Not sure where to start on your XenDesktop design?  I have two recommended practices that are commonly missed:

  1. Define key tenets for your design.
  2. Focus on your users, not your hardware.

Simple and obvious enough?  Perhaps.  But often overlooked…

1. Define key tenets for your design

What does this mean?  If your detailed XenDesktop architecture design would have a mission statement, what would it be?  Typically these are business level requirements.  Write down a bunch and then prioritize.  If you get stuck in the design process (that old analysis paralysis adage), you can use your priorities to help yourself make decision.  Here are some common key tenets I see often:

  • Create a positive user experience. If no one likes the experience, adoption will be stymied.
  • Manage risk. The environment should avoid single points of failure (both individual components and individual locations).
  • Simplicity in architecture. The architecture should not be overly complicated.
  • Flexibility in deployment. Ensure the environment is agile to react to change quickly.
  • Supportability. The solution should be easy to support and troubleshoot.

2.  Focus on your users not your hardware

Often we throw around common field experience with regards to virtual desktop resource allocation (1 vCPU 1.5 GB RAM for a “Light” user and 2 vCPU 2 GB RAM for a “Normal” user, etc…). The next step is often to attach quantities to these: 200 “Light” users and 800 “Normal” users.  NO!  Don’t do this.  What is a normal users?  What do they look like?  What applications do they use?  What are their hours?  There is no such thing as a normal user.  Instead, focus on specific use cases and attach resource allocation and quantities to each:

  • Executives – 50 users – Windows 7 – 2 vCPUs – 4 GB RAM
  • Manufacturing plans – 200 users – Windows XP – 1 vCPU – 768 MB RAM
  • Conference room kiosks – 50 rooms – Windows 7 – 1 vCPU – 1 GB RAM
  • Marketing – 75 users – Windows 7 – 2 vCPU – 2 GB RAM

Extra Resources

Come to my Citrix Synergy session next Thursday 5/10 (Successfully design your desktop transformation) to learn more about this and creating a Modular Desktop Architecture.

Also come check out the five-part desktop transformation series at Citrix Synergy:

Part1:  Getting started with your desktop transformation
Part 2:  Successfully design your desktop transformation
Part 3:  User experience design guidance for your desktop transformation
Part 4:  Going live with your desktop transformation
Part 5:  Keep your desktop transformation running smoothly

Scott Campbell – Service Delivery Manager
Citrix Consulting
@CitrixScott