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Use a Surface device on VDI, Windows 365 or similar

Plantje

Active Member
I am wondering if people have experience running Windows 365, VDI or something similar on a Surface device. I am especially curious as to how writing in One Note, Whiteboard etc work.

I hope my company will eventually switch to using VDI rather than send laptop computers and I sure hope I can use my Surface Pro for it.
 

Turbo4AWD

Active Member
VDI is a nightmare and shouldn't be used IMO. People try to have Microsoft Teams video calls over a VDI and obviously it fails, stutters, and has PLENTY of issues. At my job they are phasing out VDI and issuing laptops instead for better performance/reliability/etc.

No, the touchscreen does NOT work well over VDI if at all. Just stay away, lol. it's THAT bad.
 
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Plantje

Plantje

Active Member
Well that sucks :( At my company they have been issueing laptops for years, but I'd much rather use my Surface Pro.

I cannot enroll my Surface Pro through the company portal. Stupid thing is: I CAN enroll Android and iOS devices. It's just Windows machines that cannot be enrolled :( So, perhaps it is best to just sell my Surface Pro and move to a Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 or S8. It was a good run...
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'd just say VDI is very particular to how you implement it and the type of workloads you run on it can change the requirements drastically. One bad experience does not make them all bad. I haven't tried a surface on VDI, maybe if I get ambitious ill give it a go. I know when the company I worked for implemented VDI way back when it was atrocious and they threw it in my lap to fix (or maybe they were hoping Id fail), long story short I changed nearly everything, and when I left it was running good but that was a long time ago.

See also Mobile and touch screen devices | Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 2112
Citrix supports touchscreen, tablet mode, pen ink but not in all clients. i.e. All depends on how you implement it.

So the VDI vendor will make a difference as well ... VMWare, etc.

If you're not doing VDI with Citrix you're doing it wrong in my experience. Yes, I made VMWare work because I had to but it was a lot more difficult and required some 3rd party addons to make it fly. Note: Our main users were in the Philippines and India with over 300ms latency using heavy developer aps and in the end it still worked pretty damn good. It just would have been better with Citrix.
 
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Plantje

Plantje

Active Member
Thanks for the replies!

Well, I would assume Windows 365 and VDI over Azure would also be very good for usage on a Surface. I would hope that Microsoft makes sure that works :|

I really love working at my company, but this is still one of the downsides. Especially with working from home. I have a company laptop, client laptop and a desktop with 2 screens attached. Whereas I would think nowadays I just would need one machine.
 

Turbo4AWD

Active Member
I'd just say VDI is very particular to how you implement it and the type of workloads you run on it can change the requirements drastically. One bad experience does not make them all bad. I haven't tried a surface on VDI, maybe if I get ambitious ill give it a go. I know when the company I worked for implemented VDI way back when it was atrocious and they threw it in my lap to fix (or maybe they were hoping Id fail), long story short I changed nearly everything, and when I left it was running good but that was a long time ago.

See also Mobile and touch screen devices | Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 2112
Citrix supports touchscreen, tablet mode, pen ink but not in all clients. i.e. All depends on how you implement it.

So the VDI vendor will make a difference as well ... VMWare, etc.

If you're not doing VDI with Citrix you're doing it wrong in my experience. Yes, I made VMWare work because I had to but it was a lot more difficult and required some 3rd party addons to make it fly. Note: Our main users were in the Philippines and India with over 300ms latency using heavy developer aps and in the end it still worked pretty damn good. It just would have been better with Citrix.
Def using Citrix. didn't know you could use it with anything else, but it's terrible and ALWAYS locks up, stutters, users can't logon, VDI's end up having to be rebuilt because they're corrupting and failing to install updates etc. It's a hott mess and I doubt it's the configuration. I actually believe it's the wrong choice for this particular enterprise.


.....but I agree that Surface devices should be used in the Enterprise. Surface Pros for regular users, and then Surface Laptop for the next step up, then Surface Books for the Workhorse machines graphics, etc. They just work better than Dell machines...but you have people that want to save money and then you have people that want to save more than that, and then you have people that don't want to spend AT ALL....and they're the ones in charge of the spending so oh well...doomed forever
 

Turbo4AWD

Active Member
Thanks for the replies!

Well, I would assume Windows 365 and VDI over Azure would also be very good for usage on a Surface. I would hope that Microsoft makes sure that works :|

I really love working at my company, but this is still one of the downsides. Especially with working from home. I have a company laptop, client laptop and a desktop with 2 screens attached. Whereas I would think nowadays I just would need one machine.
I have experienced VDI on a Surface Pro device and it works fine....but it's VDI....and the VDI always has random issues that have nothing to do with the Surface Pro and everything to do with the VDI failing.
 
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Plantje

Plantje

Active Member
True... currently we run on Dell laptops. On a daily basis it feels like it is taking off.

The stupid thing is: when you get to managing director level, you can pick a Surface Pro as your company device. I would be more than happy to pay it (partly) myself if I had that option.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
Def using Citrix. didn't know you could use it with anything else, but it's terrible and ALWAYS locks up, stutters, users can't logon, VDI's end up having to be rebuilt because they're corrupting and failing to install updates etc. It's a hott mess and I doubt it's the configuration. I actually believe it's the wrong choice for this particular enterprise.


.....but I agree that Surface devices should be used in the Enterprise. Surface Pros for regular users, and then Surface Laptop for the next step up, then Surface Books for the Workhorse machines graphics, etc. They just work better than Dell machines...but you have people that want to save money and then you have people that want to save more than that, and then you have people that don't want to spend AT ALL....and they're the ones in charge of the spending so oh well...doomed forever
There's no way I can troubleshoot your VDI implementation, however from my own experience ... First thing I changed was the storage because it was overloaded and exceeding 2 second response times on IOs (that's an eternity). Then I changed the server and increased the memory while decreasing the number of users per server. Changed the builds of the VMs. Switched out the network connections and protocols, added a 3rd party network transport using error correcting UDP.

The problems you describe sound the same as I encountered... People implementing it listened to the marketing bullcrap and didn't do their homework on how to make this system actually work.
 

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