Virtual Desktops (VD): A Case Study


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Virtual Desktops (VD): A Case Study

  1. 1. Ted Love Director of TechnologyPhoenix Central School District Twitter: @ted_love
  2. 2. What is VDI? What is the value? OBJECTIVES The Phoenix CSD story Developmental Effects The Business Case for VDI
  3. 3. What is VDI? Server hosted virtual machines with a desktop operating system Has a management console that allows the provisioning of desktop VMs vs Client Hypervisor or MS Multipoint vs Server Virtualization
  4. 4. User Profile ApplicationsOperating System Hardware
  5. 5. 1400 + “THE CLOUD”PCs =
  6. 6. Phoenix CSD 2009-present Reduced IT staff Reduced equipment and supplies budgets Increased IT department responsibilities Increased # of teacher and student workstations Reduced power consumption
  7. 7. Goals for Phoenix Desktop Virtualization Centralize management of desktops Reduce footprint by having a lightweight end device Consolidate and share compute resources Benefit: flexibility of user device agnosticism
  8. 8. Begin With the End in Mind
  9. 9. Stage 1Deployed 400 Thin ClientsTested VDI – not quite mature and $$$ Solution = Terminal Server (MS RDS) DEVELOPMENTAL EFFECTS: Users perceived the Thin Clients as “less than” desktops Teachers couldn’t live without the DVD drive RDS offered challenges that eroded user confidence - Software issues (legacy apps) - Printing issues - 64-bit Internet Explorer (plug-ins) - User profiles would easily get corrupted - Support for USB peripherals
  10. 10. Stage 1Application Virtualization Over 200 programs per school building De-couple the application from the OS Portability of apps Apps assigned by user/group instead of by physical machine Microsoft App-V, InstallFree, Vmware ThinApp, (Citrix XenApp) Licensing woes
  11. 11. Stage 2Proof of Concepts / TestingVDI Leostream Hyper-V / Quest vWorkspace Citrix XenDesktop VMware View DEVELOPMENTAL EFFECTS IT staff enjoyed the testing of various platforms However, it was time-consuming Vendor headaches (aren’t you ready to move forward?) Afforded the opportunity to time a major purchase We learned that the “holy grail” of VDI is the Non-persistent linked clone (vs. dedicated desktop VMs)
  12. 12. Stage 3January 2011 – one lab, then threelabs at the Middle SchoolApril 2011 – all 300 thin clients at theHigh School converted from RDP toView DEVELOPMENT EFFECTS Didn’t solve all problems immediately Had it’s own set of problems SAN Storage!“LOG ON STORMS” Hypervisor RAM User settings – portability, printing
  13. 13. Stage 4Summer 2011 – SSD SAN, Profile UnityJanuary 2012 – RAM upgrade (4 GB to 16GB ~ min 192 GB / blade server)Summer 2012 – deployed an additional 400thin clients for a total of: 800 thin clients Ability to invest in needed compute resource 12 ESX hosts Solution Scaling DEVELOPMENT EFFECTS IT team is both highly skilled and more agile
  14. 14. Stage 4Announced to staff accessibility of VDIsystem from outside the firewallSo many times these ideas come after school when I’m thinking aboutwhat I’m going to do the next day. Now with the virtual desktop, there’s noneed to carry my files around in a hard drive.-LuisaVMWare works well on the iPad. Holy ----!!! I downloaded this onTakes some getting used to the my iPAD. Can’t believe howtouch controls” – Rick great it looks. Amazing. Love it. Thank you!” – BarbThanks, Ted, this is a WONDERFULdevelopment! I will be making use of it…Pat
  15. 15. Effects of Desktop Virtualization Desktop technicians become desktop architects Better desktop management benefits all desktops (physical and virtual) Percentage of logged technician time spent on troubleshooting went from 29.7% to 7.4% over five years
  16. 16. The Business Case for VDI For IT:  Single OS for IT to support  Service oriented  More efficient management For Users:  Provide a better end-user experience Cash Value:  Reduce Software Licensing  Save Energy  Save $$ on expensive desktop replacement cycle
  17. 17. VDI savings $$ ??
  18. 18. IT Efficiency
  19. 19. Total Cost of Ownership
  20. 20. Questions for Discussion1. Who is doing it?  Why?  To what extent?2. Who/what/where is best suited to use virtual desktops?3. What are the common challenges implementing VDI? Supporting VDI?4. What can we do with VDI that we couldn’t do previously with physical desktops?