Key Considerations to Building High Performing, Cost-Effective Digital Workspaces
September 8, 2022
Virtual desktops and Desktops-as-a-Service (DaaS) are certainly more usable and mainstream than they were in the past. Following worldwide shutdowns to curb the pandemic, many organizations quickly adopted or expanded existing infrastructures to support remote work. VDI and DaaS were and are a logical fit for organizations deploying digital workspaces in large numbers.
Both technologies continue to be critical in supporting the virtual worker, accessing the most sensitive customer and corporate data securely and effectively. This is further supported by applications that have become cloud-native and browser-based, making them ideally suited to virtual working and digital workspace environments.
What is often overlooked is how to best support the lifecycle of the digital workspace. VDI and DaaS are by no means “set it and forget it” technologies. Nor will they be given the complex nature of providing users what they need, when they need it, and in a productive but safe way.
There are several factors that contribute to providing the best experience and performance.
1. Cost Overruns
Digital workspaces often save companies money through enhanced security, better orchestration, streamlined hardware requirements, and more. Hard CapEx or OpEx costs are highly variable depending on the types of users (on-demand versus persistent virtual machines) and the selected configuration (vCPUs, vRAM, storage). When the mix of technologies and configurations isn’t optimized, organizations can spend more than double.
The best way to reduce costs is by using analytical-based data to make the right performance selections for the right reasons. For many organizations, gathering sufficient testers to run repeatable tests is time-consuming, and it is often difficult to accurately replicate real-world usage.
Gartner recommends specialist testing for large-scale implementations as user experience is critical to success and difficult to measure at scale. The Login Enterprise platform can perform repeatable testing with simulated users to provide detailed, actionable metrics. Whether you need to compare potential vendors or baseline performance to meet expectations, Login Enterprise provides detailed insights based on an objective data set to make better choices and answer other key questions:
- Do I need to buy new hardware? Can employees use their own computing devices?
- Should we update to a newer operating system? Will it provide improved performance?
- What workloads will VDI/DaaS serve, and what resources will be required?
- How will users and, subsequently, customers be impacted?
2. Performance Issues
Companies need to be prepared to turn on a dime, such as adding applications and services or increasing throughput as needed. In a digital workspace environment, unpredictable workloads may cause a performance hit. To avoid these issues, organizations simply over-provision – an expensive option over time.
Benchmarking performance to understand subtle shifts over time and moving to a proactive management approach alleviates the over-provisioning problem. Login Enterprise includes industry-standard metrics that help monitor performance and alert to creeping degradation issues. Benchmark data drives better decision-making and problem-solving.
3. Image Validation
One of the benefits of digital workspaces is the ability to develop standardized images for specific user roles and centrally manage updates to many employees at once. This doesn’t take away the ongoing challenge of validating the integrity of the image post software changes and updates.
It simply isn’t feasible to manually validate images post every change because that would take too much time. Looking at where we are today and how the average technology stack’s complexity has grown, the tolerance for mistakes has never been so low, and the pressure to deliver faster and faster has never been this high.
So, what if image validation didn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive? What if you could get confirmation that all applications are still launching correctly after an update and that you could – at a glance – see the impact on performance if you were to deploy a freshly updated image?
Login Enterprise solves this problem by leveraging workflows that mimic actual users to automate the assessment of any change across several different vectors: does the overall system perform as expected, does the change break existing functionality, and can the user access critical applications and Windows components.
4. Slow Change Management
The main advantages of a centralized Windows environment are flexibility and simplicity. On the surface, managing change across a few key systems instead of thousands of desktops or laptops seems less intensive. However, the more consolidated infrastructures become, the more significant the business impact maybe if something fails.
The objective of change management is to ensure that standardized methods and procedures are used for efficient and prompt handling of all changes to the IT infrastructure to minimize the number and impact of disruptions to IT services. Change management processes slow down if the change requires user acceptance, or worse yet, change approval becomes a tug of war across different teams.
Login Enterprise solves this problem in two ways. First, every change can automatically be assessed to determine that nothing breaks and the digital workspace continues functioning as intended. Second, benchmarks provide a quantifiable metric to show that performance and the overall experience remain the same, better, or worse than before the planned change. Together these serve as valuable data points to move faster with confidence.
5. Security Risks
Digital workspaces and security might be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, data is more secure when stored centrally in a data center than individual endpoint devices. On the other hand, the entire network may be less secure when the workforce remotely accesses potentially insecure connections.
Organizations often fail to consider the employee experience and how it will impact the end user’s productivity and workflows. Worse yet, testing the impact of security tools, policy settings, and authentication options isn’t always feasible.
Login Enterprise was designed to run in an entirely secured environment, and our simulated users only exist inside the user session without requiring administrator access. Not only can you easily evaluate the impact on the overall experience, but you can also leverage automation to ensure that security compliance has not been impacted by an image change.
Ready for a High Performing Digital Workspace?
Digital workspaces can save companies time and money and make them more secure, but only for those who understand the challenges and how to address them effectively. Login VSI can help you (get started) with reducing the costs associated with VDI/DaaS and maintaining the performance of the digital workspace from the cradle to the grave.Digital Workspace