Implementing Virtual Desktops (VDI): Desktop Migration – Phsyical To Virtual.

Introducing users to new virtual desktops (VDI – Citrix XenDesktop, VMware View) in a green-field scenario is a relatively pain-free process since there are no previous configuration or usage expectations from the user. However, migrating users from an existing physical desktop to a new virtual desktop or to a new operating system or application set can often lead to a user’s personal desktop settings being lost or corrupt in the process.  From the user’s perspective, they have been ‘made to move’ from a familiar, productive, personal environment to a new, sterile, non-personal environment.

 When moving to a new VDI environment, the user transition from desktop to desktop must occur seamlessly – as , moving users to standardized virtual desktops results in a new, sterile and impersonal experience for the user – a far cry from their fully personalized and familiar local desktop.  This tends to lead to a lack of user adoption, increased support costs and reduced productivity.  So how can IT realize the benefit of migrating users to a standardized environment while ensuring high user adoption?

With user environment management, user settings within the existing desktop are automatically identified, decoupled and moved to a central store. The user can then be moved to a standardized virtual desktop.  When the user accesses this desktop, these stored user settings are dynamically applied to the virtual desktop session, recreating their ‘PC environment’.  Subsequent personalization settings are persisted between virtual desktop sessions – even if those sessions themselves are not persisted (such as the componentized layered model from Citrix XenDesktop ) – ensuring the user has a familiar, personal experience at all times.

Since all aspects of the user are decoupled and stored independent of the desktop, organizations can now be more flexible in how desktops and applications are delivered to their users.  User settings can now be dynamically applied into any desktop and application regardless of how those components are delivered to the user.  This “Follow Me Personality” therefore enables IT to use the optimum method of desktop delivery, while ensuring the user always has a consistent, predictable and controlled working experience….even when off-line!

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