VDI is overrated! This is what I thought during several sessions at Citrix Synergy event last week in San Francisco. Of course the desktop, Microsoft Windows most of the time, is very important for companies but I think the battle around VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) takes place at the marketing level... Addressing desktop virtualization is one option in the desktop management options. We (architects) need to be able to bring desktop virtualization to the companies who want to deliver virtual desktops, for specific cases most of the time. We will continue to deliver "classic" desktops (you know the "fat" one) because companies simply won't go for 100% VDI as they won't be needing it... Yet... Using VDI (Citrix XenDesktop, vmware View etc..) is part of the well known Flexcast model from Citrix. I like this marketing term because my customers understand that we will design an architecture which is able to deliver all types of desktops (except the "fat" ones in the traditional way). Using VDI among the other technologies is fine. Sometimes I need to address a situation where a specific group of user need to access a full dedicated private environment (resources), and here is one question : Why the user needs a desktop ? This is a question I keep asking to myself for some time now... As a CTO in my company (Activlan) I need to understand which path VDI is taking and digest the information to share it with our consultants and engineers by asking them : Users, you and me, why do we use a desktop ? We use a desktop to access our applications, that's why ! When you access your application with a web browser, you don't need to have a desktop, right ? When you're using your Android phone, your iPhone or your iPad, you don't want to access a desktop, you just want to access your applications, don't you ? I'm not a Google  fan but I think they are visionary with their ChromeBooks. This is just a web browser, without any underlying operating system, working with wifi and 3g/4g booting in 8 seconds and without a hard drive...  I think the real battle is more on the endpoint side than in the VDI product you choose to deliver a desktop you might not need... If you have a ChromeBook, I don't think you want to access a Microsoft Windows…

VDI Project – Not only a XenDesktop project (part.1) VDI Project - The framework (part.2) VDI Project - Hypervisor war (part.3) VDI Project - Desktops and applications delivery (part.4) VDI Project - User Environment Manager (part.5) Beginning a new project is every time a new challenge, new team, new processes and new environment. Each customer have its own past IT history and,  depend of the size, different IT, politics and complexity. This time I'm a desktop architect and I've been hired mostly for my Citrix skills. The challenge is the size of this new project, I will design for sure some Citrix architectures, XenDesktop, XenApp, PVS, maybe Access Gateway or Netscaler on a very large scale but I'm also responsible to design a complete workstation delivery service (automation / industrialization) and address all kind of endpoints, from the "classic" workstation to the well known iPad. This is my largest XenDesktop 5 project, I will use XenDesktop to bring flexibility and mobility to users. I will write some blogs along the project because I think this will be a great experience to share, technical and not technical. I can't wait to post some very technical stuff about IOPS with Citrix Provisioning Services, XenDesktop and Machine Creation Service related with storage. I will post every major subject for ex : The Software Framework, The Hypervisor War (these two blogs are almost finished) etc etc... I also want to share the non technical subjects because this is how a project live... Changing the way people are working in a company can be very painful, first you need to bring the idea of a change in their everyday life and then prove them they will have more time to work on more important project. Then you show they can save some money within 3 or 5 years. I can tell you this is the big part of a project and the less fun (for me) but this is a mandatory part of every project : Show the company board and managers how much they can save and explain to the IT staff they will be able to spend more time on larger scale issue and project, work more efficiently. This is a lot of work, first administrative / politics, then technical (POC) and very technical (Global Architecture) And I always I will learn so many thing, and I'm sure it will be a great…

One of my customer needs to have robust workstations in a factory where there is a lot of dust and vibrations. This is a common environment for a factory but it doesn't really suit for a computer. My customer is spending a lot of money in the maintenance of these computers. Worker in the factory need to access the company main ERP with those computers and they are accessing this software through a XenApp connection. My project was to build from the ground a new Citrix Architecture (XenApp / PVS / EdgeSight / PCM / XenServer / Netscaler etc...) and early in this project I wanted to include endpoints as a full part in this architecture. (If endpoints are failing, old plug-in versions for ex) the whole architecture won't mean anything if users are not able to have the full and last functionality introduced in this project. The factory workstations were a pain in the ass for everyone, for the IT department, technicians were always on the move, spending time trying to repair and most of the time just replace the computer. For the Finance department, it's very expensive to replace computer every month (basic / normal life cycle renewal for a workstation is about 3 year) and the need for more technicians to change and repair these machines. With issues listed above, bringing thin clients in this project was obvious and I really wanted to try the new Wyse product Xenith. So I called my french contact Boris Espiand (Wyse France) to borrow me this 'HDX ready' thin client. Less than one week after, I had it in my lab ready to test it. As my personal lab is limited to my XenServer @ Home, I won't make any performance test but I will be more focus on features and integration in the architecture I chose to design for my customer. I tested access to XenApp 6 published desktop (Hosted Shared), XenDesktop 4 with Windows 7 virtual machines and with Windows XP virtual machines (Hosted VDI) Of course HDX features have been tested, I plugged all sort of devices, webcam, wacom devices, mouses, USB hard drives, USB pen drives... The reference of the Xenith I received were : Model No : C00X C00X, 128F/512R, XENITH, INTL Part No : 902196-02L Serial No : 2NN0J549524 Here are some information I got on-screen within the admin menu : But first, here are my customer's needs…