The Virtualization Practice

Tag Archive for Citrix XenDesktop

VDI Printing. Is it the Nemesis it was for Terminal Services? If not, would client hypervisors help, or is it that traditional desktops delivery is the best method for dealing with printing requirements? In this, the first of two articles on VDI printing, we consider what are the issues with distributed printing and, what printing functions should you consider for your desktop architecture. You need to consider Bandwidth Prioritisation; Printer Driver Management; Universal Printer Driver; Proximity Printing and Printer Naming.

With Microsoft reporting that Windows 7 VDI environments can be up to 11% more expensive than Windows 7 with traditional desktops when will desktop virtualisation give you a return on investment? Will performance taxes, license taxes and complexity taxes mean that desktop virtualisation will never be more than a niche service regardless of the clamour from VDI vendors hailing 2011 as the year for VDI as they did in 2010?

Or, is it that the taxation can be accommodated, all be it without short term gains because your business will benefit from the representation of a user’s application set not simply from their cubicle’s monitor?

Desktop Virtualization is not an easy undertaking. There – I’ve said it. “But,” you may say, “I take a copy of the desktops I have, I run them on servers in the data-centre. Once that’s done, I don’t need to update those desktop devices; I can update the virtualized workspace instead far more quickly. The desktops are running on server hardware so they will be more reliable. Eventually, someone may well offer to host these workspaces on some infrastructure out in The Cloud”.

“Really, how hard can it be?”

VMware has said that is it committed to its Desktop Virtualization Strategy but VMWare’s commitment to VDI as the only solution is going to mean that unless you are only going to deploy VDI you’ll likely consider another vendor to help you achieve your goal.
There are two desires which are fundamentally in conflict, and addressing this conflict is the biggest opportunity in desktop computing. Can you manage the demand for users to have effective IT at their fingertips while controlling access and costs from the centre?

Which is better – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or Presentation Virtualization? If you have, say, a Citrix XenApp PV solution – you may may be tempted at the reduced cost per license of VDI – XenDesktop appears to be almost half the cost per user than XenApp. Maybe you’ve a VMware vSphere back-end and the thought of having one platform to manage is appealing. Maybe you have a different solution – perhaps Quest’s vWorkspace or Ericom’s Webconnect and are wondering what all this fuss about moving between PV and VDI is all about?

Citrix have invested an unspecified amount of money in Kaviza whose grid architecture eliminates the expensive infrastructure that VDI solutions. With Kaviza’s solution all the functionality needed to provision and manage virtual desktops is consolidated into a single virtual appliance that scales on commodity servers. Will this announcement herald a major take-up of VDI? Indeed, can you really offer a turnkey solution to support your desktop centralisation strategy?