I have just returned from a customer visit and I would like to share my experiences with you on what happened that day.
The customer had invited me to a workshop to discuss the benefits of VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). I was happy to join an inspiring group of talented people from different backgrounds, since this is always a great chance to widen your own perspective.
Exploring the potential of VDI – and its challenges
It became clear that the promises of VDI such as flexible access to your working environment anywhere, anytime and from any device, while keeping all data safe and being able to have the entire workplace infrastructure efficiently under full control was exactly what they intended to achieve.
But the more interesting part took place after my presentation. It was about the question – how to put VDI into practice?
Should they host their virtual desktops in their own data center or in the public cloud? Going for public cloud is often the easiest and fastest way forward. But is it the right move? For contract workers, it might be. But for their employees, security and compliance demands may make the case for their own data center.
As it became clear that the virtual desktops of their employees would indeed have to be hosted on-premises for compliance reasons, we started digging a bit deeper into what products would be necessary to deploy this VDI environment: Servers, storage, network components, virtualization software for the back-end, as well as front-end devices for users to work on.
All these elements need to be composed to an infrastructure, which in turn needs to be integrated into the existing environment, before the actual migration from the traditional to the virtual desktop infrastructure can take place. We immediately recognized that this project could become complex, lengthy, risky and expensive. What would happen after deployment? Efficient operation of their on-premises infrastructure would be even more important than deployment.
Delivering the benefits of VDI, without the risks
What the customer was looking for was a way to transition their employees over to VDI that minimized the impact on their business. Fortunately, Fujitsu are able to offer a potential solution.
An integral part of our VDI offering is pre-configured and pre-tested integrated systems. This means that a complete server and infrastructure stack, together with virtualization technology from the leading vendors, can be supplied and commissioned as a complete unit. This instantly reduces the need for lengthy, complex and expensive evaluations, compliance tests and component integrations – meaning our customers see the benefits more rapidly.
Once the new infrastructure is in place, our team can of course provide support on solution level with a single point of contact. This minimizes the frustration and confusion that can otherwise exist in a multi-vendor environment.
If the customer wants total piece of mind, our expert support team can even take care of the routine infrastructure operation in their own datacenter, freeing up their team for other activities. And if their employees need are better met using public cloud infrastructure, we can enable a seamless transition – or operate a hybrid scenario.
Regardless of the eventual solution specified, the first step with the customer always starts with their desktop users. Understanding the different types of user profiles allows progression to a proof-of-concept, allowing real people to test their experience. Ultimately, no matter how good the back-end technology, if end users don’t accept the solution then the entire project will fail!
Our approach uses the results of the proof-of-concept to inform the design of the eventual VDI infrastructure. This way we can ensure a solution that keeps both users and the IT team happy.
On my recent customer visit, what they appreciated most is the fact that we are a one-stop shop supplier for VDI, supporting all the options that may come into consideration. This means we are able to co-create the ideal VDI solution to support the needs of their business.