Most of us probably come from a very distant user support background. Work wise I don’t recall when I last had to deploy a Windows OS to an user workstation or had to install and troubleshoot applications at user level.
In recent times however, I have once again been deploying Windows XP and applications. But now to VDI environments. I previously have discussed the transition of roles and how Cloud enabled environments are shaping the profile of the new IT professional (post).
The necessity to streamline Windows deployments for VDI put me in contact with an old friend of Desktop administrators. nLiteOS.
nLite is a tool for pre-installation Windows configuration and component removal at your choice. Optional bootable image ready for burning on media or testing in virtual machines.
With nLite you will be able to have Windows installation which on install does not include, or even contain on media, the unwanted components.
I was so impressed of how featured this little application is that I decided to write a post.
While creating your XP or Vista (it works also with Windows 2003) images for deployment across your VDI environment nLiteOS will help to streamline and create an image with a very small footprint. An image with small footprint not only saves you storage but also reduces memory consumption and the attack surface. This happens because most undesired services, applications and drivers are not enabled, even better, they are not installed.
Coupling a streamlined OS with an application virtualisation solution such as ThinApp, XenApp or App-V the result is a golden image that will leverage the use of your VDI infrastructure allowing you to have deeper host density and better utilisation.
Building a great VDI ready Windows By Gabe
Best Practices For Creating Templates in A VDI Environment by Michel Roth
If it is nice to have a small and light OS for your users it would be even better if we could measure how scalable the VDI environment is, and find out how many sessions the environment can handle without finding it the hard way during production hours. For that VSI 2.0 (just released) promises to help simulate user workload on your VDI environment while being 100% platform and protocol independent.