TCO Savings with Desktop Virtualization

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1 WHITE PAPER Citrix XenDesktop TCO Savings with Desktop Virtualization

2 Cost Savings with Desktop Virtualization Moving from traditional PCs to desktop virtualization is first and foremost a strategic decision. That is, it fills a need for enterprises to better manage their PC environment from an efficiency, security, or flexibility perspective. They have made a decision to centralize their desktops to achieve a compelling set of strategic goals. Nonetheless, it is important to just about any company to be able to financially justify this strategic investment. Are the claims such as 50% TCO Savings or Save up to 40% real? Even though the market is still too young for hard data on TCO reduction, there are great possibilities for cost savings in all areas of desktop deployment and management. This whitepaper will look at the current cost of PC management which has been well-documented by industry experts. The whitepaper will explore the various opportunities to save significant operational costs by migrating to a centralized virtual desktop solution, and how TCO can vary depending on industry and end user requirements. Finally, there will be a discussion on acquisition costs and how some of these can be avoided or defrayed so that virtual desktop solutions can be acquired using existing PC replacement budgets. Figure 1 Cost Profile of the Traditional PC Distributed PCs suffer from significant costs for both untimely desktop refresh as well as day to day costs of maintaining them, staffing the help desk, and dealing with downtime. PCs tend to be monolithic, encompassing the operating system, applications, and personalized settings. This results in essentially thousands of unique systems due to the inevitable modification of the OS and application mix by the end user despite best efforts in providing a common corporate OS image. This confounds the support effort and leads to security holes and, often, poor performance. The traditional lifecycle of the PC is portrayed in Figure 1, revealing the many steps involved in simply procuring the machine and getting to the user s desk followed by the requirement to keep it running and ensure against data loss. The IT department is dealing with ongoing obsolescence as application requirements and user expectations quickly outstrip the capabilities of the existing desktop PC. Today, PC refresh projects are being delayed by months or years due to the significant costs of the effort. Furthermore, incompatibilities between the new OS and the new and old applications and inter-app incompatibilities complicate the upgrade effort. From a day-to-day operational perspective, there are multiple cost impacts to the IT department. The help desk deals minute by minute with hundreds of trouble tickets, made more difficult by unique hardware/software scenarios appearing with each call. Maintaining an acceptable level of security proves to be hard or even impossible given that data is always local to the PC at some point when it is being used. Furthermore, widespread use of USB drives and recordable DVDs/CDs make data security very difficult to enforce. The regular appearance of OS patches (some critical) plus app updates create a logistical nightmare for IT staff to deal with. PC s are spread out throughout a city, region, country or worldwide. The recursive effort to patch or update all of these machines can cost days or weeks of effort. 2

3 WHITE PAPER Citrix XenDesktop Leaving some PCs behind can cause support headaches for months in the future so there is a strong need to update 100% of the endpoints in a reasonable timeframe, something that is not always possible. Alinean and Citrix estimate that the cost to manage a traditional unmanaged PC is $960 per user per year, including both Desktop and Application administration, and $705 for well managed PCs. Most of the effort in desktop management is generated by 4 main activities: 1. Moves, adds, changes, and deletions: It takes days to order a corporate PC, image it, deliver to site, and go onsite to bring the machine up. 2. Configure/upgrade/repair hardware. 3. Patching OS, reimaging systems, resolving corruptions: OS patches are done using automated tools which may or may not be successful depending on the status of the target PCs (on network, powered up, under load). 4. Data recovery, archiving, purging, backup: Data backup and recovery is a hit or miss scenario. Some users actively back up their data but many do not. If important files are kept on networked storage, this data is safe but recovery of the complete desktop, even with a local backup copy, is time consuming and problematic. Application management is another key pain point for traditional desktop environments. Each application must be tested against the corporate OS image and all of the other applications, delivered to all the end user machines via an ESD methodology, and installed by user or technician on each machine. Any new version must be re-tested and redistributed. Three main cost drivers impact application management: 1. Regression, compatibility testing: Each new or upgraded application must be tested before rollout to ensure that it is compatible with each OS used as well as with other existing or new applications. 2. Application rollout and provisioning: Preparing thousands of endpoints for a new application or application update is necessary to ensure that each endpoint is capable of running the application. One of the major costs of app management is the effort and time required to get the application to the endpoint and having it actually installed on the endpoint. 3. Updates, maintenance, training: Ensuring that hotfixes and regular updates are applied to the apps across all users can drive IT support costs. Training users on new applications is a pricey but necessary step to ensure that the users are productive without a huge initial impact on the help desk. 3

4 Opportunities for Cost Savings over Traditional PC Management Management and Support Costs With a centralized desktop, a simple OS image, and a separate app virtualization environment, IT can turn up a user desktop in seconds. The user can access it from any PC via any network. Using desktop appliances and virtual desktops, endpoints will not need as many updates, patches or reimaging and the desktops themselves will be running on dependable server hardware. Any problem will be easily resolved by streaming the base corporate OS image onto the Virtual Machine or endpoint and applying personalization settings and customized set of applications. Any hardware problem can be resolved by simply replacing the endpoint with a new one since it will work seamlessly out of the box. This significantly reduces the effort to fix software and hardware issues, representing at least half of the current management expense. A centralized image approach allows for regular backups of all data and user settings. There is no scenario for local hardware failure so even in the case of a server crash, the user settings can be re-homed and will be available to the end user the next time she logs on. Running applications on the server or in an isolation environment on the VM or client eliminates application compatibility testing as there is really no interaction with any other app or the desktop OS. However, the largest cost component of app management is rollout and provisioning. New or updated applications can be applied to the app virtualization environment and instantly rolled out to end users without reviewing impact on the endpoints. Using a Hosted Virtual Desktop solution, in this case Citrix XenDesktop Enterprise Edition, we estimate total savings of $615 over unmanaged PC desktops and $360 over partially managed PC desktops. Details for each area of savings are provided in the table figure 2. This is based on an analysis comparing virtualized desktop and apps as compared with unmanaged and partially managed traditional desktop with installed applications. This TCO savings opportunity will vary based on how the individual customer manages desktops today and to what extent that they can actually realize savings by reallocating IT support resources, renegotiate 3rd party support contracts and so forth. 4

5 WHITE PAPER Citrix XenDesktop Desktop Administration Costs per Device Technical Support (per device per year) VM Desktop Traditional/ Unmanaged Frontline tech support $200 $500 $350 Backline tech support $60 $100 $75 Total cost per year per device for technical support $260 $600 $425 PC Engineering (per device per year) Moves, adds, changes, deletions $10 $30 $30 Patching OS, reimaging systems, resolving corruptions $15 $30 $20 Configure/upgrade/repair hardware $10 $50 $40 Data recovery, archiving, purging, restructuring, backup $5 $20 $20 Total cost per year per device for PC engineering $40 $130 $110 Traditional/ Partially Managed Total cost per year per device for desktop administration $300 $730 $535 Application Administration Costs per Device Application Management (per device per year) VM Desktop Traditional/ Unmanaged Regression/compatibility testing $10 $40 $40 Application rollout, provisioning $25 $150 $100 Updates, maintenance, training $10 $40 $30 Traditional/ Partially Managed Total cost per year per device for application management $45 $230 $170 Figure 2 End-User and Industry Impact on TCO Savings Customer type and industry type lead to different focus areas for centralized desktop benefits. An enterprise in the financial industry has, normally, a strong and technical focus on ROI/TCO and methodologies to track actual financial impact. Due to the state of the economy and the financial industry, these companies have some near term drastic cost reduction requirements and may be able to reduce or reallocate IT headcount to realize savings in efficiency due to centralized desktops. Trading floors can realize revenue impact due to improvements in productivity made possible by this technology. Some financial firms have had past data loss scenarios so are able to quantify the avoidance of data loss due to desktop issues. State and local governments will use ROI to drive a decision amongst competing products but may not be able to realize many of the TCO benefits due to lack of flexibility on headcount and existing maintenance/ support contracts. However, Green savings may be the largest single decision criteria, given the 10:1 reduction in power consumption for thin 5

6 clients compared with traditional PC. Many government agencies employ 3rd party companies to run things like the help desk. This presents an opportunity to reduce the amount of effort going into help desks or call centers which will impact the yearly budget. Security is a driving factor in Federal government, taxation authorities, banking, and healthcare. The simple fact that data never leaves the data center is a big driver for these accounts. The effect of a security breech can be hard to quantify unless the customer has a past scenario that they can refer to for numbers. Worker productivity improvements can be hard to quantify in many accounts but they can certainly be applied to manufacturing workers who use desktops as part of their job. Healthcare has large IT demands and fast response time requirements. It is relatively easy to identify IT support costs savings given the potential impact of reducing trouble tickets and downtime significantly with a centralized desktop approach. Lowering Acquisition Costs In order to leverage PC desktop refresh budgets, IT departments can adopt a phased approach to migrating to centralized desktops, using Citrix XenDesktop with FlexCast delivery technology to deliver any type of virtual desktop to any user. In a pure hosted virtual desktop implementation, there are significant upfront costs including thin client acquisition, hypervisor server deployments, and OS licensing. IT can minimize these costs by delaying wholesale replacement of the endpoint and by using the processing power of the endpoint to reduce the number of hypervisor servers in the datacenter. By leveraging a simple, centralized OS image and application virtualization, XenDesktop can stream the OS from the data center directly to the endpoint. Alternatively, for users with minimal needs for personalization, a hosted shared desktop can be delivered, providing the highest desktop density per server. Furthermore IT can repurpose existing PCs for both local streamed and hosted desktops, eliminating the requirement to replace most of the PCs in the near term. Citrix XenDesktop with FlexCast 6

7 WHITE PAPER Citrix XenDesktop A Phased Approach to Centralized Desktops 1. Examine existing PC inventory to determine capabilities to support streamed or hosted desktops. 2. Relatively new PCs (less than 3 years old) can run centralized, streamed desktops. Users will experience similar performance to existing environment but will benefit from faster boot times and better overall reliability. IT will benefit from significantly lower TCO by standardizing OS images. 3. Older PCs (more than 3 years old) will be repurposed to support hosted desktops. Users will experience much better performance than before since the endpoint will only be used for display, keyboard, mouse, and network connection. The actual desktop will run either on hypervisor servers (VM-based VDI desktops) or Windows Server OS (hosted stored desktops) in the datacenter. IT will experience lower support costs for OS, Applications, and the physical endpoint. 4. Non-functional or obsolete PCs will be replaced by thin clients running hosted desktops. 5. As the PC s receiving streamed desktops age, they will be migrated to hosted desktops, effectively doubling their lifespan. As these PC s fail or become obsolete, they will be replaced by thin clients displaying hosted desktops. Using this methodology, PC s are slowly replaced over a 5-8 year timeframe and hypervisor servers are gradually added into the data center to support thin clients. This approach has the benefits of minimizing and spreading out acquisition costs, immediately reducing TCO, and gradually reducing power and cooling costs by introducing thin client endpoints over time. TCO Case Study Collier County Public School System in Southern Florida has built a large hosted virtual desktop deployment, utilizing both VMs and OS streaming. Key data points about Collier County Schools: 50 schools including two charter schools Total student population of 42, elementary schools, 11 middle schools, 8 high schools All desktops centrally provisioned over high speed fiber links Collier County went live with their solution in August, They have deployed 10,000+ desktops with XenDesktop (Desktop Streaming) delivered to HP Thin Clients. Another 2,400 thin clients connect to virtual machine based desktops. As a result of this deployment, Collier estimates that applications and desktops are delivered 80% faster with the same staffing levels. VM desktops make it easy to establish computer labs without establishing permanent computer lab space. Most importantly support costs are significantly reduced compared with previous desktop deployments Collier identified and reduced support cost at least 50% less per workstation. 7

8 Conclusion It is easy to see that a centralized desktop solution can make significant reductions in operating costs, improve user productivity, and enable easy access to desktops on any device from anywhere. Enterprises and government agencies are already deploying XenDesktop in volume production and gaining significant efficiencies in terms of desktop/ application management and power/cooling. However, these TCO savings only accrue after investing in endpoints and server technology. One way to mitigate this cost is to stream the desktop to appropriate end user devices, reducing the immediate need for new endpoints and server resources. Depending on the particulars of your own IT environment, it is possible to focus on a few areas where savings are most likely to be realized while discounting the less quantitative savings models. We recommend that you engage with Citrix early on to help calculate project costs and potential savings at the beginning of your Centralized Desktop project and work with us over time to track the impact of XenDesktop on your overall Desktop TCO. Whether choosing desktop streaming or hosted desktops or a combination of both, there is an opportunity to develop an easily supportable business case and to start realizing savings immediately upon deployment. 8

9 Worldwide Headquarters Citrix Systems, Inc. 851 West Cypress Creek Road Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309, USA T T Americas Citrix Silicon Valley 4988 Great American Parkway Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA T Europe Citrix Systems International GmbH Rheinweg Schaffhausen, Switzerland T Asia Pacific Citrix Systems Hong Kong Ltd. Suite 3201, 32nd Floor One International Finance Centre 1 Harbour View Street Central, Hong Kong T Citrix Online Division 6500 Hollister Avenue Goleta, CA 93117, USA T About Citrix Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) is the leading provider of virtualization, networking and software as a service technologies for more than 230,000 organizations worldwide. Its Citrix Delivery Center, Citrix Cloud Center (C3) and Citrix Online Services product families radically simplify computing for millions of users, delivering applications as an on-demand service to any user, in any location on any device. Citrix customers include the world s largest Internet companies, 99 percent of Fortune Global 500 enterprises, and hundreds of thousands of small businesses and prosumers worldwide. Citrix partners with over 10,000 companies worldwide in more than 100 countries. Founded in 1989, annual revenue in 2008 was $1.6 billion Citrix Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Citrix, FlexCast and XenDesktop are trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc. and/ or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners. 1009/PDF

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