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Desktop Virtualization and Evolving Strategies for IT ... - Eddie Jackson

Desktop Virtualization and Evolving Strategies for IT ... - Eddie Jackson

Desktop

Desktop Virtualization and Evolving Strategies for IT Service DeliveryJaime HalscottThis will be a problem. The nature of surveying users makes the objective determination ofsuccess difficult. At one end of the spectrum, there will be users who may be uncomfortablewith the change and will perceive the change as a diminished experience. At the other endof the spectrum, there will be users that are either excited to work with the new technologyor believe that the transition to this new solution will fix other unrelated problems. Theseusers may incorrectly report increased service levels. Other user may see an increase or adecrease in the quality of their end user experience but may not report that accurately for anumber of reasons such as unfamiliarity with the way VDI works or limited use of the newVDI that doesn’t let them accurately describe their experience.The biggest problem you are going to face with user feedback is that you are trying tocompare objective costs for support before and after the use of desktop virtualization byrelying on subjective user input. There will be a good core of user feedback that does helpin determining whether you have succeeded in your VDI goals.Review Pre‐VDI Support MetricsEstablishing a baseline of support metrics must be done prior to any VDI pilot. I can’temphasize this enough. Although gathering and categorizing support metrics is somethingthat should be a part of all business IT directives, we know in reality that this doesn’talways happen like it should. If there is no way to determine the root cause of supportissues prior to implementing a desktop virtualization project, there will be no way todetermine whether the support issues that desktop virtualization is meant to reduce haveactually decreased.Part of gathering these metrics in pre‐VDI and post‐VDI environments is isolating whatsupport metrics are meant to be reduced by VDI. Up until now, we have focused on thegeneralized reduction in support costs through desktop virtualization. Now we need tolook more granularly at support incidents and isolate which types of support incidents aregoing to be reduced, eliminated, and resolved more quickly through the use of desktopvirtualization. Even if you are gathering pre‐VDI support metrics, those must be of the typethat can be analyzed in the context of what desktop virtualization can achieve.One of the best ways to establish appropriate metrics is to build categories that reflect thedifferent types of incidents that can occur in general with support. The following work wellto start:• Operating System Problem• Driver Conflict• Application Crash/ Problem• Hardware Failure• User Training• Software Installation39

Desktop Virtualization and Evolving Strategies for IT Service DeliveryJaime HalscottMany incidents in these categories should be virtually eliminated with desktopvirtualization (that is, driver conflict and hardware failure). Others will decrease underVDI, such as OS problems and software installation and application crash/problems. Some,as they are outside of the desktop environment either physical or virtual, will stay at thesame rate or may even increase (for example, user training).The support categories I have provided are by no means exhaustive. These serve as anexample of commonly encountered support issue types and how they vary wildly in theway that desktop virtualization affects them. Determining appropriate support metricswith the most appropriate types of incidents for your environment will help ensure thatresults can be accurately measured.What About New Support Challenges?What do you do about new types of support that might be introduced by the transition todesktop virtualization? Most of the new support incidents that come from the VDIenvironment should now be server related. You have moved the desktop to the data centerand hosted the virtual desktops on servers now. Maintenance and support issues for thedesktops that typically fell to the desktop technician level now are going to happen at theserver technician level in the data center. You have to make sure that any possible increasein data center server support costs are factored into the cost equation.Another challenge is determining the severity and impact of a hardware or infrastructuresupport issue. As we discussed in previous chapters, the shared nature of VDI, particularlythe shared storage on SAN, will mean that downtime and failure of a data centercomponent is going to impact a much larger segment of the user base. Here again, planningand understanding the implications for support with VDI will mean that this metric can beestimated up front—although it can truly only be determined upon failure.Determining how you got it right means asking the right questions about what types ofsupport you expect to reduce or eliminate and understanding that the metrics you gathermay not be as accurate as you want. Being able to understand the support costs for failuresyou have not yet experienced will also be critical to determining whether your VDIinvestment paid the dividends you are expecting.Lesson 5: What the Future HoldsDetermining what the future holds for desktop virtualization is a difficult proposition. Wehave established that the purpose of undertaking a desktop virtualization transition is toprovide service delivery through a mechanism that offers reduced support costs andreduced total cost of ownership over traditional physical desktops.40

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