If you are looking to enter the world of desktop virtualization, Citrix XenDesktop is a great vehicle to take you there. It plays well with the back end technologies you need to support desktop virtualization, and it integrates smoothly with the entire Citrix suite of virtualization technologies. However, when you plan out your XenDesktop deployment, you will need to use these technologies to your greatest advantage. Here are some of the questions you will need to ask for your organization as you plan:
- Do most of your users use the same apps day in and day out, or is there more variation?
- Which apps are needed by all your users, and which are only needed by a few?
- Do any of your users need to be able to do “whatever they want” with their desktop?
A Standard Desktop
If most of your users use the same apps day in and day out, you can take advantage of XenDesktop’s pooled desktops. In this model, each user gets the same desktop every time. The only things you need to save are data files and user settings. Once these are saved off, basically any user can work on any virtual desktop. You can manage your desktops centrally from a standard image. The desktop “resets” to the standard image each time it is started up, so many desktop problems can be resolved with a simple reboot. Also, these desktops use the same base disk image, so you will use far less shared storage than you would by virtualizing desktops individually.
More Complexity – Different Apps for Different Users
OK, but what if your environment has more variation? Maybe some apps are only needed by a subset of users. You do not want to give these to everyone – most users do not need them, and maybe the licenses are expensive too. No problem – you can augment pooled desktops with application virtualization. You still have your standard desktop, but you use application virtualization to deliver these “special” apps only to the users who need them. The rest of your users won’t even see them. And you still maintain central control.
Even More Complexity – Users Who Need “Full Control”
For many IT managers, the “nightmare” users are those who need to do whatever they want to their desktop whenever they want to. A standard desktop will not meet their needs, and virtualizing every possible app would tax even the most superhuman IT staff. If you virtualize their desktops individually, you lose central management and disk space savings. What can you do?
Fortunately, XenDesktop has a solution – the personal vDisk. In addition to saving data files and user settings, personal vDisks save local application installations in a separate disk for each virtual desktop. They still use a shared base image, and personal vDisks use far less storage than dedicated virtual desktops. You maintain at least some central management, and still realize storage savings.
Putting the Pieces Together
Citrix XenDesktop has solutions for your desktop virtualization challenges. Elegrity can help you put the pieces together to make desktop virtualization work in your environment for your users, whatever their needs. We match your needs to the latest and greatest technologies, and customize the solutions so they work seamlessly in your environment. Contact us to find out more!