How we tested desktops-as-a-service

We noted the customer intake procedures for each of the five DaaS vendors, focusing on what options and what type of process were used. We set a platform consisting of several Windows 7 virtual machines, as well as a Lenovo T520 running native Windows 7, another T520 running Linux Mint 2, and three MacBooks running Mac OS 5, 6, and 7 respectively, as well as an Apple iPad running iOS 5.

We downloaded the client software, usually Citrix Receiver (see individual product descriptions), then configured the clients. Our virtual machines accessed sessions that we spawned using our network operations center at nFrame, which hosted the Windows 7 client-sessions atop VMware ESXi, through an Extreme Networks switch, and nFrame's GBE backbone. Clients in our lab accessed sessions via our Comcast 1.5mbp/s broadband connection.

We noted the application software payloads available, and asked for Microsoft Office; in all cases, MS Office 2010 was provisioned. We edited documents embedded with JPG pictures and noted how smooth the DaaS session scrolling was through embedded JPGs and other graphics. All had approximately the same smooth scrolling. We then noted any special shared storage capability, and tested the storage by storing and reloading files that we'd uploaded.

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