Virtual Desktop Solution Evaluation – an Update

As I mentioned in my last post we have been spending time doing a lot of work related to Virtual Desktop platforms in our Global Solution Centres.  That, alongside lots of other activity in the world of Workplace and Mobility, means I am slightly behind in my updates.

So where did we get to?

We recently completed the first stage of our testing and the results obtained have been quite surprising.  Our intent was to assess a range of different platforms and evaluate how they performed against a defined measurement criteria that covered:

  • Technical Performance
  • Commercial Viability
  • Design, Implementation and Integration
  • Operations and Management

We noted a number of interesting variations across the different technologies we tested, clearly enforcing the view that there’s no “one size fits all” from a Virtual Desktop perspective.  Whilst some of the technologies suit certain workloads, such as a Shared Desktop Platform for Office/Task workers, other platforms did seem more suited towards delivery of Virtual Desktops.  As the market has moved and modern technology and solutions have become prevalent, the original price penalty which historically constrained virtual desktop deployments has somewhat diminished, making it suitable for a broader range of use cases.

To give an insight into some of our test results, we set out to assess the performance of each platform in terms of the number of sessions it could deliver before hitting a range of thresholds we had defined on the infrastructure (to avoid overloading). We used LoginVSI for this testing, which is the industry standard tool for this type of work.

graph for vdi

An extract of our findings is provided in the chart below. At 100% the platform will have delivered what was originally specified without hitting any of the defined thresholds, but you can see a very broad spectrum of results both above and below 100%.  The impacts of this test identify potential business risks from undersized platforms, impacts to end user performance but also potential commercial optimisation where a platform delivers +100% of the anticipated load.

This is just one insight from the testing and just to ‘tease’ you with others, we also noted significantly capability differences as it relates to the ability to manage, operate and service the various platforms -which can cause key implications for providing an effective Virtual Desktop Service to your users.

Next Steps

As we move towards this notion of the Digital Workplace (some term it Next Generation Workplace), Virtual Desktop technologies still have a significant role to play.  Some of our customers are looking at Virtual Desktop as a mechanism to mitigate the impacts of Windows 10 and its continuous updates.  Others are using Virtual Desktop technologies as an enabler of their future desktop by providing an alternative Application Delivery approach.

Office 365 is hugely relevant to many organisations, yet the challenges of integrating these solutions into Virtual Desktop technologies (and classic technologies) can still be significant.  We are now extending our work to address this and show how cloud content and services can fit with a Virtual Desktop Solution.

We have a full report of the results of our tests available for discussion with you, covering each of the topics listed at the start of this blog, aside from our wider market insights on how, when and why to transform your Workplace environment (Virtual or not).  If you’d like to discuss further, please leave us a comment and we’ll make sure we get in touch.

About Paul Bray

Paul is Computacenter’s Chief Technologist for Digital Workplace @PSBray

One response to “Virtual Desktop Solution Evaluation – an Update”

  1. Colin Chesterman says :

    Interesting post Paul. Especially this bit: “We are now extending our work to address this and show how cloud content and services can fit with a Virtual Desktop Solution.” Would love to have your input on the potential impact of putting Dropbox into the mix…

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