So You Want to Go to VDI: Infrastructure

By November 11, 2014Virtualization

go to VDIMore often than not, businesses are on a path to becoming 100 percent virtualized. That can include the desktop infrastructure.

Check out our first installment in our series, So You Want to Go to VDI: Why.

The most important part of developing your VDI is knowing that it’s highly likely you will need dedicated resources. To achieve the performance you need from your VDI, you probably will need separate hardware (this depends on the current capacity of your infrastructure).

VDI’s workload type is different from any current workload you may have with server virtual machines. For one, your users aren’t doing the same task all day, every day, so the system can’t easily predict what’s going to be required of it.

One of the most important things to note is that users must have the same performance or better when you switch to VDI as before or your initiative may not succeed. Remember that no one asked for slower performance with less features — we want to provide users with more and greater accessibility than they currently have.

In other words, unless a good portion of your infrastructure is underutilized,  you’ll have to feed your VDI its own dedicated resources for it to run the way everyone wants it to.

Servers

A good rule of thumb is eight virtual CPUs for every physical CPU, but this depends on the user’s workload. If you have power users, it could be four to one. Before you start designing your VDI, you want to know what your server utilization is as well as the projected growth.

Storage

Check first to make sure your storage is able to handle the high workload. Your VDI daily workflow is much different than your server environment and must be treated as such. Some organizations may need to invest in high-performance storage.

To learn more about how storage impacts VDI performance, read Brent’s blog post.

Bandwidth

This doesn’t often come into play as often as servers and storage. However, organizations that are large enough who switch to VDI might find their users are experiencing delays and degraded performance. If your organization might not have the bandwidth necessary, you may need to adjust your network architecture.

For organizations that have a remote workforce, your ISP bandwidth must be adjusted to handle the added traffic.

Clients

When you start planning to switch to VDI, deciding what end points you’re using is an important part. Often, most organizations examine VDI when they’re at the end of their hardware lifecycle anyway. So, depending on the type of users you have, thin or zero clients might be a great alternative to buying full-on computers for each end point. However, you can turn a computer into a “soft client” if the hardware still has life left in it.

Learn more about your end point choices for VDI in the next installment.

If you have questions about how to assess your current infrastructure for VDI, send us an email or give us a call: 502-240-0404!