As the number of your virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) users and the volume of data scales up, an effective monitoring solution goes from “nice-to-have” to absolutely business critical.

brianmadden VDI monitoring white paperVirtualization expert Gabe Knuth, at, understands this better than anyone, and he wrote a white paper detailing six important considerations that can help you make the best decision when it comes to monitoring a solution such as Citrix XenDesktop.

If you’re working on choosing a VDI monitoring platform, you should read Gabe’s whole whitepaper. In brief, here are the six key points he covers:

  1. Don’t wait to get a monitoring platform until you need one. You need one. It’s that simple. If you’re delivering virtual desktops or apps, you need monitoring that can help you overcome the inevitable speed bumps that can occur in virtual desktop delivery. Start evaluating tools as soon as possible or risk a user revolt due to real or perceived performance issues.
  2. Don’t look for one platform that can do everything. It doesn’t exist. The protocols and network requirements across the services in your environment are uniquely complex. If your apps are your business (and if you’re reading this blog, they probably are), then you need to consider your organization’s specific needs, not what a vendor has to sell.
  3. Agentless is important. Having an out-of-band monitoring source that taps your wire data without affecting your systems will give you a cleaner, more accurate view of your virtualized environment as well as your applications and other infrastructure. A combination of both agentless and agent-based solutions may be best for some environments. (Remember point #2.)
  4. Find a monitoring platform that understands virtualization as well as you do. It isn’t worth struggling to make your monitoring tools do things they weren’t built for. Get one that works right from the start so you don’t end up with shelfware and a budget argument next year.
  5. Monitor all the layers. High-level monitoring is appealing. Who doesn’t want a big green “Everything Is A-OK” dashboard? But the fact is that when things go sideways, you need to be able to dig into the guts, sometimes down to the individual user, session, and back up to the applications and back-end infrastructure to find the “ghost in your machine.” Pick a monitoring platform accordingly.
  6. Pretty dashboards are great, but reporting is more important. Don’t be wooed by good looking visuals without making sure the platform has the horsepower you need.

It is easy to get lost in the details when you’re shopping for VDI monitoring. Taking a step back to make sure your choice aligns with real, long-term business priorities is worth the time investment.