Some of our clients ask how iRangers architects approach the solution design initiatives and what our design recommendations are based on. Of course, most of our design recommendations come from experience and all of them are based on industry leading practices. Most of the time, to structure the approach and build the design plan we go over tons of product documentations, best practices and use-case white papers, IT community meetings, and multiple brainstorming sessions with our teammates. Vendors also like to publish documents that can give some ideas on how to build the design structure, but most of the time we have to dig through tons of marketing stuff to extract those tiny pieces of really useful information.
However, sometimes we get lucky and vendors release really helpful documentation that we can use as a starting point for a solution design. Citrix, for example, have been releasing their Virtual Desktop Handbook since 2013 and this guide is a must-have bedside book of every Citrix solution designer. The VDI Handbook (interesting choice for a name, by the way, given Citrix doesn’t like using the term “VDI” when talking about XenDesktop) is written by a group of famous Citrix architects, consultants and technology experts based on the real-world field experience. I use this handbook as a starting point for all my Citrix design projects. Of course, this is not the universal guide that would answer all the questions as every environment is different and what works for one client may not work for another, but it provides a solid base.
Also, it’s really important to adjust your approach to accommodate the constantly changing and developing technology, tools and standards. As Nokia’s example teaches us, we can’t afford standing still. This is where Citrix also does a great job and periodically releases the revised and adjusted versions of the handbook. Don’t be surprised that the newest handbook that can be downloaded from here: Citrix VDI Handbook, has version 1.0; this version is based on the XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 LTSR. If you are curious, the previous version of the handbook (7.3.2 – go figure their versioning logic) can be found here: Citrix Virtual Desktop Handbook 7.x.
The latest version of the handbook includes some new or revised features, such as Browser Apps aka Secure Browser (technically not that new but reinvented), Pro Graphics Desktop, Local VM Desktop, etc. Overall, it is a solid and well-organized document that can be a great example for other vendors.
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