Daniel Feller's Top 10 Virtualization Mistakes

Posted on in System Administration

Daniel Feller, Lead Architect at Citrix Systems, recently concluded a series of blog posts highlighting the top ten desktop virtualization mistakes made by implementers. Here is a summary of the mistakes and links to Daniel's blog.


  1. Storage Misconfiguration
    Daniel points out that implementers tend to focus on capacity and forget performance. When designing a virtualization environment, storage performance must be taken into account. Daniel has some tips on how to do that.
  2. Using VDI Defaults
    Although defaults make small implementations easy to deploy, in larger systems they tend to become a hinderance. Performance optimizations can be had by leaving the defaults behind.
  3. Improperly Utilized Cache
    System cache allows faster access since objects stored in RAM are faster to retrieve than those stored on disk. Misappropriating cache can result in a system that bogs down at the least opportune moment.
  4. Non-optimized Virtual Desktop Images
    If virtual desktop images are not optimized, performance will suffer in the long run. Daniel outlines a few easy steps that can quickly improve performance.
  5. Boot Storms
    A boot storm happens when large numbers of users try to simultaneously boot their virtual desktops. In a server only environment, this is not a common problem, although a host reboot could result in the same situation. Daniel provides a few ways to avoid this problem in a virtualized desktop environment.
  6. Anti-Virus Software Run Amok
    Anti-virus can cause major performance problems in a virtualized environment. It should be deployed, but used with care.
  7. Improper Resource Allocation
    It is easy to over-estimate what sort of resource a virtual machine will need. Over-allocation of resources can result in poor performance.
  8. Lack of Application Virtualization Strategy
    By virtualizing applications, it is possible to reduce the number of desktop images that must be maintained. This results in lower administrative overhead.
  9. Forgetting the Importance of User Profiles
    Personalizing the desktop is an important part of any user experience. In a virtualized environment with a reduced number of desktop images, user profiles become even more important. If users are to accept the new system, it must be configurable and consistent.
  10. Underestimating Bandwidth
    Virtual desktops use more network resources than virtualized apps of the past. Underestimating the network needs of your virtualized environment can impact the performance of the virtualized environment and all other network attached devices.

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