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Windows Virtual Desktop Enhanced in the Latest Update

Planning to move to Windows Virtual Desktop and/or Citrix Managed Desktop?

A lot has already been written about Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) in the last months and while I had my initial concerns on this service many people are suggesting that they are willing to move to a platform like WVD in the next two years.

As a company, we’ve been doing extensive research on the platform and Windows 10 multi-session since we laid our hands on the first available version in September 2018.

 

Image 1: Login VSI - Blog - WVD - Windows Virtual Desktop - December 2019

 Initial Windows 10 Multi-Session tests September 2018

 

Looking at WVD today I’d say we’re at the point where Microsoft Azure Remote Applications stopped in 2016. Back then Gabe at BrianMadden.com wrote an article on its closure stating that both management and scalability were challenges. Fast forward to 2019, a completely different platform and we’re at the same place, with the same challenges. However, we do have to keep in mind that this is version one, working with the WVD team daily I’m extremely confident these challenges will be sorted in a timely fashion. If we look at the VDI Like a Pro – State of EUC survey 2019 it’s clear that WVD and Citrix cloud on Microsoft Azure are the popular choices. I’m curious to see how next year’s survey will look after VMware has released its spin on this on Azure.

 

image 2: Login VSI - Blog - WVD - Windows Virtual Desktop - December 2019

 Click to enlarge

During our WVD webinar recently one question dominated the chat. If we are moving to the cloud, is there still a need for performance testing? As Login VSI focusses on maximizing the end-user experience the answer is wholehearted: Yes! Looking at the VDI tuning stack we see that in most layers with WVD you are still responsible for your own changes, add to that the fact that most performance issues are caused by applications, and most outages are caused by change how can you be confident bringing a change to production without testing it. But it doesn’t stop there, in the cloud you will see more “Unplanned changes” these are changes that someone else executes without informing you. Good examples are Meltdown & Spectre + L1TF patches.

image 3: Login VSI - Blog - WVD - Windows Virtual Desktop - December 2019

 The VDI Tuning Stack. Click to enlarge.

This means there are a couple of things you need to continuously validate in any cloud environment:

  1. Performance before and after a change
  2. Picking the right instance size
  3. Validate unplanned changes
  4. Validate if business-critical applications are available and responsive from remote sites

To get started Microsoft has released a cost-calculator that can give you some insights into the bare price of running WVD. Keep in mind however that these machines were not running your specific set of applications, workspace managers and so on. Others have suggested looking at the rule of 5 and 10, however, it has been made clear this does not work in Azure.

So, what can we say about the Windows 10 multi-session and WVD performance? Given our research the last few months these are some estimations, but keep an eye on this blog for detailed information by my colleagues who’ve performed the research: Or register for the VDI Performance Summit on January 30th in Amsterdam to hear about it in person.

  • It will scale less than SBC with server 2012, 2016, 2019
  • It will scale better than Single user VDI with Windows 10
  • It will scale less than windows 7, but that’s irrelevant after January
  • Your applications are what really gets you in trouble
    • CPU heavy
    • GPU -> GPU seems promising in Win10 Multi-session
    • Multi-User compatibility
    • Anti-virus
    • Workspace managers

So what’s a good way to start with WVD today you might ask?

  • Roll out a small WVD trial
    • Test the basic infrastructure components and workings
    • Add your own application(s)
    • Test the scalability of an instance and pick the most cost-effective
    • Reserved instances?
      • Do a PoC mixing real and virtual users

Are you planning to move to WVD and/or Citrix Managed desktop or would like some help comparing them? Please comment below or drop us a message.

 


 

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About the company Login VSI

The company Login VSI provides end-user performance insights for virtualized desktop and server-based computing environments. Enterprise IT departments use flagship product Login VSI (for load testing) and Login PI (for continuity testing) in all phases of their virtual desktop deployment—from planning to deployment to change management—to build and safeguard a good performance, a high availability, and (as a result) a good and consistent end-user experience. For more information about Login VSI or for a free test license contact us.

 

About the author

Mark Plettenberg (@markplettenberg) is a product manager of Login VSI and has played a critical role in the development and growth of Login VSI. Ask Mark about motorcycle mechanics and breaking/repairing anything and everything that has a power plug.


Tags: Citrix, WVD, Windows Virtual Desktop

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