Pro's and Con's of going all virtual using a platform such as Citrix?

Hello Experts,

Can anyone give me the pro's and con's (mostly the cons, though) of going virtual?  Management in the place where I just started working in I.T. are talking about going with a global cloud platform for all of their applications, such as, Citrix.  I don't know if this means that I will no longer have a job if they do that or not... but I'm in charge of finding out as much information as possible and am wondering what the pro's and con's are with going this virtual route?  What are some of the big negative impacts that this could potentially bare.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.
Brent JohnsonAsked:
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Ayman BakrConnect With a Mentor Senior ConsultantCommented:

1. As said performance - but bear in mind that most of the performance issues in virtualized environments can be traced back to bad planning and design. If properly planned and loads are understood, this factor could be eliminated.

2. In certain virtualized environment, specifically desktop virtualizations, storage costs will have to be carefully considered as these kind of implementations require lot of storage - again with careful design and the right technologies this could be smartly managed.

Compare the above with the uncompeted advantages:

1. Server hardware costs are greatly reduced.

2. Enabling your mobile users to access corporate applications online, offline and virtually from anywhere

3. Application Licenses are  rationalized and more easily managed

4. Desktop management is never easier - updates, patches, upgrades, etc... are no longer a nightmare

5. Disaster recovery is much easier achieved and managed
The list is non-exhaustive!

But, again, before going to a cloud, build the first pillar to it by having an internal virtualization.
SeanConnect With a Mentor System EngineerCommented:
I would say the biggest con would be speed. It can be so slow (depending on what your doing) Why don't you pitch the idea of going virtual internally? Setup an vmware lab and show them what you can do with it. Don't fight the virtual setup just keep it in house.
kabilanisConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Please do not think about loosing the job. Anyways you will have job. Only the designation changes.


The problem arises, when you outsource this activity. But if you can put some extra effort and do on your own, you can have a gr8 career ahead. Many of the disadvantages in virtualization are being sorted out.

Also, it is a myth that IT admins think that if we go for virtualization, we will not have work (I was one among them). Its a one time activity. After implementation, we will be idle and management will send us out.

Only difference is that we will not do the same job again. We will have whole new work to do.

Please look out for the oppurtunity in technology. If you are not doing it today, someone else will come and do it for you tomorrow (you will not be there to see it).

Start going through citrix and plan for implementation. Hope to see your query on citrix architecture soon here!!!

PS: I just shared my view. Sorry, if it has hurt anyone.
Casey HermanConnect With a Mentor Citrix EngineerCommented:
In our environment we are 100% virualized with citrix. I agree with the above it comes down to planning.  We service about 800 users at a time with full desktops published through xenapp 6.5 with minimal to no problems. Throughout the day we support about 2400 users total.

The applications launch very fast. The biggest monsters that I have run into are people running reports in excel or even access. For those people I have published Excel and Access in from other servers to be silo'd into the desktop. So they will beat down the app server instead of the server supplying the published desktop. Just takes some outside the box thinking when you design things.

The biggest saving grace that I have run into with being full virtualized is backups. Veeam's product has saved our butts several times. It is probably the most efficient, reliable, and  simple backup system I have ever dealt with.

You can restore a VM in minutes, you can restore AD accounts in minutes, emails by the item, files, and even set up a virtual lab to test changes to VM's that you are thinking about making without impacting production VM's.

In case of a hardware failure it is nice to have HA running and it boots the machine on another host if it fails. DRS keeps the loads even across the Hosts and datastores.  

There are specific tweaks to make to vmware to run citrix and squeeze performance out of it.

HDX streaming is cool as well as all flash video and audio can be redirected off of the host to the client.

Thin clients come into play and can save money for a great roi on the project.

Link to a brand new unconfigured wyse client out of the box opening a citrix desktop on our system

Brent JohnsonAuthor Commented:
Thank you so much for all of your replies.  All of this information has helped me out greatly.
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