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Enabling Cloud and VDI Monitoring Best Practices

Enabling Cloud and VDI Monitoring Best Practices

Bill Kleyman's weekly guide on succeeding with VDI.

Prior to cloud and VDI environments taking off, datacenters focused their monitoring efforts on a set user base, specific servers and other infrastructure variables. IT administrators weren’t worried about Internet activities since, at the time, it was limited to maybe an employee portal or a web server. Now we are working within a distributed WAN computing infrastructure. Corporate employees and remote branches are able to access applications, virtual desktops and personalized workloads from anywhere in the world and from virtually any device. One of the biggest technological breakaways from the traditional IT model is that all of this data is stored, managed, and administered at a central datacenter hosting a private cloud. This private cloud is enabling virtual applications and powerful virtual desktops for a diverse user base.

Workflow and VDI Optimization in the Cloud

Active cloud workload monitoring goes beyond just gathering metrics and statistics. Many environments monitor their VDI workloads and provide workflow automation in the event of a usage spike. With certain industries – travel, for example – usage spikes may occur during some periods of the year. To prepare for this, thresholds are set on the workloads so that new VDI desktops can be spun up as soon as the demand is there. This way, users in the cloud accessing a VDI instance will always have access to their data set and workload without experiencing degradation in performance.

VDI workflow automation also helps with DR and backup. With data replication occurring between numerous sites, a remote location is able to spin up identical workloads at their location should there be an emergency at one of the other sites. Proper workload monitoring and datacenter design can help increase system stability and, more importantly, business continuity.

VDI and Cloud Monitoring Tips

Workloads in the cloud create a truly distributed computing environment. This is why keeping a solid monitoring system is so crucial to the success of the technology. Below are just a few tips on keeping cloud-facing VDI workloads healthy:

  • Know your physical resources. Although there may be a lot of it initially, physical resources are very finite. Without proper monitoring and gauging, these resources can get used up very quickly. Remember, VDI workloads can be very demanding, so planning in these situations is a must. When it comes to planning – remember to properly allocate storage, network, compute, and graphics resources. Today, VDI is capable of delivering powerful, graphics-rich, virtual desktops to allow a variety of users to stay productive. If you assign all other resources properly but forget about graphics, users deploying resource-intensive workloads or applications may experience performance degradation. So, remember to plan around your users and your use-cases.
     
  • Keep active logs. Actively monitoring a cloud-ready VDI workload is very important. However, keeping a log of how this workload or server is performing over a period of time can be very useful as well. Cloud-servers can be upgraded and VDI workloads are migrated from one physical host to another. In these situations, knowing how well specific server sets operate over older ones can help with calculating TCO and evaluating ROI. In many situations, good performance logs can create relevant statistical information which can then lead to further datacenter budgeting dollars. This type of information allows you to make good decisions around your entire ecosystem and will help you understand where key technological pieces can have direct impacts on your business.
     
  • Monitor the end-point as well. From the datacenter’s perspective, engineers are able to keep an active eye on running workloads and administer them accordingly. However, it’s also very important to monitor VDI workload activities at the end-point. By knowing how the delivery is occurring and how well it is being received, engineers can create a more positive VDI computing experience. As a user accesses a workload in the cloud, administrators back in the datacenter are able to see what type of connection they are using, how well the data is traveling to the end-point and if any modifications need to be made. In some instances, forms of compression or other bandwidth-saving techniques must be applied for the VDI workload to function properly at the end-point.

With so many users accessing an environment at any one time, it’s important to have a set monitoring standard. Proactively monitoring a cloud-ready VDI environment will help administrators catch issues quickly and help their environment continue to run smoothly.

Underwritten by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, VMWare and NVidia

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