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XenDesktop Should we

Posted on 2013-01-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-01-13
Last 2 days i have been thinking a lot about XenDesktop and PVS. So i went ahead and before i could do anything , i started reading the book "VDI Delusion" by Brain Madden


Honestly i was taken back with the idea of XenDesktop . Although i would want to use PVS for XenApp (As it seems better than cloning XenApp Servers)

But thinking more and more into XenDesktop ?  considering why do we want to implement it.
The only use case for xenDesktop , that i could think of in our envioronmnet was for Offshore users (Branch Office kind of)

We have around 200 Users  who use 100 desktops which are spread across 5 platforms in the sea.
These platforms are used for drilling wells in Sea etc.

So  users stay on the platforms and for activities that need machines share them
Also these 100 desktops are used by different users at different times and rotations .

out of the 5 platforms in the Sea --- 1 is where all server stuff is located. and rest of them are using them.

This may all be in a radius of 2 KM in sea and use VSAT connection (5MB)

Also these computers are used to access resources onshore headQuaters as not many services run offshore. So users anyway use most applications over this 5-10 MB link.

One more consideration that we have is .. all of our 100 computers offshore have win xp 32 bit

And we are in the process of upgrading every computer to win 7 x64

I though may be XD is good for our offshore purpose as users share devices, we can save on space , power , logistics for transportation as Thin Clients can do that.

What would you suggest.

So if we have a functional XD environment with PVS and shared VDisk there ,  we can serve the 100 users there.
Question by:MOQINFRA
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

AdamBNYC earned 668 total points
ID: 38770355
I don't know that xendesktop would be my first step. Your head is in the right place. Thin clients with Xenapp or xendesktop.

My first thoughts would be around the applications.
Do all of my applications work on Xenapp? If yes, then I would deploy two or three Xenapp servers using the windows 7 theme which would make the windows 2008 r2 desktop look exactly like windows 7.

This is the easiest, most cost effective streamlined way of doing this.

We can look at xendesktop if Xenapp poses application compatibility issues or if there is functionality within xendesktop that Xenapp simply cannot support like broad USB support or something else.

If we did xendesktop, take into account the architecture required

2 desktop delivery controllers
2 PvS servers
2 web interfaces
3 or 4 hyper visor hosts ( VMware, xenserver, hyper-v) your choice
Also need a SAN most probably for centralized storage.
Now switching for all this.
Btw, we can virtualize all the servers but it's still more administrative overhead for you

Straight Xenapp would look like this

3 physical or virtual Xenapp servers
You can get away with installing web interface directly to these servers

So unless you have a real good reason for xendesktop, I'd just stick with Xenapp.
LVL 25

Assisted Solution

Coralon earned 668 total points
ID: 38771085
AdamBNYC is pretty much dead on.  I would start with XA, and then unless you had a compelling reason, such as generic USB redirection, apps that simply *will not* work in XA, etc.  

LVL 19

Assisted Solution

basraj earned 664 total points
ID: 38771996
If you already have a Xenapp and RDS licenses and offshore users, who do not require much customization or they r task worker kind of users then I wouldn't prefer XenDesktop.  Please note that the main problem I see here is the Cost. Microsoft VDA license cost.. which comes to 100$/yr/device. This also kills many BYOD programs. If you have 50 company owned laptops with company provided Win 7 images under SA and 25 Thin clients + 25 BYOD devices or Personal laptops etc. Then you would need 50 VDA licenses. In Win 8 i think they(MS) r coming with a different costing but will not be as cheap as Xenapp.

You can use Xenapp's Shared desktop (published desktop, provide Win 7 kind of feel using Aero in 2008) and give to users. This saves more on cost (by reducing number of servers + storage etc)

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