Virtualizing your desktops is one of the biggest transformations you’re likely to come across in your career as an IT professional.

It doesn’t just touch every user, it touches every other IT discipline, too (storage, networks, apps, security, the works).

Fortunately, you’re not the first one to virtualize desktops. Lots of very smart people have been there before and have learned the lessons.

With that in mind, we asked six desktop virtualization experts to tell us the big things they’d want to tell anyone starting out on the desktop virtualization journey.

And we packaged it all up into a handsome new eBook, ready to download:

What to know when starting out on a virtual desktop implementation project

Desktop Virtualization Deployment Insights:
Six experts share their advice

We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

The experts

These guys really know their stuff:

Steve Greenberg,

Founder and Chief Architect 

Thin Client Computing

(And a  Citrix Technology Professional)

Robert Morris

Virtualization Consultant and Trainer

Advantec Global Services, Inc

(And a  Citrix Technology Professional)

Jarian Gibson

Desktop Virtualization Practice Manager

Choice Solutions, LLC

Shane Kleinert

Solutions Architect

JDL Technologies

Nick Rintalan

Senior Architect

Citrix Consulting Services

Dan Allen

Lead Architect

Citrix Consulting Services

The advice

We weren’t sure what we’d get back when we approached our experts. So it was kind of gratifying to discover that they all had very similar ideas about what makes virtualization projects successful.

Some of it may seem obvious, other points will be a bit more surprising – but we ended up feeling that this really is best practice.

A few soundbites:

Get your apps in order.

“Customers who struggle the most with desktop virtualization try to treat all applications the same and virtualize them using the same model.”      Nick

Know your users.

“You need to work with people. Sit side-by-side and demo the environment for them.  Show them they can still customize their desktop; still have the photo of their kids on it; still access all their data and apps…”      Jarian

Actively manage change

“I’m a techie. I love technology. But after years and years of doing this, I’ve come to see that there’s going to be a human being at the end of this kind of project. And people will help you if they feel heard and valued.”      Dan

Centralize your data.

“You need all your data close to your apps. It’s more secure.  Easier to back up and performance is far better.”      Shane

Test, test, test.

“POCs are done on low-run hardware. You have to look at your servers to determine how many users you can actually get on there. You’ve got to stress things out to test them!”      Robert

Keep it simple.

“The biggest insight I’ve gained is to keep things simple and only introduce complexity when there’s a business case for it.”      Steve

Come and get it.

No matter where you are on your own desktop virtualization learning curve – or what stage of the deployment process you’re focused on – you’re going to get a lot out of the Desktop Virtualization Insights eBook.

Like the eBook? You’ll love the Accelerator

Once you’ve read the eBook, you’re also going to want to set up a project in the Citrix Project Accelerator, the new deployment management environment for people like you.

Accelerator is a rich, self-service toolset that asks you a few simple questions, then generates custom recommendations, sample architectures, hardware estimates and lots, lots more. Give it a go.

Happy reading,  and please leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Lee Friedmann
Sr. Marketing Program Manager
Twitter: @ctxsuccess