Consortium Health Plans Uses Liquidware Labs Stratusphere UX to Improve Virtual Desktop Performance
Consortium Health Plans, Inc. provides a variety of support services members, 21 independently licensed Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans located across the United States. The organization has a mature and reliable virtual desktop infrastructure using VMware Horizon and Unidesk layering technology. Besides continually monitoring the VDI performance and providing troubleshooting as needed, the desktop support team meets quarterly to discuss ideas for improving the performance of its virtual desktop environment. One thing the team learned early was that the virtual desktop infrastructure was not just "set it and forget it."
In order to maintain optimum performance and user satisfaction, it is necessary to continually monitor and adjust the VDI infrastructure. Consortium has been using VMware's vRealize Operations Manager along with Whatsup Gold from Ipswitch for application, server and network monitoring. But using multiple solutions -- especially with vRealize's heavy 300 mg agents -- placed significant overhead on both the IT systems and the staff. The short term solution was to limit what was monitored, but the Consortium team knew that was not the best route to go.
Liquidware Labs Acceler8 partner, GANTECH recommended that Consortium evaluate Stratusphere UX in order to see if the metrics provided would assist the team in making better decisions to improve the virtual desktop infrastructure. Stratusphere UX was instrumental in providing the 360-degree visibility that the Consortium IT team needed to improve their virtual desktop performance. A recent CPU contention issue highlighted the specificity that the solution can provide. It turned out the culprit was high RAM swapping which led to more CPU cycles, I/O and storage being used. The problem was solved by testing different resource allocations and moving hosts which lowered CPU averages and improved overall performance significantly. For Consortium Health Plans, Stratusphere UX has transformed how the IT team manages their virtual desktops and -- instead of spending the majority of their time reacting to issues -- they now proactively tune and optimize their VDI environment for best results.
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