TWIET 466: Virtually the Best TWiET Yet

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What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

I just caught this episode.
As an employee of a VAR that is a Citrix partner as well as a MS partner, I couldn’t agree more with what was said. Whomever thought managing a VDI infrastructure (at least on-premises) could be left to a student intern is sadly mistaken. And it doesn’t matter what technology you use. Plus, Microsoft does make it hard to figure out what licensing you need for Windows 10 VDI. I do find that most of my customers purchase Windows Datacenter licenses for their virtual infrastructure, that way they don’t need to worry about their server licenses. I’ve actually seen customers implement “server VDI” due to the cost of Windows 10 licensing.

Now, adding Windows 10 to the cloud is even more of a pain. The only platform where it is “legal” is Azure, so customers that are using other cloud platforms that want to use Windows 10 are up the creek. Fortunately, with the introduction of M365 licensing, the ability to run Windows 10 in the cloud is lot easier.

A discussion on the endpoint was also brought up. One of the advantages of a VDI environment is that users can BYOD, just install a client, and be done. For customers that still want some control, we’re seeing more people utilize products from Igel that will either repurpose the equipment as a thin client or just be a USB dongle that you boot from. All of this becomes cloud managed, so it doesn’t matter where the endpoint is.

I also want to add one more point. I have a customer that also utilizes Revit with an on-premises infrastructure, utilizing Citrix to deliver desktops to their users. Each of their servers has an nVidia card added to provide virtual GPUs. The solution works pretty well. The customer recently built a new infrastructure on VXRail running VMWare (previously running on XenServer). They bought the additional nVidia cards (with associated licensing) and had them in. However, for their needs, discovered that they only needed VMWare Standard licensing. Unfortunately, we discovered the hard way that VMWare Standard doesn’t allow the use of the virtual GPUs, which for them renders the infrastructure a useless, expensive, paperweight. It was a long fight to get them the proper licensing.

Moving to VDI might be a more optimal solution in a lot of use cases, but it might not necessary be the cheapest. In the case of the aforementioned customer, they look at it by being able to buy lower cost PCs/laptops for their end users versus high end devices to do the architectural work that is now done on the backend.

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