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FCW : August 15, 2013
when elding a VDI. One obvious consideration is what types of expertise IT personnel should possess to run a virtual desktop installation. Mestrovich said large-scale VDI administration requires a range of skills and knowledge. IT staffers managing the server side, for example, need to have greater insight into the virtual desktop users activities and the resulting infra- structure demands. Accordingly, DIA systems administrators working on the back-end VDI now have more of a focus on the customers endpoints and the applications they might be using, Mestrovich said. Administrators also need to be much more aware of disk input/output, he added. Indeed, virtual desktops demands on storage can result in bottlenecks that degrade the user experience. For example, thousands of employees simulta- neously logging onto their thin clients can result in a boot storm if storage systems aren t designed for VDI. IT staff, meanwhile, will need to learn how to handle client-side chores remotely while maintaining the same people skills they had when providing desk-side support. "You really need your personnel dealing with [virtual desktop users] to be people-friendly and people-oriented," Adcock said. DOE s virtual desktop pilot was built to handle 250 seats but has since grown to twice that, Adcock said. The pool of available applications is set to expand as well. The depart- ment is currently evaluating its portfolio to determine which applications can be virtualized. And although server experts might need to study up on user considerations, administrators previously focused on the desktop will need to learn about servers and other infrastructure elements. Wim Coekaerts, senior vice presi- dent of Linux and virtualization engineering at Oracle, said administrators must acquire speci c knowledge of servers, storage and network capabilities. They also need to learn about the gold image or virtual machine template. "With traditional desktop management, IT staff can spend a great deal of time con guring individual desktops, visiting an end user s client device to repair it and so on," Coekaerts said. "But with desktop virtualiza- How it works: Virtual desktop infrastructure Desktop PRO: A standard desktop con guration can easily be cloned for thousands of users, simplifying security and updates. CON: Because the desktop clients use a shared resource, one user s activities can affect the experience of others. Server PRO: Key computing components are now centralized in the data center, and the need for desk-side support is minimized. CON: Administrators will likely need additional training to deal with virtual machine templates, server- based troubleshooting and VDI s storage demands. Corporate workstations Mobile laptops Home computers Thin clients In a virtual desktop environment, a central server hosts the operating systems, applications and data that used to reside locally on desktop computers. The approach comes with bene ts and challenges. August 15, 2013 FCW.COM 27
July 30, 2013
August 30, 2013