Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) provides many advantages for IT by removing a number of the variables involved in managing individual networked PCs. When you give end users what is essentially a dumb terminal with a set of defined services, it can be easier to control and maintain, but it can also present challenges across a network because the entire system is dependent on the network with nothing offloaded to the individual machines (as with stand-alone networked PCs).
According to a recent post by David Greenfield on Network Computing, this is even more pronounced when you spread out from a LAN environment to a WAN. He cited several studies that use a variety of formulas to determine just how much bandwidth is required for each user across the network (before you start hearing loud complaints about network performance).
A good rule of thumb when running PCoIP is three users per 1Mb. This allows for variance in the display activity between multiple users and provides a range of bandwidth most likely to provide acceptable performance for user.
Whether you buy that or not, it’s a number that you can work with as a basis for discussion if nothing else. If you figure that you require this much bandwidth, you can start to set your monitoring equipment to let you know when the system starts to degrade below these levels (before it reaches a critical state and your IT help desk is bombarded with angry phone calls).
For end users, a sudden slow-down might seem like a front end service issue, when in fact, the problem is the underlying network or a database processing problem. Having BSM monitoring in place can not only help you ensure (to the extent it’s within your control) that the network throughput is operating at the maximum rate possible, but you can also determine if one of the underlying hardware or database connectors on which these services depend is what’s causing the problem.
With BSM in place, you can watch the entire system, and that can help you solve your VDI problems before they reach a point where it adversely affects your user base.
Photo by olishaw on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.