Navigating VDI Network Hurdles

HurdlesThe majority of today’s data center initiatives have one thing in common: data is becoming more centralized, while users are increasingly more distributed. This places an increased emphasis on the network, making every data center vulnerable to bandwidth, latency, and service quality challenges that impact all applications.  However, don’t fret, because there are methods to overcoming these hurdles that are so critical to enterprises and cloud operators.

To be sure, when it comes to VDI deployments, there are many obstacles to confront within servers, storage,and user devices. But the most common cause of performance problems for VDI applications is network congestion and latency.

One aim of desktop virtualization is to lower deployment costs and gain business agility. However, the performance and reliability pitfalls with these applications over the WAN can work against the benefits. Many key business initiatives are being put at risk due to poorly managed WAN performance.  For VDI deployments, slow and unreliable end-user performance causes session disconnects and makes screen refreshes sluggish.

Most organizations have dozens and even hundreds of applications, and there is really no way to tune each application to run well over the WAN.  The appropriate solution is to improve the network, and in doing so, all the applications can benefit.  Improving the network maximizes existing bandwidth by eliminating non-essential and redundant data, overcoming latency, prioritizing important traffic, and ensuring packets are delivered on time and in order.

As VDI deployments grow in number, it becomes increasingly more difficult to deliver a consistent user experience.  There are a couple of reasons for this. For one, remote users are often connected through different types of WANs, with varying levels of bandwidth, latency, and quality.  The greater the distance users are from the data center, the harder it is to ensure reliability and performance, as VDI applications are very susceptible to latency and packet loss. Secondly, data centers that support many hundreds of simultaneous desktop connections present a unique scalability challenge for VDI.

VDI is susceptible to packet loss. When lost packets are retransmitted, screen refreshes can become bogged down and sessions can be lost.   Advanced WAN optimizers address this problem by providing Forward Error Correction and Packet Order Correction to re-sequence packets in real-time to avoid re-transmissions. Organizations can reliably scale high volumes of VDI users and high-throughput data streams.

We know that network connections have a limited amount of bandwidth, and some applications consume more bandwidth than others. Enterprises rely upon certain applications, such as VDI, more than others. Quality-of-Service technologies are used to supply appropriate bandwidth and to better control traffic types. WAN optimizers provide a variety of crucial service-level technologies, such as application classification, packet-based service differentiation and traffic queuing for both sides of the WAN connection to help data center managers gain greater control over their VDI deployments.

Avoid the pitfalls in VDI deployments over the WAN — discover the many benefits of WAN optimization.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

About the author
Marc Goodman