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A Practical Guide to VDI Change Management

Part 7: Change Impact Management for VDI

Pro-active solutions for your change impact management structure are required to prevent problems caused by planned changes, unplanned changes, gradual deterioration and disasters. Read our Change Management article to get a detailed insight into these issues.

Did you miss any of the previous articles or want to read them again? Simply click the links at the bottom of this article, to review our Practical Guide to VDI Change Management in full.

Enterprises looking to provide the best possible user-experience for the business-critical applications that are running in VDI, SBC or DaaS, need a clever combination of pro-active testing solutions to create a comprehensive change impact validation environment.

A comprehensive change impact management structure needs a complete set of pro-active solutions for change impact validation to prevent problems caused by planned changes, unplanned changes, gradual deterioration and disasters.

Planned changes: load testing to predict the impact

VDI load testing solutions simulate the behavior of many users on your test, or better, VDI production environment. To predict the impact of every planned change load testing is used to first establish a clean performance baseline by executing a pre-change load test, simulating the intended number of real concurrent users expected on the system.

After every planned change, the same test is then repeated to determine if there is a performance and/or density impact. If an unacceptable impact is detected, the changes can be rolled back before real users are affected, or the infrastructure can be scaled up as much as needed.

Load testing should also be used to post-test every regular patch implementation using realistic production user loads during maintenance windows, to detect problems before your real users do.

Unplanned changes: 24/7 continuity testing to detect potential impact

Continuity testing 24/7 lets a virtual user walk through the system and test all the relevant actions of its most important applications every 10 minutes, all day, every day. This type of testing allows operations staff to see performance metrics from the end-user’s perspective and enables a type of pro-active monitoring that will detect the potentially negative impact of unplanned changes caused by automatic software updates or human error, before real users will be affected.

This type of testing is also used to check the logon quality, desktop user experience, and application performance from remote locations which is crucial for geographically distributed organizations.

24/7 continuity testing of remote locations is used by hotel chains to check the health of central reservation systems at each hotel location, by airlines to check the health of their temporary kiosks at each airport, and by shipping companies where ships are the remote locations.

Gradual deterioration: 24/7 continuity testing to detect/predict slowdown

Virtual (synthetic) user technology is very precise and therefore very reliable as it detects and predicts gradual deterioration of application performance which could be the result of a slowly progressing pollution of disks and other infrastructure resources.

With this type of testing a complete end-user workflow is repeated every 10 minutes, where each step of the workflow is measured in milliseconds. This way every change, no matter how small, is detected and analyzed. By setting thresholds, the extrapolation of the measurements will allow predicting the exact moment where real users will start to be affected. This way gradual deteriorations are detected before they will slow down end-user productivity and disturb business continuity.

Disaster Recovery (DR) planning: load testing for different scenarios

Next to handling changes, which are a fact of life in any IT environment, organizations must also prepare for the unexpected. For this reason, large organizations spend much time and money to ensure that their IT infrastructure will survive any natural or human-caused disaster. This activity is most commonly referred to as Disaster Recovery (DR) planning.

A large organization in the USA uses load testing to verify that their core applications will work when during a complete HQ failover 20,000 employees connect to their applications from remote locations. Another scenario tested is if after a power failure, 10,000 users can reconnect in a few minutes time. In addition they wanted to know if their 2nd data center is capable to support the extra user numbers if all users from the 1st data center must be moved, due to an unexpected total stand-still.

The ability to simulate large numbers of users (read load testing) is very well-suited to test scenarios that are not very typical, but nonetheless are very valid and make planning and preparation critical. Login VSI supports large organizations, looking to safeguard business continuity through DR planning.

A large healthcare organization in the USA uses load testing to regularly test the health of their “cold site” environment as this is maintained for DR scenarios. These regular DR tests are required by regulations and must be documented on audit forms. Load testing is used in regular (quarterly) tests to put genuine stress on the DR environment. At the same time, the end-user experience is pro-actively monitored in all their remote locations using 24/7 continuity testing solutions.

Application Compatibility: test large numbers of applications after change

Large organizations typically have large numbers of applications running on their Microsoft Windows platform. Prudent organizations require a compatibility test for every application after every upgrade or other change in the relevant hardware and software infrastructure components.

With the flow of software changes growing constantly, the need for automated application compatibility verification grows accordingly. To cope with the challenge of keeping all applications working after every change, organizations rely on costly and inconsistent “testing armies” or on traditional software tools such as AppDNA, that are considered hard to use and often unreliable.

Automated application compatibility testing replaces the traditional and labor-intensive checking of applications after planned changes, such as the Spring & Fall releases of Windows 10, the monthly builds of Windows 10 (“Patch Tuesdays”) or any other potentially compatibility disturbing update.

Did you miss the previous articles or want to read them again? Simply click the below links to review our Practical Guide to VDI Change Management in full:

Read Part 1: IT Change Management in General

Read Part 2: Why VDI is Very Sensitive to Change

Read Part 3: Change Accelerates with Windows 10

Read Part 4: IT Change Accelerates in General

Read Part 5: Building Resilient VDI Infrastructures

Read Part 6: Handling Change in VDI Production

Read Part 8: Login VSI, the complete solution for VDI change management

 

 


 

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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 new addition 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

My name is Frans Wauters, I’m the Worldwide Marketing Director at Login VSI. I’m active in IT for many years now. After five years in IT sales I moved to IT marketing, which after many years is still my passion. I had the privilege to work in Silicon Valley, Barcelona and Romania, but am now very happy living in The Netherlands. My goal at Login VSI is to recognize, explain and communicate the business benefits of our great technology so we help to make the VDI world a safer place. In case of questions or remarks, you can best reach me, and the rest of my team, at marketing@loginvsi.com.


Tags: News, VDIenvironments, Blog, Change Management


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