What do you like best?
Managed desktops, servers and email! Yet they let me do as much or as little as I want.We especially like the ability to call them for any help we need, and they jump on it and continue to work on it until completed to our satisfaction. The implementation team was incredible, very friendly and make you feel that they're your allies in anything you're trying to accomplish. They are willing to work outside of regular hours to avoid business disruption. Quick recovery with virtual desktop rollback capability and robust backup solutions. In short, I no longer have to worry about any servers going down. I no longer have to worry about desktops going down, having random problems associated with having individual PCs that while the same configuration have a "personality" of their own. We know that if we had to, we could pick up and move to a new building and could be up and running in a matter of only a few hours, because there are no physical desktops or servers to move, we could continue to work on our existing desktops with all the software we need through the Citrix login portal even while moving locations. We will also never have to worry about PC/Server upgrades again. We use Dell Wyse 5010 Thin Clients, also fully managed, which are connected to RapidScale over dual Fiber/Cable internet connections through a Citrix NetScaler (SD-WAN) on both endpoints. We previously had 25 physical PCs, 5 physical servers for domain, email and phone. With those gone and the low power consumption of Thin Clients, we're getting significant savings on energy costs and an overall reduction in noise coming from hardware throughout the office. We're finding new efficiencies and benefits we hadn't considered every day.
What do you dislike?
Having to figure out what to do with all our old servers and desktops. Truthfully there hasn't been a negative experience that wasn't completely and fully resolved beyond my expectations. Issues will come up, because it's technology, but the very capable team at RapidScale prove that it's not so much the problem itself, but how you handle the problem that matters. Through this entire six month process (probably longer for us than some because of the complexity we had in our setup) I would say my complaint would be I wish I knew then, when we started, what I know now, to expedite the process a bit. I've learned a lot working with Rapidscale.
Recommendations to others considering the product
The more specific you can be of what your business needs, the more specific they can tailor the solution to fit. Make a list of your software needed for your business and consult with the vendors to discuss nuances of having it work in a VDI. All kinds of software out there, some much more VDI friendly than others.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Redirecting our efforts towards what we do best as a business, and spending less time on trying to keep up with all the maintenance of PCs and Servers. We weren't progressing much before because we were always addressing problems. We didn't have redundancy on our mail server, our phone server and database servers. We had backups, sure, but to fully restore our PCs and Servers after a disaster back into production was a daunting task. The thought of how long it would take to successfully restore systems was a worrisome concern for certain, and that worry is now gone. Being able to test disaster recovery is another reassurance. We're eliminating the "fragmentation" of having so many pieces to the structure of our IT approach, cancelling backup software subscriptions for backup and antivirus. The list is long. In a VDI there is no need for Antivirus protection where the users aren't administrators, preventing infection in the first place, but also because they're only running on a temporary image that will reset every evening. I've been saved a half dozen times already on software updates that didn't work out that on physical PCs before may have cost a lot of time to fix, where now it was a simple roll back of version 32 to 31. Made easy by Rapidscale. The VDI does the heavy lifting so we don't have to.