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Implementing VDI in your organization

Published on 15 December 14
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There are several challenges to implementing VDI within an organization that have nothing to do with hardware. Employees may be, understandably, attached to the computers that they have been using for many years. However, for a multitude of reasons ranging from cost to compliance, it is time to upgrade, and your organization has decided on going with a virtualized solution because of the benefits that it can bring. Here are some of the talking points to discuss with employees to help them understand how VDI is a big benefit from them.

The typical concerns that employees might have are regarding performance and accessibility. They fear a network outage that might hypothetically bring their productivity to its knees, and having a desktop that simply does not work as effectively as a physical machine. Both of these can be valid concerns, especially if virtualization is done wrong, but with good network infrastructure and provided adequate resources to support the staff these fears are unwarranted.

Of course, there are several things that IT needs to inform the staff about. First and foremost, a test environment needs to happen first with regular employees, so they can share their experiences regarding how the virtualized desktops will treat them. This should be done early on, and employees should understand the benefits for the company so they are also invested in helping IT make the transition successful. These end users can also show IT how their devices are actually used on a day-to-day level, so IT can modify the resources being allocated if necessary.

The biggest selling point, of course, is giving the staff flexibility in what they are going to be using. Employees will be much happier if they can use the platform of their choice to access their virtual desktop, and most will appreciate having that kind of personalization. Employees might not all care about the better security and more consistent environment virtualization can bring, but they can appreciate using their iPad at home to check their work inbox if they wish.

At an implementation level, there are a handful of ways to get your virtualization project off the ground. VDI environments can be hosted off of Citrix, VMWare or Microsoft products, so be sure to determine the preferred software vendor with any managed services provider you might be using. On that note, there is also a question of where to host the server that will be running the virtualization software - by putting the server in a secured data center you gain availability to help to prevent any downtime that might impact your day-to-day operations, even if there is a serious outage at your headquarters! This can be done either through leveraging a colocation provider or dedicated private servers - both options are available at my organization, but the preferable option might vary depending on the resources you have available today.

There are several challenges to implementing VDI within an organization that have nothing to do with hardware. Employees may be, understandably, attached to the computers that they have been using for many years. However, for a multitude of reasons ranging from cost to compliance, it is time to upgrade, and your organization has decided on going with a virtualized solution because of the benefits that it can bring. Here are some of the talking points to discuss with employees to help them understand how VDI is a big benefit from them.

The typical concerns that employees might have are regarding performance and accessibility. They fear a network outage that might hypothetically bring their productivity to its knees, and having a desktop that simply does not work as effectively as a physical machine. Both of these can be valid concerns, especially if virtualization is done wrong, but with good network infrastructure and provided adequate resources to support the staff these fears are unwarranted.

Of course, there are several things that IT needs to inform the staff about. First and foremost, a test environment needs to happen first with regular employees, so they can share their experiences regarding how the virtualized desktops will treat them. This should be done early on, and employees should understand the benefits for the company so they are also invested in helping IT make the transition successful. These end users can also show IT how their devices are actually used on a day-to-day level, so IT can modify the resources being allocated if necessary.

The biggest selling point, of course, is giving the staff flexibility in what they are going to be using. Employees will be much happier if they can use the platform of their choice to access their virtual desktop, and most will appreciate having that kind of personalization. Employees might not all care about the better security and more consistent environment virtualization can bring, but they can appreciate using their iPad at home to check their work inbox if they wish.

At an implementation level, there are a handful of ways to get your virtualization project off the ground. VDI environments can be hosted off of Citrix, VMWare or Microsoft products, so be sure to determine the preferred software vendor with any managed services provider you might be using. On that note, there is also a question of where to host the server that will be running the virtualization software - by putting the server in a secured data center you gain availability to help to prevent any downtime that might impact your day-to-day operations, even if there is a serious outage at your headquarters! This can be done either through leveraging a colocation provider or dedicated private servers - both options are available at my organization, but the preferable option might vary depending on the resources you have available today.

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