Virtual Desktops: Why is this So Hot


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Virtual desktops are getting a lot of attention, changing the way many companies think about desktops.

And that's great, but are they right for you?

View the slide deck, presented as part of C/D/H's Technology Briefing Series, and find out exactly what a virtual desktop infrastructure is, what issues you should be aware of, the key players in the space, and the benefits and drawbacks to this architecture.

For more information on this or other topics, visit or our blog at

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Virtual Desktops: Why is this So Hot

  1. 1. Virtual Desktops:Why is this so HOT?
  2. 2. Quick FactsAbout Us Approach Partnerships• 20th Year • Vendor Agnostic • Microsoft Gold • Central Region Client• Grand Rapids & • Non-reseller Experience Award Winner Royal Oak • Professional • VMware Enterprise• 25 Staff Services Only • Cisco Premier • Novell Platinum • Citrix Silver
  3. 3. Virtual Desktops:Why is this so HOT?
  4. 4. ExpertiseProject Management InfrastructureCollaboration Access & Identity Management
  5. 5. Your Presenter• Jason L Cooper MCITP:EA, MCITP:VA, VCP, MCNE
  6. 6. Agenda• Overview of VDI• Benefits of Hosted Desktops• VDI Drawbacks• Key Players• Microsoft• Citrix• VMware• Feature Comparison• Licensing Comparison• What is Right for You?
  7. 7. Overview• SBC - Server Based Computing – What’s old is new again! – Thin Client Computing• Virtualization – Decoupling OS from hardware – Sharing hardware resources• VDI - Virtual Desktop Infrastructure – Hosted virtual desktops – Hybrid of SBC and virtualization
  8. 8. Expectations 2008 IDC Report
  9. 9. Desktop Management• TCO for the traditional corporate desktop – $3500 and $5000 per user, per year – End user operational costs nearly 45%• Hosted virtual desktops 2% to 12% more cost effective than traditional PCs *Gartner
  10. 10. Physical vs. VirtualCost Physical Virtual Desktop DesktopClient hardware $900 $450Server hardware - $250Virtual desktop solution - $120PC deployment costs $185 $25Operations: Support, software $600 $392deployment, backup, security, virusprotectionEnd-user operations: Training, self- $2215 $1854supportAnnual downtime cost $90 $30TOTAL $3990 $2821 *Gartner TCO Comparison of PCs with Server-Based Computing
  11. 11. Components• Virtualization platform – Highly available, resource load balancing• Connection Broker• Endpoint – Desktop, laptop, thin client• Hosted desktop• Application deployment process/solution
  12. 12. Benefits• Longer life of endpoint devices*• True user mobility• Centralized administration• Improved security – All data stored in datacenter *• Speed of deployment – New user – New operating system – Updates / patches• Single image – hardware independence – No longer need multiple images• Better hardware utilization• Higher availability
  13. 13. Drawbacks• Large initial investment – Servers for virtualization infrastructure – FC or iSCSI SAN for shared storage – Network infrastructure• More expensive than other SBC solutions – Cost benefit analysis• IT training – Steep learning curve: virtualization, application management, user state• Reliance on network connectivity*• End-user experience
  14. 14. Key Players• VMware – View – Virtual Infrastructure / vSphere• Citrix Systems – XenDesktop – XenApp (Presentation Server) – XenServer• Microsoft – Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services) – Hyper-V – Windows Server and workstation operating systems
  15. 15. Microsoft• Remote Desktop Services – Remote Desktop Connection Broker – Web Access and RemoteApp – Remote Desktop Virtualization Host – Remote Desktop Gateway• Windows Server 2008 R2• Microsoft Hyper-V• System Center Virtual Machine Manager
  16. 16. Virtualization• Microsoft Hyper-V R2 – Live Migration (Failover Cluster Role) – Shared Cluster Volumes – Integration with System Center Operations Manager 2007• Virtual Machine Manager – Management of Microsoft virtualization – Single Administrative view – Templates, cloning, library, PRO Tips
  17. 17. Remote Desktop Services• Connection Broker – Desktop pools• Secure remote access – Remote Desktop Gateway• Web Access• RemoteApp
  18. 18. Connection Manager• Remote Desktop Connection Manager – Load balancing of connections – Hosted Desktop • Assigned – User assigned to dedicated desktop • Pool – User connects to any available desktop• Remote Desktop Gateway – Secure remote access to desktops
  19. 19. Application Deployment• System Center Configuration Manager – Lite or Zero touch OS deployment – Application deployment• Remote Desktop Services – RemoteApp• App-V – Application virtualization
  20. 20. App-V• Acquisition of Softricity – Originally renamed SoftGrid• Application virtualization – Application sandbox – Streaming – Deployment – Dynamic Suite Composition
  21. 21. Profile Management• Profile Management – Microsoft roaming profiles – Maintain settings across devices• Folder redirection – User files stored on server – Flexibility in hosted desktop
  22. 22. Citrix• XenDesktop• XenServer• XenApp – Formerly Presentation Server• Provisioning Server – Ardence• Profile Management
  23. 23. Virtualization• XenServer – Live migration with XenMotion – XenCenter for management – High availability with resource pools• Platform support – Open architecture – Any endpoint device – Any virtualization platform
  24. 24. XenDesktop• Desktop delivery controller• Citrix receiver, agent, web console• Desktop pools – Pool – Assigned • Persistent • Non-persistent• Desktop availability – Work hours
  25. 25. Provisioning Server• One to many – Streaming OS to endpoints – vDisk image • Private to one desktop • Shared with many desktops – WriteCache • Local, server, RAM – Not restricted to only virtual machines
  26. 26. XenApp• Citrix Presentation Server• Virtualized application delivery – Use XenApp server for processing• Streaming application delivery – Use virtual desktop for processing – Sandbox – Pre-caching
  27. 27. Profile Manager• Windows service that monitors logon and logoff• Maintain settings across devices• Granular control of profile – Reduce profile bloat• Settings deployed via GPO• Logoff – Only changes synchronized• Logon – Local profile synchronized
  28. 28. VMware• View• vSphere - ESX/ESXi – High Availability – Distributed Resource Scheduler – vMotion• ThinApp – Application virtualization
  29. 29. vSphere• ESX/ESXi hypervisor• Live migration with vMotion• High Availability• Resource load balancing (DRS)• High consolidation ratio – Resource pools – Memory page sharing – Balloon driver• Update Manager
  30. 30. View Manager• View Manager – Connection Server • Full, Replica, Security – Authentication • Active Directory • RSA Secure Authentication• Automated and manual pools – Persistent and non-persistent• RDP / PCoIP• Physical PCs / blades
  31. 31. View Composer• View Composer – Linked clones – Golden image (Master) – 70-90% storage savings• Master image – Changes made to differential – User data disk• Disk management – Recompose, refresh
  32. 32. Local Desktop• Enable end-users to check-out desktops• Enables administrators to extend security and encryption policies – Expiration• Synchronizations Centralized Virtual Desktops VMware Infrastructure 3 View Manager
  33. 33. ThinApp• Acquisition of Thinstall• Sandbox environment• Streaming or local• No server or client – GPOs and logon scripts• Application policies• Application Link – Dependencies with other applications• Application Sync – Updating applications
  34. 34. Profile Management• User personality disks – Application and user disk mapped to linked clone – Folder redirection to disk• Roaming profiles• Folder redirection
  35. 35. NxTop: The Best of Both Worlds?•• Central Management, Distributed Execution• Client Side Type 1 Hypervisor• VMs built in Hyper-V, managed centrally• Single, self contained server for NxTop, Application, and User State Management• The Next Generation? Here today?• As low as $100 per client – perpetual license
  36. 36. Feature Comparison Feature Microsoft Citrix VMware NxTopInfrastructure Microsoft Citrix / Microsoft / VMware Microsoft VMwareAssigned Desktop X X X XDesktop Pools X X X NoSecure Remote RDS Gateway Access Gateway Security Whole Disk EncryptionAccess Server SSLApplication App-V XenApp ThinApp NxTop CenterDeployment RemoteApp SCCMProfile Management Roaming Profile Manager Microsoft User data disk profiles Folder redirection User data Folder disk redirectionShared storage No Provisioning Services View Delta synchronization Composer (client side)Offline desktops No No Yes YesImage Updating SCCM vDisk Recompose VersioningWeb console X X X X
  37. 37. LicensingMicrosoft Citrix VMwareVDI Standard Suite VDI Edition Enterprise- RDS CAL (Basic) - XenDesktop - Virtual Infrastructure- MDOP - Desktop Delivery - vCenter Server Controller- Virtual Machine Manager - View Manager EnterpriseVDI Premium Suite - Pooling, HA, XenMotion Premier- RDS CAL (Unrestricted) - Provisioning Services - View Composer- App-V for RDS - XenApp for Desktops - Local Desktop - ThinAppConfiguration Manager Platinum - EdgesightOperations Manager - WAN Optimization
  38. 38. Conclusion – Which is Right for Me?• A Few Questions to Ask Yourself: – Do virtual desktops still make sense for you? – Do you already have one of these vendors in your environment and have experience with it? – Is there a particular feature that is very important to you available in only one of the vendor’s solutions? – Are you already partially or fully licensed for one of these solutions? – Do you have in-house expertise or a qualified partner to help you with the solution?
  39. 39. Thank YouRoyal Oak Grand Rapids306 S. Washington Ave. 15 Ionia SWSuite 212 Suite 270Royal Oak, MI 48067 Grand Rapids, MI 49503p: (248) 546-1800 p: (616) 776-1600 (c) C/D/H 2007. All rights reserved