By Toby Martin
As we move further into the great beyond of virtual desktop infrastructure, it is becoming strikingly clear that there are some considerations being left off the table by enterprises. A key consideration that is too often overlooked when working toward hosted virtual desktops and VDI, is datacenter capacity to accommodate all of the data, computing power, and space needs.
Typically, the first thing contemplated is ‘how do I let users bring in devices and still maintain security of data?’ This of course is a primary concern. When you’re allowing anytime, anywhere access to data, you have to allow corporate risk policy to dictate, or the consequences can be dire.
Today, most organizations have realized that applying a one-size-fits all approach for virtualization is inherently flawed. So the next step is to consider the many characteristics—desktop sessions, online/offline, specific computing needs of the user, high graphics intensity, etc.—to determine if desktop virtualization is the right approach for individual needs.
After conceptualizing and internalizing a plan for migration of applications and users, the next step, sizing the servers and datacenter, is often either not given enough priority, or simply dealt with afterwards. If organizations are going to be dealing more with data in a centralized location rather than on individual devices, then a critical priority and/or failure point would be the computing power needed to handle this data and additional activity.
A few concerns to consider:
- Capacity Planning: Can your datacenters handle the influx of storage being put through? Will you have the ability to scale up and scale down as needed, for example, if you do taxes for a living, can you handle April 1-15?
- High Availability: How can you ensure the maximum uptime of your access to data? Will 5 9’s be sufficient, and how do you deliver continuous power and non-interrupted service?
- Disaster Recovery: Like life insurance, nobody wants to think about this until you need it. But if you don’t, and something happens resulting in data loss, it can be incredibly damaging. In this modern computing environment, data is EVERYTHING and your most important item to safeguard is not just the CEOs PC, but the entirety of your data sitting right in the datacenter.
So, in summary, BYOD is driving desktop virtualization, virtualization should then drive datacenters to tighten up the management processes. This means before you can truly be in a virtual environment and allow users the benefits of BYOD, you need to plan out your datacenter impact, otherwise your front-end work will do nothing but expose the lack of back-end preparation.