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Virtual Desktop Environment - confused on where to go (vmware, citrix, MS, pano logic, etc.)

Posted on 2010-08-15
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We are looking to move hundreds of users to a virtual desktop scenario.  We have not decided on VMWare or Citrix or Windows yet, simply because the information is confusing and conflicting.

We would probably implement thin terminals/clients after the warranties ran out on all our desktops.  This implementation could be for anywhere from 100 to 800 desktops.

The primary reasons for virtualizing are:
- simplify upgrades, troubleshooting, and helpdesk tickets for clients in hundreds of remote offices.
- more reliable backups of remote PC data
- we need to upgrade from XP to Windows 7
- we want to upgrade from Office 2003 to Office 2010
- easier access to centralized files currently on file server
- faster deployment for new users (weeks to hours because of build/image times of normal desktops)

Identifide possible problems:
- cost
- consumer-grade cable modem and DSL connections are remote locations (speed issues)
- storage needs (cost)
- disaster recovery issues (all data becomes centralized)
- it might not make sense to do a thin client for laptop users

I'd appreciate any thoughts on a VDI direction or Pano Logic?  There are a number of users who already use our terminal service machine to access some network files, but performance is slow.

If I can solve local desktop management, upgrade, and provisioning issues some other way, I'd be interested in that as well.  Price aside, I'm trying to figure out what makes the most sense for us for the next 5-10 years.

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Question by:linesplice
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bgoering earned 125 total points
ID: 33441044
I have been exploring some of those same questions, and likely in my case will implement VMware view. Reasons are that VMware has been in the virtualization market longer and has a more mature product. Also I courrently use VMware for server virtualization.

That being said, if you have no particular need for fully virtualized desktop environments, you should look hard at Microsoft Terminal Server. It doesn't offer the flexibility for individual users to have a highly customizable desktop experience, but if a heterougenous desktop is a fit for your users you can achieve higher desktop density on comparable hardware with the MS solution.

Hope this helps
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by:rindi
rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 33441054
In my point of view VMware has the best options for this. One reason is that it is the company with the most experience in this field. Another is that it needs less resources for the hosting infrastructure than it's competitors, as the resources are dynamically presented to the individual VM's (it presents the RAM & CPU power required by the VM at the moment, which often isn't the maximum allocated, so those resources are then available to other VM's that at that time may require them more).
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by:IanTh
IanTh earned 125 total points
ID: 33441459
Imho

do it this way

thin client with linux or old pc with linux that can rdp to their vm's
server using esx4 free
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Assisted Solution

by:BankDelen
BankDelen earned 125 total points
ID: 33446812
What we did with 500 Clients accoss our Sites and DRP sites.

Used terminal servers (windows) for the global user that needs office, pdf and other standard tools.

Will use vmware view for specials computers with special software.

Means we are running 200 users on terminal servers with RDP sessions, users can login from any thinclient , pc or webbrowser with their desktop and their documents. We are using 6 BladeServers with windows 2003 to run this. with local SSD disks.
and running like 20 30 vmware view pc's linked with vmware view client for bloombergs, GL trade and other software. Here you will need some storage on your NAS / SAN server.

Hope this helps

regards

Alexandre
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