VDI for end-user experience
End-user performance management is very critical to making VDI a successful initiative. From an end-user standpoint, the user is looking for maximum efficiency and is not concerned about HOW that is achieved or WHAT technology is used. Just like how a mobile phone user does not care about whether his phone uses GSM or CDMA technology as long as it solves its intended purpose.
Frequently, business heads and teams resist VDI based on the fact that the familiar box near them has been taken away. We saw a lot of resistance when we rolled out VDI couple of years ago, but we found out a solution to prove and measure its performance. Eventually, we made these performance metrics available for all to see so that new users who challenge VDI have reliable data to refer to.
The approach we have adopted is a combination of technology and processes. Our monitoring architecture started from the end-user application metrics and moved up the layer to the actual VDI in the data center (contrary to the traditional approach of just looking at performance counters). With this approach we were able to easily relate the application performance at the end-user level to the dependent parameters of central infrastructure. We created business views which brought in all the dependent infrastructure together but still faced a challenge of simulating actual end-user experience.
We then developed application simulators which could schedule the application access at certain periods of the hour and feed the performance numbers (equivalent to typical use case scenarios and key strokes of the users). This was again interlinked to the various system thresholds like Network, WAN, SAN IO, Virtual platform and ended up with the final VDI session performance tracking. Any deviation in the threshold would highlight the possible causes which are being monitored 24/7 by the NOC team. With this we have been able to consistently achieve user satisfaction as well as start delivering application performance guarantees to our customers - and free business heads and end-users of their VDI-related fears in the process.