Desktop Virtualization without Understanding the Impact to your Datacenter – A Surefire Recipe for Failure

By Toby Martin

As we move further into the great beyond of virtual desktop
infrastructure, it is becoming strikingly clear that there are some
considerations being left off the table by enterprises. A key consideration
that is too often overlooked when working toward hosted virtual desktops and
VDI, is datacenter capacity to accommodate all of the data, computing power, and
space needs.

Typically, the first thing contemplated is ‘how do I let
users bring in devices and still maintain security of data?’ This of course is
a primary concern. When you’re allowing anytime, anywhere access to data, you
have to allow corporate risk policy to dictate, or the consequences can be
dire.

Today, most organizations have realized that applying a
one-size-fits all approach for virtualization is inherently flawed. So the next
step is to consider the many characteristics—desktop sessions, online/offline,
specific computing needs of the user, high graphics intensity, etc.—to
determine if desktop virtualization is the right approach for individual needs.

After conceptualizing and internalizing a plan for migration
of applications and users, the next step, sizing the servers and datacenter, is
often either not given enough priority, or simply dealt with afterwards. If organizations
are going to be dealing more with data in a centralized location rather than on
individual devices, then a critical priority and/or failure point would be the
computing power needed to handle this data and additional activity.

A few concerns to consider:

  • Capacity
    Planning:
      Can your datacenters
    handle the influx of storage being put through? Will you have the ability to
    scale up and scale down as needed, for example, if you do taxes for a living,
    can you handle April 1-15?
  • High
    Availability:
      How can you ensure the
    maximum uptime of your access to data? Will 5 9’s be sufficient, and how do you
    deliver continuous power and non-interrupted service?
  • Disaster
    Recovery:
      Like life insurance,
    nobody wants to think about this until you need it. But if you don’t, and something
    happens resulting in data loss, it can be incredibly damaging. In this modern
    computing environment, data is EVERYTHING and your most important item to
    safeguard is not just the CEOs PC, but the entirety of your data sitting right
    in the datacenter.

So, in summary, BYOD is driving desktop virtualization,
virtualization should then drive datacenters to tighten up the management processes.
This means before you can truly be in a virtual environment and allow users the
benefits of BYOD, you need to plan out your datacenter impact, otherwise your
front-end work will do nothing but expose the lack of back-end preparation.


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