VDI Comparisons

VDI-in-a-box graphic

VDI-in-a-box graphic

Been looking at replacing our current Terminal Server environment and rethinking our workflow for our end users.  Of course, VDI has come up and I’ve begun to ask whether we should move to some VDI solution or stay with Terminal Services (or Remote Desktop services as Microsoft now calls it).

So, I’ve begun researching.  And researching.  And asking lots of people lots of questions.

The best resources I’ve found so far?  Easy.  Here’s the first:

VDI Smackdown.  This link contains a whitepaper laying out the different VDI solutions, including VDI-in-a-box and Microsoft Server 2012’s solution.  Incredible resource.  Download it now.

Spiceworks.  Their communities are a great source of info.  Lots of IT people with lots of IT wisdom.  If you aren’t a part of the Spiceworks community yet, sign up here.

From what I’ve found, traditional VDI is way too expensive for an organization our size. The rule of thumb is >200 users for traditional VDI to pay off.  So, right now I’m exploring both Server 2012’s enhanced Remote Desktop services, which has a feature for deploying virtual desktops based off a golden image.  The other option I’m looking at is VDI-in-a-box by Citrix.  Dell has a  VDI-in-a-box solution they market called the DVS Simplified appliance, which is basically a R720 server running Windows Server and the Citrix VDI-in-a-box software, but they fully support it.  Given that they own Wyse as well this could be an attractive bundle.

What should I choose?  What should you choose?  Well, that depends on what your goals are.  My goals are the following:

  1. Simplified Management for end users
  2. A rich end user experience (fast UI reaction, video, desktop sharing, conferencing, viewing CAD drawings)
  3. Better management of difficult apps (such as DWG Trueview, Saleslogix desktop manager, GotoMeeting) without jumping through a ton of hoops.
  4. Quicker disaster recovery response for our end users.

We haven’t finalized our decision, but I will keep notes on our process and hopefully update this blog with the results.  Stay tuned.


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