Best Practices for Moving VDI to Azure Cloud

Published on 10 May 2018

The biggest challenge with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployment is the effective provisioning of resources, so that the users do not face any hiccups with regards to desktop performance.

That’s far easier said than done!

Even when businesses manage to consider the needs of all their users and create the infrastructure to meet their needs, it’s an extremely slow and painful process to do it. Forget the scaling up of infrastructure, which can take months together. Modern workforce, which is increasingly going mobile and needs agile systems to meet the rapidly changing performance needs, requires a far more flexible and elastic virtual desktop environment than that. That’s where desktop as a service (DaaS) infrastructure comes into the picture.

DaaS platforms allow businesses to give their users the desktops that they are most familiar with, albeit with the added advantage of cloud support. The cloud factor allows businesses to utilize the resources as per their changing needs and pay for them accordingly. More importantly, it allows businesses to rapidly deploy new virtual desktops on cloud on short notice. What used to take months will now take a few days.

What’s more, a number of on-premises VDI estate providers have partnered with cloud services to create a seamless end-to-end cloud VDI services. For instance, Citrix has partnered with Microsoft’s Azure platform to provide business users cloud VDI services that are faster, more flexible, and highly scalable. For instance, starting 1,000 sessions of Windows 10 on Citrix on Azure cloud takes as less as 20 minutes.

There is no dearth of evidence in favor of cloud migration of virtual desktops. However, the benefits of cloud migration can be realized only when the businesses have a clear strategy on how to achieve maximum returns on their investment into the migration. So, here are some best practices that businesses must follow when migrating their virtual desktops to Azure Cloud.

Make a Business Case for Migration

Too many digital transformation stories end up in failures because of the lack of proper vision and absence of a strong need for the migration in the first place. While it is true that moving VDIs to cloud offers plenty of benefits, but the most critical question is – are those benefits absolutely essential for a business?

Businesses must take into account the following factors before they decide to migrate their VDIs to the Azure cloud:

  • In-House IT Capabilities

Is your IT team fully equipped with the capabilities to handle the cloud migration? If not, then you will have to add the costs of hiring a professional service provider to migrate your VDI estate to the cloud.

  • Tangible Benefits and ROIs of Migration

The cloud platform is faster. But, so is a rocket.

Relevance and ROI are critical factors when making a major business decision such as the cloud migration of VDIs. Businesses should define and finalize the actual tangible benefits they hope to achieve from the migration. Only when the ROI of cloud migration is positive and proportional to the massive exercise, businesses should proceed with it.

Understand the Resource Utilization of Different Users

Individual users have different desktop usage requirements. Power users require high performance, while the average users require significantly lower capabilities. Therefore, businesses should create virtual machines of varying sizes on the cloud, so that they are able to meet the individual requirements of all types of users. Also, when the cloud virtual desktop workloads are not active, they can be disabled or deallocated to save on the costs of utilization.

Consider Costs and Optimize Utility

Perform a thorough analysis of all the licensing fees, hardware costs, IT labor costs, costs of productivity loss, cloud services costs, and other costs involved in both scenarios – on-premises VDI vs Azure cloud virtual desktop environment. In all probability, the cloud based virtual desktop would be a far cheaper alternative. Still, in some cases, businesses may find their on-premises infrastructure to be a more cost-efficient option. At this point, businesses should ask themselves whether the added flexibility, agility, and scalability that comes with cloud migration is worth the exercise. Only when they hope to gain operational or strategic benefit from that, should they proceed with the migration.

Once businesses have decided to move their VDIs to the cloud, the next step is to right-size the virtual machines to optimize the workloads and minimize the expenses on licenses.

The Hybrid Approach

Even when the businesses are 100% certain about the benefits they expect to receive from the cloud migration, a step-by-step approach might make better sense in some cases. If your IT department is not fully convinced about the migration, or your end users prefer the existing infrastructure, then it might be sensible to retain the data and applications on-premises, while the virtual desktops migrate to the cloud. To reiterate, this is a strictly short-term solution and businesses will have to eventually move their data and applications to the cloud as well, in order to enjoy full benefits of the platform.

The Best Virtual Desktop Environment on the Cloud

Citrix, the leading player in desktop virtualization, has partnered with the leading player in cloud storage and computing, Microsoft Azure, to provide state-of-the-art Citrix on Azure platform. The platform offers fully cloud-based DaaS services that come with all the benefits of on-premises virtual desktop infrastructure, with the added benefits of robust security, scalability, agility, and cost-effectiveness.

There are many more ways this platform can help your business become more competitive. Migrate your VDIs to the Citrix on Azure Cloud today, and make your business leaner, agile, and more cost-competitive. Contact AsiaPac today to transform your business into a productivity workhorse with the power of Citrix on Azure platform.

Tags:  Azureazure cloudCitrixCloudMicrosoftVDI

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