7 steps to moving from fat clients to thin clients

7 steps to moving from fat clients to thin clients

According to Laura Hansen-Kohls, senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group, there are a number of important steps agencies should take to help ease the transition from fat to thin clients. Here are some of her primary suggestions.

Assess different delivery models for what will fit best. Remember that client virtualization isn’t a silver bullet. Look to low cost alternatives, such as session virtualization, in which desktop PCs access a single version of the operating system and each application is stored on servers. And application presentation services are another choice. This alternative simplifies the management and deployment of applications to a wide range of users. These options can lower costs to fit specific user requirements.

Avoid overspending by leveraging hybrid virtualization models that mix virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and session virtualization, for example, to keep costs down. Session virtualization is highly scalable and requires less storage than more advanced virtual desktop infrastructures because desktops access a single image of the operating system. This works for task workers who don’t require complex or personalized desktop experiences and may only access one application in their work day, such as call centers.

Focus pilot testing on delivering quick wins and short-term savings. Examples of situations that work best for testing include: providing remote users access to virtual desktops from their own access devices at home instead of deploying laptops; piloting with users ready for a new PC to secure participation and user buy-in; and creating a test lab of server-hosted virtual PCs to test a new app or operating system upgrade.

Build the implementation from back to front to ensure the organization can address the heightened storage, network and processing requirements that go along with client virtualization. Issues revolving around capacity planning, monitoring and infrastructure support are magnified with desktop virtualization relative to traditional desktop PC environments. For instance, an existing investment in network storage will not only provide capacity but also enable higher availability/recovery in the virtual desktop environment. Organizations must make sure the storage-area network is ready for the added burden of hosting virtual desktops. The back-end infrastructure — memory, processing power, storage and bandwidth — all build the foundation for a successful deployment and require attention before decisions about which thick-, thin- or zero-client platforms are best.

Make sure to prepare your infrastructure and your team for change. This will help ensure greater user satisfaction. Also, utilizing a team that includes members from various technical, operational and user groups will help boost success as well. It’s important to continually gather input from those with a stake in all forms of hardware and applications.

Keep in mind that there is some assembly required. Organizations must prepare the infrastructure for successful deployment and also prepare IT for the transition from asset management to service management.

Remember user satisfaction is priority No. 1. Ensure that the user experience is at least on par with users’ old desktop PC. Although its important to pare back unneeded functions and features to increase performance and minimize costs, you should stop short of limiting user experience and satisfaction.

What solution is best for you?

Source: Info-Tech Research Group

About this Report

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