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Impact Research 1 Desktop Virtualization: Assessing Organizational Appropriateness
Impact Research 2 Executive Summary Reduced desk side support costs, as well as streamlined desktop and application deployment and management, drive desktop virtualization adoption. Desk side support savings can be as high as 40%. Most implementers report savings of 5% or more on hardware acquisition. Streamlines desktop and application deployment and management with desktop virtualization. Virtual desktops offer significant productivity, security, and other cost avoidance benefits. There are three main reasons not to proceed with large scale implementation. If a large proportion of users cannot be served by desktop virtualization solutions. If there is no perceived need to expand remote access computing beyond traditional means such as Microsoft Terminal Services or Citrix Presentation Server. If implementation costs such as back end infrastructure and software licensing push the cost per desktop significantly higher than a PC replacement/upgrade. Desktop virtualization is an appropriate fit for enterprises with three key characteristics. Three key characteristics include: An existing investment in server virtualization. A need to invest in new PCs or an upcoming PC refresh. A large proportion of users who can be served by desktop virtualization solutions. See the Impact Report “Desktop Virtualization: A New Desktop Delivery Technology Takes Flight” for key definitions and adoption data.
Impact Research 3 Research Method The desktop virtualization Impact Reports are based on results from 204 surveyed IT managers and in-depth interviews with 30 IT leaders. All major industry segments, sizes of organizations, and revenue brackets were represented. Organizations at all stages of implementation or consideration of desktop virtualization were represented. Research Method
Impact Research 4 Key Desktop Virtualization Drivers
Impact Research 5 Implementing desktop virtualization can reduce desk-side support costs by as much as 40% Reducing desk side support can reduce total IT spending by 5%. Workstation management and desk side support takes up to 12% of IT expenses. Over 40% of implementers reduced desk side support costs by as much as 16-40%. Why Virtualize Desktops? Traditional Desktop Model Distributed PCs impose asset maintenance and support costs. Deployment and configuration of the hardware, as well as management of application and OS configurations and trouble shooting, typically happen at the desk side. Virtual Desktop Model With desktop virtualization a new desktop – and new or upgraded application stacks – can be delivered to the end user without a need to individually deploy or configure new desktop hardware at the desk side.
Impact Research 6 Expect to save 5% or more on future hardware acquisition Three quarters of implementers expect hardware savings of at least 5% or more. Many implementers noted that they would not have proceeded with the project if they could not show some upfront savings. “In our model it costs us about $1,200 to buy a desktop. So we could get a PC, keyboard, mouse, and monitor running Windows. When we go to the thin client model, we are looking at about $900. That is a 25% difference.” IT Director, Financial Services Helpful Hint: Focus on short term gains as long term gains are hard to demonstrate. Almost all implementers agreed that demonstrating hard dollar savings up front was essential to getting budget approval. Why Virtualize Desktops?
Impact Research 7 Additionally, virtual desktops offer significant productivity, security and cost avoidance benefits. Why Virtualize Desktops? Improve Productivity & Security Centrally deploy and manage desktop operating systems and applications. With virtualized desktop computing, applications and desktops OSs are managed in centralized processing and storage. Secure access. Application and user data remains secure behind the central firewall. This is particularly useful for user desktops accessed from remote locations. Defer Costs Gain hardware independence. With desktop virtualization a new desktop – and new or upgraded application stacks – can be delivered to the end user without a need to deploy or configure new desktop hardware. Application deployment is more efficient as there is less need for multiple configurations to mitigate conflicts with variable hardware and software. Extend refresh cycles. Virtualizing the desktop can prolong the life of existing desktop hardware. New hardware deployments need not be the latest and greatest in performance and in some cases can be thin client hardware. “There are some big security gains if we can get both the applications and the desktops themselves consolidated into our data center. Being a financial institution, we like the idea of there not really being a C drive and there not really being data stored on that computer.” IT Director, Financial Services
Impact Research 8 Other benefits of virtual desktops include improved user productivity and green savings A fresh desktop every time. Virtual desktops generated from centralized master images produce a new virtual PC with every start-up. Distributed PC performance tends to degrade, and start up times lengthen over time as more junk is added to the system. What “blue screen of…?”. Virtualized desktops are more reliable (less likely to hang or crash) and if they are brought down, restart time is faster than a stand- alone PC. Fast updates. New desktops operating systems (such as a Windows upgrade) and new productivity apps can be delivered with zero downtime to end users. The central deployment means it is a win-win for IT as well as end-users. Green savings. Migrating to diskless thin client hardware to access virtual desktops has potential green savings particularly for larger implementations Note that reduced power consumption at the desk side will be mitigated by increased power in the datacenter for hosting servers. Average Power Consumption Per client device (220 days/yr, 8 hrs/day) Thin client Wyse S10v PC Desktop Power consumption Annual KWHr Cost (10 c/KWHr) $2$15 Why Virtualize Desktops?
Impact Research 9 Cost and user characteristics main reason why some decide not to deploy virtual desktops User needs were judged to be sufficiently met by existing remote client access technologies such as Citrix presentation server. Too many users were unsuitable candidates for virtual desktop solutions (due to mobility needs or local PC performance needs). Of 200 IT decision makers surveyed by Info- Tech, approximately 17% had evaluated virtual desktop solutions but had decided not to implement. In interviews with IT decision makers, reasons given for not proceeding with a desktop virtualization implementation include: Total cost of solution per desktop was too high to justify deployment. Cost areas include backend server and network and licensing. “There’s limited benefits for us to move to VDI because we already are gaining the advantages of application virtualization through Citrix Presentation Server, or Xen App as it’s called now.” IT Director, Waste Management Why Virtualize Desktops?
Impact Research 10 Desktop Virtualization Appropriateness
Impact Research 11 Desktop virtualization appropriateness comes down to three main characteristics CharacteristicDescription 1 Virtualized infrastructure Organizations with a previous investment in server virtualization can leverage experience in managing server hosted virtual machines. They have likely learned to plan capacity for appropriate service delivery of VM-based applications. 2 Investment in desktops and plans for refresh Needs to replace or add a significant number of desktops can be a trigger for considering alternate desktop delivery methods such as desktop virtualization. This can include projects requiring provisioning desktops for off-site client access (such as work-at- home and business continuity projects). 3 Type of work being performed by users Desktop virtualization solutions can meet the client needs across a broad base of end users. Implementers are looking at opportunities to provide remote access to virtual desktops to users who previously could not be served by traditional thin client/presentation virtualization methods. Desktop Virtualization Appropriateness
Impact Research 12 Desktop virtualization can solve the age old IT problem Centralize all the applications and data in the data center (or server room) and have users remote access it. Benefits of doing this include: Reduction in desk side support costs Streamlined application deployment and management Improved data security and user-proofing The age old IT problem: Deploying and managing personal computers is a pain for most IT departments. Why? Because distributing applications and data across a large number of distributed processors is difficult to manage and support. Organizations that could benefit from the above should evaluate desktop virtualization. The end result should be more efficient desktop deployment and management while providing improved deskop service to end users. Desktop Virtualization Appropriateness The solution:
Impact Research 13 To effectively deploy desktop virtualization, strong infrastructure needs to be in place Having capable IT infrastructure in place will ease implementation complexity as well as improve the business case for desktop virtualization. Leverage the skills, experience, and tools developed in managing virtual infrastructure for servers for the deployment and management of virtual desktops. Use existing server capacity for the initial pilot to avoid buying a server solely for desktop virtualization. A previous strategic investment in network storage will provide not only capacity but also enable higher availability/recovery of the virtual desktop infrastructure. Network requirements are heavily dependant on the remote access protocol used as well as whether value added features will be used for things like streaming media redirection to the desktop. Upgrading the network to meet baseline requirements will add significantly to the total cost per desktop of the desktop virtualization implementation. Strong Infrastructure Enablers Server virtualization is already fully implemented There is sufficient server capacity to support desktop virtualization. Sufficient storage capacity exists on your Storage Area Network to support desktop virtualization. Current network infrastructure can handle bandwidth requirements for desktop virtualization. Desktop Virtualization Appropriateness
Impact Research 14 Virtualization is a good option for organizations with high support costs and who plan to refresh many devices A major refresh provides an opportunity to explore the potential of virtual desktops to delay refreshes or to replace with lower maintenance alternatives such as thin client. If the current cost to support and configure PCs is an issue, desktop virtualization is an appropriate means to help contain those costs. Other Infrastructure Enablers Many desktops are currently up for refresh. Support and configuration of PCs is a major cost issue. Your organization’s current IT infrastructure plays an important role in determining appropriateness for a desktop virtualization implementation. “We have 459 unique PCs out there whereas desktop virtualization would force us into a more standardized image, so that it wouldn’t take 15 minutes to image that PC and a half a day to customize it.” Director of IT, Finance Industry Desktop Virtualization Appropriateness
Impact Research 15 Desktop virtualization is inappropriate for users who need high-performance graphics processing Desktop Virtualization Appropriateness DV Enhances Performance In: Data intensive applications such as SQL client applications. Why: There is likely a shorter physical distance and wider pipe (more bandwidth) between the client application on the virtual PC and the database server in the datacenter. Processor/Memory Intensive Applications. Why: Virtual PC can be provisioned with more virtual processors and memory from the server. DV Degrades Performance In: Full motion video, high resolution 3D graphics animation, duplexing sound applications, high end camera-ready design and publishing. Why: If the application is accessing a virtual graphics processor unit (GPU) plus potential latency of transmission. “There are some job functions that are standard enough that we’d be able to push out VDI. But those pockets of users, such as software development, or advertising, marketing, your high-end Photoshop users, it just really doesn’t make sense for them.” Information Systems Manager, Credit Union
Impact Research 16 Mobile users are currently not appropriate for a virtual desktop Note that mobile users is in reference to truly mobile users, not just laptop or remote access users. A true mobile user has significant offline use while traveling. Such users may not always have access to an internet connection in order to access their desktop. A work at home scenario where a laptop is employed is not a mobile user case. These are remote/home users and are an appropriate group for evaluating remote access of virtual desktops. Virtual desktop use for mobile users isn’t something expected until See “The Future of Desktop Virtualization” of the Impact Research Report, “A New Desktop Delivery Technology Takes Flight.” Appropriate User Types (by location) Stationary users (connecting using permanent LAN links) Roaming users (on multiple permanent LANs) Remote/home users (use the same link/device to connect from multiple locations) Inappropriate User Types (by location) Mobile users (significant offline use while traveling, wide variety of connections – LAN, WAN, dial-up, public WiFi) Outside of high performance users and mobile users, desktop virtualization can be applied to many different user types successfully. Desktop Virtualization Appropriateness
Impact Research 17 Summary: Consider motivators, infrastructure characteristics and user base to determine appropriateness Desktop Virtualization is appropriate if: You’ve got the proper infrastructure in place. This includes an investment in server virtualization, sufficient server and storage capacity, and a network infrastructure capable of handling bandwidth requirements of virtual desktops. Support costs are an issue. If deploying and managing personal computers is a pain for your IT department, desktop virtualization can reduce support costs, streamline application deployment and management, and improve data security. Many desktops are currently up for refresh. A major refresh provides an opportunity to explore the potential of virtual desktops to delay refreshes or to replace with lower maintenance alternatives such as thin clients. Most of your users do not need high performance graphics processing. Desktop virtualization degrades performance for this type of user. Most of your users are not mobile. True mobile users have significant offline use while traveling and may not always have access to an internet connection in order to access their desktop. Use the “Desktop Virtualization Appropriateness Tool” to assess your organizational fit with the technology. Desktop Virtualization Appropriateness
Impact Research 18 Calculate the cost per desktop to compare a virtualization solution to standard deployment Use the “Desktop Virtualization TCO per Desktop Tool” to calculate a TCO for your organization.Desktop Virtualization TCO per Desktop Tool TCO Methodology Rationale Use Info-Tech’s VDI TCO tool to gain a deeper understanding of the costs involved in a virtual desktop implementation. Assumptions Only variable needed to get an instant snapshot based on default assumptions is number of desktops being virtualized. While default assumptions are pre- entered, all variables can be adjusted to user environment. Cautions The tool is not meant to provide definitive guidance on which VDI vendor to deploy. Assumptions are based on industry standards and will differ greatly on a case by case basis. Conservative estimates of vendors analyzed are not significantly different. Screen Shot of Info-Tech’s TCO Tool: Desktop Virtualization Appropriateness
Impact Research 19 Challenges of Desktop Virtualization
Impact Research 20 The paradigm shift is from servicing assets to servicing people Desktop virtualization involves a change in perspective on desktop computing, from the deployment and management of desktop assets to the delivery of the desktop as a service to end users. Traditional Distributed PCs Hosted Virtual Desktops In traditional distributed processing, service is intimately connected to what IT can deploy and maintain on the desktop. With desktop virtualization, service depends on what can be delivered to the end user from the datacenter or server room. This shift results in a variety of challenges that must be dealt with. Focus on acquisition, configuration, and deployment of distributed hardware assets. Ongoing support involves configuration and deployment of applications OS across distributed assets. Desktop PC is the focal point between user needs (demands) and IT ability to deliver service. PC support critical to service levels. Focus on delivery of centrally hosted desktop computing experience to end users. Quality of service dependant on hosting servers, network, connection brokering and endpoint access device. Desktop access device (PC thin client) no longer the focal point. Drive end point maintenance and support toward zero while maintaining or improving service. Challenges of Desktop Virtualization
Impact Research 21 Key cost challenges include licensing and back end infrastructure costs Virtual machine density – the number of virtual desktop machines that can share a single server - is a critical measure both for service to the end user and for calculating the total cost per desktop. ChallengeDescription OS licensing Costs High Windows licensing costs have been a bane for many desktop virtualization projects. Microsoft has been slow to move from its traditional one user per physical PC paradigm to accommodate virtual machines. Virtual Desktop licensing costs In addition to the standard per end user virtual desktop licensing costs, there will also be licensing for desktop virtualization management and brokering software (such as VMware View or XenDesktop). Back end infrastructure costs Server and storage assets are required to host virtual PC desktops. Issues such as density (number of PC VMs per server) are critical. A particular challenge is to have sufficient infrastructure while ensuring that the cost per user is less than it would be to distribute PCs (Refer to “Desktop Virtualization TCO Model”). “We pay for two operating system licenses, or maintain two profiles, which lead to two systems to maintain at the client side and DC side.” IT Manager, Insurance Firm Challenges of Desktop Virtualization
Impact Research 22 Operating System licensing for virtual desktops: Microsoft licensing still an impediment Virtual machine density – the number of virtual desktop machines that can share a single server - is a critical measure both for service to the end user and for calculating the total cost per desktop. Microsoft announced updates to its Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop (VECD) licensing in February, 2009 to make it more affordable and flexible for virtual desktop implementers to deploy. However, organizations still site Microsoft licensing as one of the biggest hurdles in deploying VDI. Microsoft VECD Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop license is required for running any of Microsoft’s operating systems in a virtualized environment. Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop VECD is licensed per device on a non-perpetual subscription basis. Without Software Assurance, VECD comes to $110 per device per year or $320 for three years. VECD with SA Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop with Software Assurance (SA) is $23 per device per year or $59 for three years. Vista Enterprise with SA comes to $349 per device for three year subscription. Alternatively, SA can also be added to existing Windows licensing for $169 per device for three years. Other Apple’s Mac OS X is not allowed to be run on a virtual desktop. Ubuntu (or any Linux variant) is free to run on virtual machines. It is increasingly being looked to as a possible alternative to Microsoft. Ubuntu Solution providers such as IBM or HP can provide Linux based virtual desktops to cost conscious enterprises.
Impact Research 23 Compatibility, resistance and service are other challenges in moving from servicing assets to servicing people “I have to take my hat off to our systems admin. It takes guts to move away from something that you’re totally comfortable with and can do in your sleep. To walk away from that to try something that’s totally foreign to us is a little bit of a risk. But so far, I’d say overall it’s been a good decision.” IT Director, Finance Company ChallengeDescription Application compatibility Applications that require access to local machines due to specific hardware (e.g. manufacturing equipment) cannot establish access from the data center where they are hosted. End user resistance (Don’t Take Away My PC) In the past, remote client efforts such as thin client access to central applications has been seen by power users as an effort to take away control of their personal desktop and replacing it with an inferior experience. Changes to tech support processes IT organizations need to focus more on central management and service levels and less on PC support. Supporting virtual PCs is closer to management of server applications than desktop PC technical support. Network service to end users Specific challenges include greater impact of network outages on personal computing and increased latency impacting end user experience. Challenges of Desktop Virtualization Making a desktop a service rather than a computer puts greater availability and performance demands on the network infrastructure.
Impact Research 24 Desktop virtualization will have the most impact in scenarios where it is a most appropriate fit. Use Info-Tech’s Appropriateness Tool to gauge whether desktop virtualization is a good fit. Appropriate scenarios include: There is an existing investment in server virtualization. There is a need to invest in new PCs or a major PC refresh. There is a large proportion of users who can be served by desktop virtualization solutions. Get a realistic view of the total cost per desktop. The greatest areas of potential payback for desktop virtualization include areas such as desk side support. However, implementers say that a TCO significantly higher than regular PC implementation is a deal breaker. Use the ITA Premium “Virtual Desktop Infrastructure TCO per Desktop Tool” to calculate the costs.Virtual Desktop Infrastructure TCO per Desktop Tool To move forward with piloting/implementing desktop virtualization, refer to the Impact Research Report “Desktop Virtualization: Key Implementation Considerations.” This planning report takes into account the specific challenges that implementers and planners have reported. Key Conclusions See the Impact Report “Desktop Virtualization: Key Implementation Considerations” prior to planning your deployment.
Impact Research 25 Case Studies
Impact Research 26 A healthcare organization wanted ease of desktop management, security and improved access from VDI “Getting buy-in and support from doctors and nurses to attend an hour training is as difficult as getting initial approval to deploy the technology in the first place. Not sure yet how I will deal with it, not a clue!” Case Studies Desktop Virtualization Status: Implemented IndustryHealthcareTotal planned VDs400 Employees2000Current number of VDs300 IT Staff50Revenue$100M Main Drivers for VDI Managing a diverse set of hardware across 6 hospitals. Security, ease of access for nurses, and doctors from anywhere and any device – follow me computing. Vendor Citrix XenDesktop Vendor Selection Criteria Previous experience with Citrix XenApp OUTCOMEOVERALL EXPERIENCE Top Benefits Easier to manage – 4 of 6 hospitals onboard. A lot of the back end infrastructure was already in place so the deployment with thin clients has been cost effective in leveraging it. The CIO was under pressure to improve administration of client machines and the end user experience. The datacenter had seen a recent upgrade, however the client end machines were dated. They had enjoyed a good relationship with Citrix while using Presentation Server and were open to trying XenDesktop when it was introduced. While they are realizing some benefits, significant challenges with implementation remain at the 2 hospitals that did not previously use Presentation Server. Top Challenges Dealing with proprietary healthcare applications Getting buy in from end users. Doctors, nurses very sensitive to system changes.
Impact Research 27 Licensing issue the main challenge for an automotive organization’s implementation Desktop Virtualization Status: Implemented IndustryAutomotiveTotal planned VDs50 Employees650 Current number of VDs 50 IT Staff15Revenue$100M Main Drivers for VDI Managing remote users from garages Security was a major concern due to past outages from viruses Vendor VMware Vendor Selection Criteria In-house expertise and experience. Implemented within two weeks. OUTCOMEOVERALL EXPERIENCE Top Benefits Control of desktop environment while providing end users flexibility Secured access and data The implementation was deployed by a VMware certified staff member on time and on budget. The main challenge they faced was giving end users flexible access (to a full windows desktop) while controlling and securing enterprise data. Top Challenges Enterprise CAL Microsoft licensing Looking for a way to support client booting from a non-windows system “Our biggest challenge with VDI is the hit we take with Microsoft licensing. We’re an enterprise CAL customer of Microsoft, and we see an issue where if it’s a company asset and company license on the workstation, and then they connect to a VDI, we’re getting double hit. So to-date, probably our biggest barrier to expanding use of VDI is that we don’t have a clean way to have a client workstation running something other than Windows.” Case Studies