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VDI Smackdown! version 1.2

Ruben Spruijt (CTP) have updated his awesome whitepaper “VDI Smackdown to version 1.2

If you’re searching for an independent overview of the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) vendors and solutions or are curious about the different features and functions of each vendors, then this awesome paper is for you! In the current market there’s an increasing demand for unbiased information about Desktop Virtualization solutions. This white paper is focused on solutions that are anticipated to have an important role in VDI deployments. A complete overview of available features has been created to better understand each solution’s capability. The solutions included in the feature matrix are: Citrix XenDesktop 5, Microsoft VDI with RemoteFX, Quest vWorkspace 7.2 and VMware View 4.6; Compared to the previous VDI Smackdown, more than 100 new and updated features are included in this whitepaper.

The overall goal of the white paper is share information about:

  • Application and Desktop Delivery Solutions overview
  • Explain the different Desktop Virtualization concepts
  • Explain the pros and cons of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
  • Clarify the essential VDI strategic questions
  • Describe the different Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) vendors and solutions
  • Compare the features of Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft VDI/RemoteFX, Quest vWorkspace and VMware View

Making applications available to the end-user, regardless of the technology being used, is the ultimate strategic objective of an Advanced IT infrastructure. The Virtual Desktop (vDesktop) is an essential component in the range of application and desktop delivery solutions and in essence, provides the following functions:

  • Flexibility: Detach the vDesktop from the endpoint; Several vDesktops next to one another
  • Access: vDesktop works independently of location, endpoint and network; Uniform workstation
  • Security: Server Hosted – VDI; data in the computing center
  • Freedom: Every user has their own desktop with administrator access when needed;
  • Management: Hardware-independent ‘image’
  • Legacy: It is simple to offer legacy applications on a state-of-the-art platform
  • Sustainability: Power Management, handling the necessary resources in an efficient manner

The growing reality of the transition to a dynamic datacenter is causing many IT organizations to reevaluate traditional IT operations, support, and management methods. Virtualizing the desktop is a reasonable piece to support growing numbers of unmanaged desktops, external users, and other use-case scenarios. It’s important to have a vision and strategy around application and desktop delivery. Designing, building, managing and maintaining the vDesktop infrastructure using the right technologies, corresponding vendors and products is an important last step.

We see a lot of organizations primarily focusing on products and vendors and lacking a clear and profound vision and strategy. This approach isn’t good or bad, it just depends on what the goal of the organization is. When the organization needs a point solution, the various vendors and corresponding products can help to solve this issue and fill-in the demands.  When the organization is investigating possibilities, advantages, use cases and functionality of the vNext “optimized desktop”, a profound vision and strategy should be in place.

The following themes should be part of the vDesktop strategy:

  • What are the use-cases? And does the use-case require virtualization?
  • VD-why, what do I want to achieve?, lowering TCO?, business enabler, overall cost of ownership and cost reducer?
  • What is the business-case?
  • What’s the user experience using multimedia, NextGen, video/voice, 2D/3D applications? What do users expect from the vDesktop?
  • What endpoints do we support and facilitate and what is the role of these devices in the end-user experience?
  • Secure access and secure networking (, how do users, with a variety of endpoints (rich, thin, zero-clients and mobile devices) connect to the vDesktop?!
  • What is the impact of secure access and secure networking solutions on mobile devices while connecting to the vDesktop? What is the user experience with these solutions?
  • Do we need to manage the endpoints?
  • How is the vDesktop managed? OS deployment, application distribution, patch management etc… Isclient management mandatory?
  • Do we need image management?
  • How are Windows applications delivered within the vDesktop? Unattended or manual installation,application virtualization or are the applications part of the (golden) image? What is the strategy?
  • Are User Installed Applications inside the vDesktop needed?
  • What is the performance and storage impact of application virtualization?
  • What is VDI’s impact on storage and how does it effect the business-case?
  • Do you need local or centralized storage?
  • Do we focus on stateless (pooled, shared) and/or stateful (assigned, private) images? What is, for example, the impact on storage, manageability, security, legal and business-case?
  • What is the impact of client management solutions in a stateless VDI scenario?
  • How do we design, build and maintain the (golden) image(s)?
  • Windows 7 or Windows XP as core vDesktop OS platform? x64 or x86?
  • How does the solution scale? What do we need from a scalability point of view?
  • How do we size the vDesktop and corresponding infrastructure and what are the best-practices for optimizing the vDesktop?
  • What is the performance and bandwidth impact on the network infrastructure; LAN, WAN, wLAN
  • How do we design, build and maintain the user’s profile and their ‘workspace’?
  • Licensing; operating system, client access licenses and (business) applications
  • Do we need to backup (and restore) the vDesktops?
  • Is Anti-Virus needed? Inside the VM or as service module on the hypervisor? What is the performanceimpact of antivirus?
  • Is the IT organization mature enough to support and maintain the complete technology stack? What is the knowledge and skill-set of the IT-department?
  • Is separation of operating system, application, and user preferences inside and outside the vDesktop part of the overall strategy?

Bottom Line: What’s your current Desktop strategy?!

Get a head start! Download our complete, in-depth, and independent whitepaper “Head-to-head analysis of Citrix XenDesktop 5, Microsoft VDI with RemoteFX, Quest vWorkspace 7.2 and VMware View 4.6.”

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