In order to achieve a successful VDI deployment, there are numerous factors to take into consideration, I have picked a few below around some of the technical aspects that are important to get right.
Before we look at those I’d like to make the point that it is absolutely crucial to engage with the users and try to get suitable champions to help in the cause, you will need them to embrace the technology to make the deployment a success and often as a consultant or as a member of the IT department you will not best placed to make decisions about the user experience, perceptions and expectations of the business. Something you consider trivial such as a desktop background or a set of icons may be a huge deal in certain environments.
Now some tips for you!
- Optimise the Golden Image – it’s essential to refine your golden image(s). As scale increases, this becomes even more essential to make the best use of your environments capacity. VMware provides an excellent GI optimisation tool which is your minimum starting point.
- Optimise logon process – once your base image is in order you should also take some time to look at the logon process. Benchmarking is crucial here so you can compare performance to your starting point. Try and avoid using ‘merge’ loopback GPO policy, use replace instead to avoid a double pass. Enable detailed status messages to enable a quick visual idea of any part of the process is taking too long. I like to add this setting to the local policy of my Golden Image.
- Printing – Put aside some time to look at the printing environment, errant printer drivers can cause havoc. Specialist printing functions often get overlooked and can be fundamental to a user’s productivity and experience in a VDI environment.
- KMS – If you are planning to use it, make sure KMS has a clean bill of health, it can cause a big problem if it is not functioning properly and leave numerous desktop OS and Office products not activated. I have frequently seen multiple KMS servers in an environment caused by the activation of the incorrect channel license keys. It is much easier to sort this out before deployment!
- Endpoints – Consider how users will be accessing their VDI desktops, if you are also going to be managing a fleet of endpoints how are you going to do this? It’s no good optimising the golden image, login process etc. if a user takes 5 minutes to boot a physical PC before getting to the VDI connection stage. For the user, it is all part of the experience so this too must be addressed.