users remotely from an integrated support dashboard
  • correlating environment changes to end user issues

The third thing to consider is end user experience. I think that end user experience is about removing the things that make technology difficult to use and empowering users to get their job done. Consumerization of devices and applications has changed user expectations within the enterprise. The bar has been raised from traditional enterprise IT delivery, so users expect intuitive, easy-to-use solutions, available on any platform. They expect the same level of service as they would get from a Facebook, a Gmail, or a Twitter. So we have to think through that experience. This includes identifying how users are interacting with the environment. How do we make the solution easily accessible to remote users? Are users utilizing mobile devices? If so, how important is the ability to provide users with touch-friendly controls?

So when you evaluate a solution that’s right for your business, it’s not about one virtual desktop solution being better than the other. It’s about finding the best fit for your business. This is where Accelera can help. We've delivered a range of desktop virtualization solutions for government and commercial customers, and we can draw from that past experience to recommend a virtual desktop solution that is a good fit for your organization.