I am installing a new VDI solution which will be based on Citrix XenDesktop.
This much is certain, what is not quite so clear cut is the other variations that I could use.
Which of the following would you use and why:
Install XenDesktop only. Install all applications onto the base image and manage user applications via group policy and logon scripts.
Install XenDesktop and XenApp. Install a small base image consisting of the core OS and esential apps that all will use and publish other apps to users via XenApp.
Install VDI-in-a-Box which is essentially the same as option A
If I take Scenario A then the images will bloat as I install more and more apps which could result in extended load times and more demands on storage BUT the licence costs are lower.
If I take Scenario B then the images will remain small but there is the possibility that users will be confused by the delay when applications are launched [streamed via XenApp] resulting in multiple clicks and multiple copies loaded. Users can also be confused by the difference between accessing shared storage where local drives are presented differently in published apps. The licenses are also more expensive. There could also be the temptation to install more and more software into the base image to resolve the issues just documented.
If I take Scenario C then the user interface is clean and manageable but I still have the same issues as Scenario A.
My gut instinct tells me that the correct way to go with this is to go for Scenario B so that I can maximise of the 'Power of 1' features - but this will probably impact on usability of staff and students in that it will cause confusion which will inevitably result in going back to Scenario A in the long term.
In our next deployment we are going to be increasing our VDI in a box estate from 20 to 50 and moving to Windows 7 at the same time.
As far as the base OS goes all it will be is Windows 7 with Adobe Flash/Reader/Silverlight/Java/Shockwave - all the applications will then be mashed out using App-V with Office 2007 already in the local cache of the machines.
That way it closely mirrors what will soon become our normal desktop deployment strategy leaving you very little to worry about (especially considering App-V works on almost anything and creates start menus based upon the users permissions for applications and not what is locally installed).
Using App-V with both VDI and fat clients also means you don’t need to replicate application installations in two places (one for App-V on the fat clients and then again for the VDIs).
If you are interested in VDI in a box do let me know as I hope to hold a mini conference around it soon.