Wednesday, January 3, 2024

A journey through VDI to cloud migration with Lakeside Software

Everyone in IT has gone through some sort of migration project, and we all know how difficult it can be — from comparing before/after, validating the migration, identifying any issues, operationalizing the migration, and testing it.

It is ideal for IT teams to have a helping hand to clarify and simplify the tedious process upfront: What should and can be migrated? How will the moves affect the user experience?

I had the opportunity to discuss these issues and more with Rob Dobson, Director of Partner Solution Architects at Lakeside Software, and Siddarth Oruganti, Global Practice Head – Digital Workplace/End User Services at LTIMindtree (a Lakeside partner). Lakeside Software has been a Citrix Ready Partner since 2010. As part of the Citrix Ready program, Citrix helps our technology partners like Lakeside to develop, integrate, and validate their products and services with Citrix.

For the complete details of this journey, you can watch the on-demand webinar:

At Citrix, we are always on the hunt for solutions that help us understand the nuances of migration at every stage of the journey. Simply put, we welcomed Lakeside Software, specifically its SysTrack platform, to help us with this. That’s the solution to have to simplify and ease migration, as it not only helps you to optimize the IT infrastructure and utilization, but it also enables IT to understand the specific impact of the migration on the end-user experience during the four stages of the project. Let’s take a closer look at what we discussed were the biggest steps in making the migration to cloud or hybrid DaaS deployments with Citrix and Lakeside SysTrack. 

What are the four stages of the VDI to DaaS migration journey?

Phase 1: Identifying/sizing what to migrate.

This phase is all about gaining visibility. As Rob Dobson mentioned, “For a long time, IT has had visibility challenges and has struggled to understand exactly what’s going on in their environment; they’ve had quite a blinkered view, seeing only small parts of the whole picture.” For a migration project to be successful, however, you need complete visibility of the IT estate. Lakeside Software gives that full view via data insights from an agent-based system that collects telemetry data from endpoints every 15 seconds.

With a Citrix virtual desktop, for example, the Lakeside agent will automatically understand that virtual desktop and collect more information around it, displaying protocols and peripherals attached to the remote device. Once you have a fuller view of the environment, you can better understand sizing, usage, and device performance, in turn gaining clarity on what to move to the cloud. This real-time visibility is crucial since IT is constantly in flux.

Phase 2: Measuring and comparing before and after migration.

Phase 2 encompasses measuring existing loads to understand things such as CPU usage, memory, usage disk, etc. With a migration project, precision is key for avoiding performance problems. Average peaks, for example, will not work for sizing discs. As Rob notes, “A surefire way of failing in a vast migration is giving less resources than what you’re already using; your users will have a poor experience.”

This SysTrack grid lists systems that are over or under-provisioned and those that are right-sized. Other metrics covered include the Health Score, Suggested Memory, Max Memory Usage, Suggested CPU, and others.

Once you understand exact resource usage, you can use models to experiment with adjusting thresholds for shared desktops, singer-user desktops, etc. for different sizes of virtual machines. In this phase, SysTrack can help IT teams understand the optimal footprint for cloud usage or, if going to a hybrid environment, the optimal number of virtual machines needed.

 Phase 3: Operationalizing the migration using Lakeside SysTrack

Once you’ve started migrating, it is important to understand the user experience, end to end— not just on the individual virtual desktop but potentially looking at what’s going on the endpoint device. For example, looking at connectivity from the virtual desktop to the line of business apps will give insight into whether the challenges are inside the virtual desktop or, instead, on the user’s device.

By using SysTrack’s sensor technology, IT can become more proactive by alerting issues and automatically fixing them before the user is affected. You can set up the system to auto-fix common problems and/or create self-help tools. A proactive IT method also can trigger automated alerts for widespread issues (e.g., if a whole group of people in the same location loses their internet at the same time).

Phase 4: Presenting value back to your business/validation.

How do you validate that the migration is working well on multiple levels while reducing IT complexity and making the system and the entire environment more agile? And how do you introduce efficiencies while improving the user experience and their productivity?

The global system integrator LTIMindtree’s Siddarth Oruganti was able to address these questions, focusing on “the magic that SysTrack, Citrix, and LTIMindree may bring” for presenting value back to the business via the validation phase of migration. By leveraging Citrix and Lakeside SysTrack, LTIMindtree looks at end-user experience, ensuring easy onboarding, preventing any downtime during migration, and understanding productivity gains. They also consider business outcomes such as reducing hardware costs. Underlying all validation use cases is the security pillar, using visibility to reduce risks and track incidents to fortify the entire environment.

Making the VDI to DaaS migration journey easier

Migrating VDI to cloud or hybrid infrastructure models doesn’t have to be challenging. By following the four steps of the migration journey, and working with partners such as Citrix, Lakeside, and LTIMindtree, organizations can more easily figure out — with real-time visibility metrics for both technical and business stakeholders — what to move to the cloud and what not to, while also measuring the resulting performance change due to this transformation. If you’re ready to take the next step toward creating your hybrid environment, let Citrix and Lakeside help you get started.

from Citrix Blogs

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