By: Frank Ohlhorst dnu
Virtual desktop infrastructures are supposed to make things easier, especially for IT staffers, who can eschew many of their desktop management chores as virtual desktops replace traditional ones in the enterprise. However, enterprise network administrators are finding managing VDI solutions has become a time-consuming, less-than-ideal process. As VDI implementations grow, so does the time needed to manage the various bits and pieces required to make VDI work.
With VDI, the management chores have changed from managing simple desktop PCs to managing a complex infrastructure of virtual desktops. The complexity of VDI stems from the various pieces of technology that must all work in concert to provide an adequate end-user experience. Those technologies include servers, hypervisors, connection brokers, virtual hard drives and, of course, all of the associated hardware, ranging from Ethernet connectivity components down to endpoints. For example, a VDI solution may use a Microsoft Windows Server, a VMware hypervisor, a Leostream Connection Broker and a display protocol, such as RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) or PCoIP (PC over IP).
eG Innovations is hoping to remove some of the pain of VDI management with its eG VDI Monitor, a management application that enables administrators to understand what is occurring on their virtual infrastructures. eG VDI Monitor works as an end-to-end management product that monitors the various pieces that make up a VDI platform. It is its cross-vendor support that makes the product compelling to those looking to rein in out-of-control VDI platforms. The product works with multiple hypervisors, including Microsoft's Hyper-V, Citrix's XenServer and VMware's vSphere, as well as with such connection brokers as Leostream, Citrix's Xen Desktop and VMware View.
eG Innovations succeeds at placing important information at an administrator's fingertips, which otherwise would be hard to identify using the tools that are often bundled with the individual products. eG VDI Monitor can be a powerful ally for administrators looking to prove that a VDI implementation was successful or, better yet, how to make sure it is successful.
eG VDI Monitor brings some interesting capabilities to the table. First and foremost, the product is able to monitor and report on user activity on the virtual desktop, not just how the virtual machine is performing. Most VDI management products are unable to look inside the virtual desktop to record user activity, much less report on it. eG appears unique in this capability, and the ability to monitor user activity may make a significant difference when trying to resolve problems on a VDI platform-that is, is it something the user did, or did the software fail?
Those capabilities are the gravy of the product, as the meat and potatoes portion includes end-to-end monitoring of all components used for VDI, including servers, routers, switches, connection brokers, hypervisors, display protocols, bandwidth use, throughput, latency and pretty much any other VDI component one could think of. However, those capabilities come at a price, namely a very complex installation and setup process.
While monitoring and identifying problems is an important management capability, eG VDI Monitor attempts to go one step further by offering information proactively. The product produces warnings and alerts based upon conditions that indicate a problem is forthcoming, before the end user is impacted. For example, if the product notices increased latency or a higher than usual transmission error rate, it will warn the administrator of the potential problem.