Step 4: Choose the Right Software Vendor
The desktop virtualization ISV landscape is very complex. There are countless interdependencies and relationships, both technological and business related, among the vendors. To complicate matters, some companies offer not only software, but hardware and services as well. The possibilities are many, and so are the software vendors. However, completing steps 1 and 2 above—segmenting your user base and then analyzing the primary delivery models against your specific business and technical needs—will narrow the field considerably, as will completing your TCO analysis in step 3. This section covers additional factors to take into consideration in making your vendor choice. Understand the User Experience Analyze vendor solutions from the perspective of your users. If you implement a particular vendor’s solution, what will users experience in terms of performance, capabilities, and ease of use? Taking as little as possible away from the current enduser experience will increase the solution’s chances of being accepted by users. Analyze Your IT Department: How Mature Is It? Do an honest evaluation of how automated and process-oriented your IT department is. Does it follow ITIL* best practices? Some vendor solutions for desktop virtualization are quite complex and appropriate only for mature IT departments to implement and maintain. On the other hand, some vendor solutions can be quite straightforward and will help you get to value relatively quickly. Pilot, Pilot, Pilot A desktop virtualization initiative crosses many technical and departmental boundaries in an IT organization. Before you commit to a particular vendor solution, it is essential that you do a thorough evaluation in as close to a production environment as possible. Implement proof-of-concept projects and pilots to determine if the vendor solution will meet your business needs. Features to Look For In addition to analyzing whether a vendor’s delivery model is right for your business, consider further capabilities of the software solution and whether they will meet your needs. Some features to look for are as follows: Enterprise scalability: How many users can the solution serve? Desktop provisioning: How do you create, assign, and deliver desktops? Application life-cycle management: How do you manage licenses and application delivery? Richness of IT policies: Does the solution offer a rich set of IT policies to control and secure the desktops or applications? Ease of administration: How many consoles do IT administrators have to work with? Ease of maintenance: How is the solution itself patched and updated? Infrastructure monitoring: Does the solution provide a way to measure the performance and health of the infrastructure, including network, storage, servers, and so on?
17 Intel IT Center Planning Guide | Desktop Virtualization