Desktop Virtualisation Project. (Assess)
As i am currently engaged in al desktop transformation for a large company. I would like to share some thoughts and best practices from Citrix around this matter.
Traditional, organizations , manage there desktop delivery model using a device centric model. When we are looking at desktop virtualization, there is a shift where we want to deliver desktops and applications as a service.
You can ask yourself some questions:
- Who are the stakeholders to make this project successful
- Which users or user group should I virtualize first
- Is my current hardware environment able to support the new virtualization infrastructure?
Answering some of these questions is critical for a successful desktop transformation project
Citrix Consulting build a model to support to help you with this.
The Desktop Transformation Model is a set of proven methodologies that can help with the desktop transformation process. The Citrix Consulting model is the most important part of the desktop transformation model.
This Consulting method includes four phases
The assessment phase is where business priority is identified. Data is collected, and the organization assess the users and applications
The next phase is where the design is made. How users will access the environment, which virtualization technologies is used. And what resources are required
The third phase is the deployment phase. This is the phase where the built, rollout and supporting the environment is designed.
The final and last phase is the monitoring phase. This is the phase where ongoing operations of the environment are placed.
So lets take a closer look at the first phase “The Assess Phase” this is a complex task and there is much to consider. So Citrix has divide this into smaller steps. And we will take a closer look at each step.
The first step in the project is to identify and priorities the business drivers. You should do this so you can define success criteria for the project. When talking about the business drivers on should talk to people that are high in the organization and understand the business. (Stakeholders). On should persevere bringing the right people together to fulfill this task. Once you have a list of these business drivers you should priorities them accordantly, and after documenting these drivers. You should distribute them to all that are involved. After approval this is going to work as input for the design team.
The next step is to capture the appropriate data (Users, Applications and devices). This can be done in three ways:
- Manual, by visiting each desktop and looking at what applications are being used. This will take a lot of time. And also it is difficult to get an understanding about the performance requirement.
- Survey, This could be done with a sort of document, that may be filled in by a manager of an certain department. Although this is not as time consuming as the manual method. You should keep in mind that information is not always 100% correct. And also here there are now information about performance requirements.
- Automated, This is best method. There are a lot of tools available. These tools can get a lot of information and data that is collected can be stored centrally.
So in my opinion the best method is to do both the Survey and Automated method. So you can get identification of business through a managers view, and technical information with tooling.
When using an automated tool, try and monitor the current environment for at least a few weeks. So you will have a decent amount of captured data to base you design decisions on. One also need to monitor the environment during peak hours so that you have a good understanding of performance requirements during peaks.
The next step is to do a capability assessment. For instance if the current environment is capable to support the virtual desktop solution. You may consider the following things
- Active Directory
- Skillset of the IT team
The next step is analyzing the user groups. (Persona) and divide them into groups based on common set of requirements. This should help in deciding which Citrix Flexcast technology is most appropriate for the user group.
You might consider the following requirements
- Workload (CPU, Memory, Disk and graphical requirements)
- Mobility (multiple devices, remote connect, work offline etc..)
During the data capture process there should be complete list of all the applications being used. Especially when users have the right to install there own applications. Next step is to reduce this list to an application landscape that is needed for the business and really consolidate applications with the same functionality.
So after have a final list of all the applications that need to be used, we can now look a the best way to deliver them to the user. This could be:
- Installed into base image
You may want to consider using Citrix AppDNA to investigate the character of an application, and find out more about compatibility and ways to resolve issues if they are identified.
After the overall assessment. On should consider making a sort of timeline for the project. You may want to migrate certain users groups separately, and don’t want to go with a big bang migration. You may want to look at business impact. May look at the group with least complex Flexcast technology, you might say a quick win but offers company value.
Reference materials used: Citrix.com, Support.citrix.com and the E-Docs website.