Why my vdi POC failed before it started

I’ve worked with Citrix Xenapp for years going back to the metaframe days. I’ve also tested Xendesktop and Vmware view a few different times, but I keep going to back to XenApp for published apps and desktops.

This past vmworld vmware announced they will be supporting vGPU also (Xenserver has for awhile) this could be a game changer for our engineers and drive me to a POC of VDI?again.

With so many good layering solutions for application deployment in VDI, I was ready to give it a go again. But along comes office365…. and my thought of vdi stops again.

How does a cloud service stop VDI? Three things, One drive for business, huge exchange mailboxes without cache mode, and lync enterprise.

With office 365 licenses we get all of these. We are still using lync on prem, but we get the enterprise voice CAL to use.xendesktop

One drive for business and outlook in cache mode would cause huge profile bloat. If I don’t install the one drive for business client, the user experience for one drive would tank and running outlook not in cache mode with huge mailboxes would also give a bad user experience. I’ve seen some people saw use OWA because it is much better now. Which I agree but we have ERP and other apps that need outlook installed locally.

It looks like like there are some lync extensions to improve lync voice and video in a vdi environment and I haven’t tested it yet, but I have a feeling that it would be a bear to monitor and troubleshoot.

Without addressing those issues, I don’t see me pushing to move to vdi. Some will bring up the fact that I will have the same issues running XenApp published desktops. But I already have XA and will just keep the use case to a narrow scope of users. I want to expand our use of central computing and was thinking XD/View plus a layering technology would allow us to do that.

If you’ve used VDI with onedrive for business, mailboxes in o365, and lync enterprise voice please let me know in the comments how you overcame these issues.

One thought on “Why my vdi POC failed before it started

  1. Seen all of the above. Sounds like XenApp is effectively solving all your non-persistent VDI needs, and you need to solve persistent desktops (aka fat Outlook, OneDrive for Business and Lync).

    Outlook and OneDrive for Business, you either need some clever user virtualisation and a speedy network, or use clever hyper-converged with real time de-duplication on storage. The clever storage is a much simpler transition that gives additional user performance bonuses. My favourite by far for cost effectiveness is Atlantis Computing’s USX for VDI.

    The Lync problem can be mostly eliminated now if you follow the MS recommendations for VDI and are using PCoIP protocol (i.e. VMware). I believe the only limitation is Voice Recording.

    For full disclosure, I did previously work for Atlantis but left two years and have no stake in the company.

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