If you're looking for an independent overview of the Server Hosted Desktop Virtualization (VDI) solutions and you're curious about the different features and functions of each vendor's, then this paper is for you!
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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. An overview of available features of Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft VDI, Quest vWorkspace and VMware View is created to better understand each solution's capability. 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;
- Describe the different Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) vendors and solutions;
- Compare the features of Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft VDI, 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 ICT 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 organizations primarily focusing on products and vendors and lacking a clear and profound vision and strategy. This approach isn’t good or bad, it 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 (VDI) 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 endpoints do we support and facilitate and what is the role of these devices in the end-user experience?
- Do we need to manage the endpoints?
- How is the vDesktop managed? OS deployment, application distribution, patch management etc. etc. Is client management mandatory?
- What is the impact on storage and how does it effect the business-case?
- Do we focus on stateless (pooled, shared) and/or statefull (assigned, private) images? What is, for example, the impact on storage, manageability, security, legal and business-case?
- Windows 7 or Windows XP as core vDesktop OS platform?
- 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 and build the user’s profile and his ‘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?
- 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?
- Bottom Line: What’s your current Desktop strategy?!
Head-to-head analysis of Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft VDI, Quest vWorkspace and VMware View
The complete and in-depth 'VDI Smackdown' whitepaper can be downloaded in English here. A Japanese version can be downloaded here. We did our best to be truthful and accurate in investigating and writing-down the different solutions. When you see improvements please let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org or www.twitter.com/rspruijt