VDI Eval/POC/Cost – first stab at a product, things to look at…

Recently I had the opportunity to evaluate multiple VDI vendors (big n small) for one of the customer (SMB). As with any SMB customer, they had no plans to invest huge on VDI as the use-case was very limited and adoption was a question. Anyways, let me share my small experience with you. It may be of help to some of you if you are in a similar situation. 
I started out with an online search, identified (shortlisted) few choices, initiated a conversation with the vendors, kick started POCs of each of them. The POC was very basic, things that I looked at was the following:
1) Key features to offer –
Sessions and Apps based VDI
Linux based VDI
Desktop based VDI is common across any vendor (question is do they support Linux desktop based VDI)
2) Security – Secured (Encrypted) Protocol Communication and 
3) Ease to Install, Setup and any Complexity in terms of hardware/software requirements & Sizing
4) Usability (from admin and end-user perspective)
5) Flexibility (integration with Microsoft, XenApp or similar – as these vendors are pretty much hypervisor-agnostic)
6) Scalability
7) Support and Renewal Gotchas
Licensing Cost and any hidden cost (Most of the vendors have CCU licensing model, so not much to dig however S&S can be a bit tricky)
Based on the above, I categorized the outcome in the following manner. I had a thought that to present before the management, one has to represent the entire exercise in a nutshell yet include all of the result which makes sense of it all.
Solutions based on four categories:
> By Cost
> By Linux/Windows based Sessions/Apps Virtualisation
> By FREE Linux OS for Endpoints
> By Market Leader in Session/App Virtualisation
Add a note for any shortcoming or lacks a feature against each of the categories the product falls.
Solution – Key Differentiators
This table may help you identify and zero down on the right solutions based on your requirements. Also useful to see all the vendor solution in one table. Creates more visibility and understanding on what they offer and what they lack.
vdi2Solution Cost – Component-wise:
This table may help in identifying the layers/components in the VDI solution which can be implemented at no or minimal cost.  Just make you visualise and think loud  from a cost effective solution perspective. May not be applicable for larger environments but I think it is a good way to start.
 Cost Snapshot on a Fix number of Users
This kind of table helped me identify the areas where we save depending on the solution(vendor) you are going with. With this, a fair comparison table is developed and can be gauged as per your business needs. Eventually this may enable you to calculate the ROI and Revenue over a n period of time (years).

About cloudray

Predominantly based around Virtualization, but will include other technology related information and anything else I find interesting and feel the need to share with you. I also use this Blog as both a place to store useful information that I think that will come in handy to me at some point in the future, and also a place to help aid my learning. I find a great way to learn about something is to research about it and then write it up in my own words. I'm Pushpal Ray, from India. As a certified VCP3/4/5 professional, I am currently working as an Independent Consultant. Over 10 years of IT-industry experience, currently focused around the Desktop Virtualization(End-User Computing). I also have extensive experience in Windows Administration, Datacenter Migration, Workload profiling & benchmarking. At my leisure, I enjoy hiking, running, photography, spend hours in my fav coffee shop & spend quality time with my wife. Occasionally, catch up with few friends for a drink!
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