A Real-time Cloud Virtual Office Migration
Follow the virtual step by step office cloud migration of a small business in real-time Part 1: Planning and conversion


Editor’s note:  this is a n article series 

I started a new project with one of my clients to virtualize their server and PCs in the Cloud. For those not familiar with with this hardware migration, it means replacing their onsite computers with virtualized (simulated) computers in an offsite vendor’s data center. Throughout this series of articles I’ll document the details and the process used to complete this migration.

Now for some background on the client and their situation

Client background:

The client has an office with five employees plus two remote employees in out of state who work from home. Their primary office lease is due to expire at the end of June 2015. Their monthly lease fee is $5,500 including utilities.

Additional fees include a phone bill which is averages $1,000 per month and includes a $350 per month for a T1 line.  Finally they also pay $139 per month for an advanced backup system with offsite storage. This system becomes unnecessary as migrating to a Cloud vendor will handle backup services of the virtual server and virtual desktops.

This migration is currently being executed in real time and to date we solicited a proposal from one vendor and may be reaching out to others. The vendor’s proposal includes fees for multiple services including: Citrix XenApp hosted desktops, Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus, resource pools, storage, and an MSP management cloud domain.

1.  Citrix XenApp Hosted Desktops:

Citrix XenApp Hosted Desktops provide each user with a virtual desktop from anywhere using any Internet capable device.

2. Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus:

Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus is a version of Microsoft Office 365 that provides a single user copy of Microsoft Office 2013 for each virtual desktop.

3.  The resource pool:

The resource pool is the equivalent of a server for the business client. It provides the processing power for the virtual desktop environment and applications. Resources can be added on demand. We estimated two resources pools would be needed to support a virtual server and seven virtual desktops for adequate performance. We won’t know if two resource pools are sufficient until we set up testing.

4.  Storage:

Storage is the amount of disk space in gigabytes (GB) that the client will need to store their applications and data. The vendor estimates my client will need 120 GB of storage. This number needs to be as low as possible, because the virtual storage is expensive. Firms that use a lot more storage sometimes store the files in “near-line” storage with a third-party provider such as Gladinet. Near-line means the files show up like other files, but if clicked on, there is a noticeable delay of up to five seconds while the files are retrieved and made to appear local.


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