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Five steps small and medium enterprises should take to build better VDI environments

August 26, 2019

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There are five simple steps that small and medium enterprises can (and should!) take to get on top of VDI challenges and deliver a better user experience.

1. Assess and develop your VDI environment management talent.

If the IT team is one guy, or even an extensive team with no significant practical Citrix/VMware experience (or any current certifications), it is likely that VDI performance is sub-optimal.

If you’re uncertain, get an assessment of your Citrix/VMware talent and take steps to train the team. You might need to hire a VDI specialist to assist in the process. Alternatively, get an assessment of your Citrix/VMware environment to learn where the knowledge gaps are.

2. Acquire the right VDI expertise, internally or externally.

To get value from VDI you need the right talent. It’s a question of delivering the right experience or negatively impacting the productivity of every end user that will rely on VDI to get their job done.

Talent can be recruited, grown or hired.

There are consultants that focus on fixing Citrix Apps, Desktops or VMware Horizon environments, leaving the rest to you. Including the important stuff like actually achieving the value these environments were meant to deliver in the first place. There are recruiters or staff augmentation companies that can help source the right talent to fill your team or identify the right training to properly upskill your people.

And a few, like Whitehat, manage Citrix and VMware environments all day, every day for clients around the world often at a lower cost than managing Citrix or VMware internally.

3. Make sure the Citrix /VMware VDI environment is sized properly.

No amount of VDI IT expertise can make up for resource-starved hardware.

If the skillset is not there internally to calculate if the environment is sized properly, you must bring in the expertise. Undersized environments waste budget, annoy employees, frustrate the C-suite, make IT leadership nervous, and delivers a poor end user experience that can crush morale.

Avoid getting in a hurry to spend the budget, complete a proper sizing exercise with your applications and use case first. A little time spent up front getting it right will save you years of struggling with an underpowered environment.

4. Ensure every independent system VDI relies on is architected properly, sized properly, and optimized for VDI performance.

All systems supporting VDI must work in concert, like gears in a fine watch, to maximize productivity, capability and deliver an optimal end user experience. Group Policy, SQL, mass storage and the gold images are common offenders if you need a place to start.

Resist the temptation to buy 3rd party tools for the difficult problems you encounter. Odds are there is a solid solution within the product if setup and maintained properly, though not always.

5. Optimize, optimize, optimize.

Make sure that every system touching the end user Computing environment is optimized for performance.

Bonus tip! Consider including NVIDIA GRID GPU to deliver a true PC-like experience.

Every new PC and laptop comes with a video card to offload graphic content from the CPU and deliver a better end user experience.

The same is true for VDI. For standard VDI workloads through engineering workloads like AutoCAD, Revit, etc., GPU can have a tremendous impact on improving everything that can take advantage of a GPU. Microsoft Office benefits from GPU. Have extensive macro-laden Excel spreadsheets, GPU will improve this experience. Want the simple animations that are part of the standard Windows 10 experience? GPU is your friend. Want to reduce the load on your server CPUs and increase user density in each host server? Look at adding GPU.

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