Talking about VDI or Azure/WVD Performance with End-Users
Have you ever talked about performance to end-users or people that are not interested in IOPS, CPU queueing, and Page Faults?
If you are in IT, you probably have on a few occasions, right?
I have had my share of performance talks over the past 15 years and to be honest, I was not very successful at them. Not because I was not right in my analysis or because the other party did not want to talk to me, but just the amount of effort I needed to put in to get my point across felt like a failure.
Workspace performance or end-user experience is a big topic
My conversation partner was not to blame for this either. Working in IT as a technical person can be quite frustrating. Throughout your career, you are always translating information to get your message across. Often to people that talk in a completely different language even though they do their best to understand.
Performance is quite a big topic on its own. It is something that people talk about easily but often do not see they are not having the same conversation. Talking to non-IT people about workspace performance or end-user experience too often results in “why is my PC slow?”, “Last week, it was a lot faster than now?” “After you changed X, it became a lot slower,” etc.
When looking at traditional monitoring solutions and how they try to feed information to end-users, they often feed them technical information. Even when we say, we upgraded the hardware, so we have 50% more capacity, they can’t tell the exact effects of that on their workspace. If you tell someone you have 500 GB left, what does that mean to them? The questions that go around in their head are “am I out of space soon? How fast will that fill up? How many pictures or videos can I store on that”.
End-users are not interested in CPU, Memory, or IOPS. It doesn’t matter to them if their workspace runs on-premises or in Amazon Workspaces or Azure Virtual Desktop (formerly Windows Virtual Desktop) either. Rightly so because they have more important matters to think about. They want a system that always performs. Regardless of the time or the number of other users on the system.
With monitoring that focuses on CPU, Memory and all other sorts of machine-related performance data, you will always see a disconnect with your end-users. Information that you receive from these systems will always have to be translated.
For example, an application that uses a high CPU does not mean the application is performing poorly. Nor does high memory usage or IOPS usage say so. And what actions were the user performing in the application when they noticed the performance decrease? How many times have your end-users complained about performance while the machine metrics did not show any abnormalities?
This is how the end-users felt when IT told them they could not see anything strange happening on the machine.
End-user experience vs. machine metrics sometimes feel like this
Login Enterprise talks the language of the end-user. By that, I mean the measurements we show are formed so that even the end-users can understand. With our synthetic user testing, we can mimic the same actions the users do within applications regardless of the platform.
So, if a user opens an email in Microsoft Outlook, he can visually see how long it takes. He will notice when that action becomes twice as slow the second time he does it. With Login Enterprise, we can mimic the user’s actions and measure the time it took. Now, 1 minute from now, or through the entire day. How long does opening an Outlook email take when 10, 50, 100, or 1000 users are logged on to my environment?
Imagine how you can automate actions within crucial Line of Business applications and keep track of performance in all sorts of scenarios. How are these applications performing under a certain load or during peak hours where everyone logs on at the same time? Every company faces so-called login storms, especially in VDI environments, Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) will be no exception. It is important to know how applications are performing during and after the logon storm because you might be over or under spending on your VDI environment.
Now that more and more companies are moving towards the cloud with their workspace it is important to know if you are getting value for money. Not from a machine perspective but a user perspective.
Login Enterprise can help you answer these questions and it will enable you to measure User Experience in a way that matches your end-users’ reality. With our Application, Load, and Continuous testing solutions, we quantify the impact of change from the user perspective.
If you want to see this in action in your environment, feel free to request a trial or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you talk performance the right way!
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