Something that I get asked about often when working with customers on their VDI designs is a portal to request virtual desktops. Much like “The Cloud” IT organization seeking more automation when it comes to virtual desktop environments. All the major vendors are adding automation around the creation of the desktops within the pools of desktops and have been for some time now. But the business people that are consuming the virtual desktops want a portal or store that they can go to check out or request a desktop.
To give an example a marketing manager hires 3 new people and needs to have them added to the VDI environment. There may be forms to fill out to request or maybe its a ticket that needs to be submitted to request the desktops. But it would be much simpler if he could go to a web portal and fill in the new user details and make a couple of selections from options provided and BANG! a few minutes later he gets an email saying the desktops are ready and this is how his people can connect to them.
Now I don’t think this is that far off of an idea and with VMware already having the right tools to make this happen. I think that with a little hard work and the use of VMware Service Manager something like this could be created. Now some of you might have not heard of Service Manager (SM) before or maybe you’ve heard the name but don’t understand what it does. It seems like SM is a bit like Orchestrator in that people have heard the name but no one is using it. If you search the web there are almost no blog post written about SM and very few videos about SM even by VMware.
As of today I’m not sure if this would be possible in the current version of Service Manager or if it would require VMware to add this as a new feature. But it would be a good selling point for a misunderstood product that is not much different than a Unicorn right now. As of today SM has replaced VMware Request Manager as the tool used to provide VM request management for vCloud designs. So if a user wants request management in their VMware cloud they need to use SM. So this is right in the same ballpark and would be a big competitive advantage that Citrix is not offering right now.
I plan to try and setup SM in my lab soon and see if this is possible with the current version and provide any feedback on whether I was successful or not.
About Brian Suhr
Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design