Desktop Virtualization hit the market with promises of enormous cost benefits due to the ease of centralized management and support.
But as companies began deploying Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions, they quickly learned that Infrastructure was a sticking point. All those desktop images require an enormous amount of storage, and most networked storage is not designed to support the intense I/O demands of simulating a local PC experience over the lines. Our Art Cole recently ran down many of the networking issues with Desktop Virtualization, including an upgrade to Fibre Channel or Converged Network Adapters for those attempting to pull off a hybrid networking approach.
The readiness of your data center and network to support VDI are among the key factors you can evaluate with the help of the Desktop Virtualization Appropriateness Assessment Tool, from our partners at Info~Tech Research Group. The tool is available for free download here in the IT Downloads library.
The Excel-based tool asks you rate the accuracy of statements about your organization's readiness for Desktop Virtualization, including several backbone issues, as you can see in the figure below.
For example, it asks if you have already completed a server virtualization program, and how many of your traditional PCs are scheduled for refresh in the near future. It also provides some helpful pointers on how to evaluate throughput and storage capacities (you should estimate between 30 GB and 40 GB per user for storage, and 25 Kbps to 30 Kbps of bandwidth, with bursts of up 150 Kbps.)
The tool also asks you to categorize users you want to support with virtualized desktops, both in terms of the tasks they perform (high-performance, knowledge workers or data entry) and whether they are stationary or mobile.
Your feedback is assessed in two dimensions:
Motivators: Will your company actually reap ROI benefits, based on your user support and application deployment needs, and
Enablers: Is your network ready for the demands of Desktop Virtualization?
Your ranking in both categories comes with action-item suggestions. The Enabler tab compares your capacities and needs in a classic quadrant model, as you can see in the figure below.
If you are seriously considering Desktop Virtualization for your business, you should check out other resources here in the IT Downloads library, including a detailed RFP template, also from Info~Tech.