One of the challenges of evaluating cloud computing and the use of hosted desktops in the small business enterprise is understanding not only the business case ROI, but the operational impact. Here are 30 questions to assist you in thinking through the issues associated with deploying hosted desktops.
First some definitions:
VDI, Virtual Desktop infrastructure = Dedicated Virtual Desktop (hosted desktop)
There are two kinds of VDI: server-hosted and client-side. A Server-Hosted Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a dedicated remote desktop solution providing remote access to Windows XP/Vista/Win7 or Linux desktops. The virtual machines are run from within the data center. The virtual infrastructure increases the system’s independence, availability and manageability.
The following questions should be part of the analysis to deploy a hosted desktop strategy:
1. What are the use cases? And does the use-case require Virtualization?
2. What do I want to achieve?, lowering TCO?, business enabler, overall cost of ownership and cost reducer?
3. What is the business case?
4. What’s the user experience using Multimedia, NextGen, Video/Voice, 2D/3D applications? What do users expect from the hosted desktop?
5. What endpoints do we support and facilitate and what is the role of these devices in the end-user experience?
6. Secure Access and Secure networking, how do users, with a variety of endpoints (rich, thin, zero-clients and mobile devices) connect to the hosted desktop?
7. What is the impact of Secure Access and Secure Networking solutions on mobile devices while connecting to the hosted desktop? What is the user experience with these solutions?
8. Do we need to manage the endpoints?
9. How is the hosted desktop managed? OS deployment, application distribution, patch management etc. etc. Is client management mandatory?
10. Do we need image management?
11. How are Windows applications delivered within the hosted desktop? Unattended or manual Installation, Application Virtualization or the applications are part of the (golden) image? What is the strategy?
12. Are User Installed Applications inside the hosted desktop needed?
13. What is the performance and storage impact of Application Virtualization?
14. What is the impact on storage and how does it affect the business-case?
15. Do you need local or centralized storage?
16. Do we focus on stateless (pooled, shared) and/or stateful (assigned, private) images?
17. What is the impact on storage, manageability, security, legal and business-case?
18. What is the impact of client management solutions in a stateless VDI scenario?
19. How do we design, build and maintain the (golden) Image(s)?
20. Windows 7 or Windows XP as core hosted desktop OS platform? x64 or x86?
21. How does the solution scale? What do we need from a scalability point of view?
22. How do we size the hosted desktop and corresponding infrastructure and what are the best-practices for optimizing the hosted desktop?
23. What is the performance and bandwidth impact on the network infrastructure; LAN, WAN, wLAN?
24. How do we design, build and maintain the user’s profile and his workspace?
25. Licensing; Operating System, Client Access Licenses and (Business) Applications?
26. Do we need to backup (and restore) the hosted desktops?
27. Is Anti-Virus needed? Inside the VM or as service module on the Hypervisor? What is the performance impact of AntiVirus?
28. 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?
29. Is separation of Operating System, Application and User Preferences inside and outside the hosted desktop part of the overall strategy?
30. Bottom Line: What’s your current desktop strategy?