Companies around the world are scrambling to adapt to a full-time remote workforce as “stay at home” orders continue for COVID-19. For many, some form of VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) is the best option to maintain their workers’ productivity. Microsoft reports, under the new world reality “Windows Virtual Desktop usage has grown more than 3x.”
VDI hosts user desktop environments on a centralized server with the operating system running inside a virtual machine. Using this type of technology, employees can access the same software and applications available on their workplace computer, from home.
Network Impact on Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
But while virtualization infrastructure can be fairly easy to implement, selecting the right solution for your business and your network takes careful consideration. “You just have to take into account the specific needs of the organization and each group of users, as well as the resources that must be allocated for them to work remotely.” Says UDS Enterprise.
To effectively roll-out a new VDI setup, organizations should focus not only on server hardware and application integration but primarily on preparing the network itself.
Because in a virtual desktop environment user data and application information must travel across a WAN between servers and end users, network traffic will increase significantly. And that network congestion, combined with the latency caused by the distance of users from the server, can seriously impact end user experience and inevitably productivity.
Vetting Vendors with WAN Emulation
Knowing the amount of bandwidth you have available and how much you are already using is just one way to get a better understanding of the impact VDI will have on your network. WAN emulators can precisely emulate the network conditions of a new VDI set up, so companies know exactly what to expect before moving forward with an implementation.
While testing ClearCube’s VDI, industry expert Tom Fenton of storagereview.com used “Apposite NetropyVE, a software version of Apposite’s hardware-based network emulation appliance to introduce non-optimal network conditions into the network stream”.
By replicating the expected conditions, network emulation tools give early visibility into how latency, throughput, and capacity create performance bottlenecks and fail points, so engineers can make critical changes to the application or network to improve performance before customers run into problems. With WAN Emulation, organizations can learn exactly which VDI vendor is best suited for their specific needs.