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Virtual Desktop Infrastructure to Replace Windows PCs
Dear Colleagues, We at Southern Connecticut State University are very interested in your input/experience regarding use of virtualized desktop computing. Our University recently implemented a pilot Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) project. For our initial phase, 15 conventional Windows PCs in a single student computing lab were replaced with PC over IP (PCoIP) zero clients. At the outset, intermittent connectivity and performance problems were observed. After considerable troubleshooting, we determined the problems were caused by deploying connections to our Windows print servers with Active Directory (AD) Group Policy Objects (GPOs). We were subsequently able to solve the problems by deploying the printers to the master VDI image using Windows local group policies. Although we have effectively worked around the original issue, our research indicates we may encounter future performance problems from the excessive IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) inherent with Windows printing. Our VDI environment is as follows: - The VDI system is VMware View 4.6 - Servers are Cisco UCS - Storage is NetApp fiber channel - We are running VMware vSphere 4 - Client devices are Samsung NC190 PCoIP Zero clients - We also use Pharos' Uniprint pay-for-print system (which prevents us from being able to use the commercial version of ThinPrint) The IT staff and I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has a similar (if not nearly identical) environment and who has identified an optimal way to manage the IOPS issues involving Windows printing and VDI. Some of the suggestions we have received thus far include either adding local SSD storage on our servers (and redirecting write activity to the local disks) or replacing our PCoIP zero clients with thin clients running embedded Windows versions. Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Please respond directly to the list or, if you would prefer, contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org. With best regards, Ken Ken Spelke, Ph.D. Interim Chief Information Officer Southern Connecticut State University 501 Crescent Street New Haven, CT 06515 203-392-5442 (voice) 203-392-6711 (fax) email@example.com ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.