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Avoid a DaaS Disaster With Proper Planning

30 Sep 2015 by Howard M Cohen

One of the main reasons customers choose Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) is because they can’t justify the expense of building and maintaining a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) of their own. DaaS providers appreciate these economies of scale, too, using the same VDI infrastructure to service clients.

Don’t fail to scale.

This doesn’t mean DaaS providers are immune to disasters caused by failure to scale their VDI infrastructure to keep pace with the growth of their customer community.

Your goal in delivering DaaS is to have your customers relate logging in to your service to dial tone from the phone company. This includes the common perception of reliability. When you pick up the phone, the dial tone will be there.

If they log into your service and don’t get onto your network, that perception can easily be shattered. Once lost, that trust is hard to rebuild.

Scale servers.

Remember, VDI is an interactive environment. Not only must each server be sized correctly, but loads must also be balanced and re-balanced constantly to assure optimum responsiveness for all users. Review reporting regularly to determine the approximate number of users you can accommodate on each host. Also check the optimum number of virtual machines that can be supported by each.

Scale storage.

Since VDI concentrates on what would ordinarily be the input/output (I/O) transactions of many computers in one host, it places a high load on storage systems. In most cases, it is advisable to use scalable modular storage systems and arrays, which will allow you to flexibly adjust for higher storage volume as needed, and higher transaction volumes as your number of users increase.

Many relatively new developments, including solid-state drives (SSD) and hyper-converged appliances purposely built for VDI environments may make the job simpler in the long-term.

Scale network capacity.

Since the workload utilization of the various user communities across many customers will vary widely, you’ll need to plan for the highest common denominator. This may mean overprovisioning, at least at first. The best way to “right-size” your available bandwidth — the same as for storage, host capacity and every other factor — is to continue to scrutinize the monitoring reports to identify trends and project growth over time. In all cases, every ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Looking for advice to help you properly scale your own VDI environment to support your DaaS offerings? Insight offers expert, multi-vendor assistance. Call 1.800.INSIGHT with questions, and ask how we can support you and your VDI planning.

If you’re still in the research phase, technology news for service providers can help you gain a greater understanding of emerging technologies and how they can impact your business. Also, check out our technology solutions and services.