How to ensure project success
As a Thin Client Consultant I know the importance of planning when it comes to delivering projects using Remote Desktop Services (previously known as Terminal Services) and Citrix technologies such as Citrix XenApp and the newer Citrix XenDesktop (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure - VDI) technologies.
Without well planned phases it can become difficult to deliver projects as originally required and this can lead to unwanted downtime, pushing projects costs higher.
Thin client solutions can provide impressive cost savings in comparision to using the standard thick (fat) client approach but only if these solutions are designed, tested and deployed properly.
Otherwise what seemed like a good idea for cutting costs, could in turn actually start haemorraghing money and turn rapidly into a nightmare scenario.
Thin client design is the first important stage and is split into a logical (high level) design and later into a physical (low level) design element. Actually the requirements gathering and analysis are the most important stages but for the purposes of this website, it is assumed requirements have been gathered and analysed accordingly.
The logical design looks at the services and components used in developing the solution. If the logical design is not done accurately then this can have a knock on effect on other project stages, from the development of the low level design to the testing and deployments of the solution.
The physical design breaks the logical services and components into physical elements such as individual servers, including naming, addressing conventions and resilience configurations.
Thin client deployment is made easier with an appropriate physical design, which can be taken further by including build documentation.
This ensures uniformity in the deployment ensuring components utilised are identically configured, which will further reduce the likelihood of any problems which could have resulted from differing standards and builds.
It's important to use some form of testing to determine what the root cause of the problems are. In the section, Citrix Testing, I look at various options available to ensure the delivery of success.
In Functional Testing I look at compatibility and coexistence, two important areas of functional testing which need to be addressed before any other type of testing is initiated.
The next stage is Citrix Non Functional Testing where performance, load and stress testing are done to ensure systems are ready to cope with expected user behaviours.
The last stage of testing looks at Citrix Acceptance Testing where the systems are checked to see if they are ready to go into a productive 'live' state and start serving users. Combining user acceptance with production and operational acceptance is highly recommended.
I've also included Citrix Test Tools section to provide further information on testing Citrix environments.
The thin client advantages can only be harnessed by using a structured approach in the design, testing and deployment stages, otherwise the success of a thin client project can be severely jeopardised. As a Citrix & Thin Client expert, I can advise on best approaches forward.