There are two options to consider here, both slightly more technical but hear goes – Client hosted desktops & Server hosted desktops.
Client hosted desktops help to create a virtual environment for running legacy [old] applications. For example you have an application running only on Windows XP [an operating system] but your current operating system happens to be a different Windows operating system. The way to get this to work is by using Virtual PC or Windows Virtual PC (bundled with Windows 7). Something like Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization makes management of Virtual PCs easy.
Server hosted desktops, here the client Operating System, Applications & Data will be kept on Severs in data centres [a facility to house computer systems]. The benefits are better utilisation of hardware, easy maintenance and better accessibility (i.e. you can access the desktops from your home). The technology which enables this is called Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI for short. The technology is still evolving so it’s recommended you do a thorough check on it before proceeding.
Identify the needs of your organisation and your users.
- You will need to analyse the workloads of your network and servers over month. This will be used to find out which applications are used the most and which servers are either over or under utilised.
- You will need to investigate how much RAM each application uses.
- You will need to analyse how processing power each CPU is doing over this period in order to find out which servers are good candidates for virtualisation.
- How much storage do you require?
- You need to be completely clear that Virtualisation is the right way forward for you and your organisation.
- How much do I expect to save and how and where will I save it?
Identify your needs for a new Virtualisation system.
- What equipment will I require? For example, you may still need more powerful servers.
- How much will it cost?
- How much will it cost to maintain and support?
Identify the right supplier.
- Use Conjungo’s Find a Local Desktop Virtualisation supplier search on the top right handside of this page.
- Look through magazine and online reviews.
- Talk to others who have recently installed Virtualisation in the same area as you.
- Use forums, networks and personal contacts to obtain recommendations.
Ask questions such as:
- Who has the experience of working with a company of the same size and profile as yours?
- Are any of those suppliers local to where you are located?
- How many similar installations have they made?
- Ask for references – ensure that the company is capable and reliable.
- Talk to a couple of their customers in order to see what benefits have been gained and what pains those customers went through when installing the system.
- Obtain a credit check through a Credit organisaton to ensure that they are financially stable.
Request a detailed proposal from three or four of your preferred suppliers.
- Set a deadline for when you need the proposal back.
- Give out details in advance as necessary to ensure that the suppliers you have selected can give you the best proposal.
- Go and meet them in person – get a good feel for whether you will be able to work with them.
Select a supplier.
- Who best demonstrates that they understand your business and your requirements?
- Is the solution flexible and scalable and therefore able to meet future demand? You don’t want to find out later that by investing a little more money now you could save money in the long term.
- Is it cost effective? Have they shown how and where you will save money?
- Does it clearly demonstrate the functional benefits – rather than just listing particular features? Does the proposal clearly show what the benefits are? There is no point on spending money for a system full of features that are of no benefit or that you will never use!
- How will your potential supplier support and maintain your system afterwards?
- How much will support and maintenance cost?
- Have you spoken to a couple of your preferred suppliers’ customers?
- Agree on financial terms – you may be required to pay a deposit but do not pay the whole amount in advance of delivery.
- The supplier will need to offer advice regarding:
- How many machines can run on each host?
- How much RAM or memory is required?
Implementation, testing and go live.
- Install the new system. Only when you are entirely satisfied should you pay any balance outstanding on the invoice. This way, if there are any problems, your supplier will sort them out as a matter of urgency.
- Don’t forget to account for user training!