Lord of the ThinClients: An Unexpected Journey (Updated)

It has come to my attention that our VDI environment is entirely too small. We are currently running roughly 500 VDI, in 20-ish pools, across 2 different View instances (5.0.0 and 6.0.1), spanning 3 different vCenter Servers. The old 5.0.0 instance is a running catastrophe due to the integration of Unidesk on half of the ~230 VDI running on View 5.0.0. Unidesk is a fine product, that I’m sure works in some cases. However, it does not for us. It was implemented before I came into the picture.

ANYWAYS, The new hotness is a Horizon View 6 instance. It is running segregated on it’s own ESX 5.5u2 / vCenter 5.5u2 environment. This is backed with 8Gig FC SAN connectivity and 10GigE fiber network connectivity. This is the wave of the future. It was built, from scratch, so we could completely eliminate the old instance and vCenters, and to start fresh. So this is where we are at. Management would like to bring the VDI offering to the forefront of the customers subscribed services. They are in the middle of their XP phase-out, and have a large series of Hardware Refresh projects for workstations coming up. We would like to POC and turn-over the Horizon 6 suite. View, Mirage, Workspace, and AppVols specifically. We want to be able to show the customer how we can provision, manage, and protect their end-user-computing infrastructure, while saving them overhead cost. This is where my journey begins. We are going to be getting 2 Chromebook 11’s and 2 Wyse thin / zero clients for POC testing. From my brief investigations, it seems the only way to really use Horizon on the Chromebook is through the Blast web UI. Is this accurate? Is there any chromebook where I could install the Horizon Client and utilize it as I would on a Windows workstation? Is the added portability something that we would bulk-sell the customer on, or would we use Thin / Zero clients, and offer the up-charge of a portable Chromebook if they need to be mobile? Any and all input from people who went through this would be appreciated. Please feel free to spread this around. I can be reached on twitter @ALDTD, and via email at tim_p_davis@dell.com if anyone can lend their advice and input.



I have ruled out Chromebooks almost entirely. I do not want the user to have to rely on the HTML access via Blast for access. We are going to explore Mirage-managed endpoints for mobile users who need to go offline.