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What’s the impact of Microsoft Office on VDI?

Project VRCI regularly get questions from customers what the impact is of the Microsoft Office version on their VDI deployment. It’s a common misunderstanding that the sizing and performance of a VDI deployment is equal when using Microsoft office 2007, 2010 or 2013.

But until now this was based on a feeling compared with different customers running different Microsoft office versions.

Today, at TechEd Europe 2013 in Madrid Spain, Project VRC published phase 6 of their Virtual Reality Check which addresses the impact of Microsoft Office in a VDI environment.

The goal of this new white paper was to investigate and document the VDI performance impact of Microsoft Office 2013 in comparison to the previous two versions of Microsoft Office, 2007 and 2010. The comparison of Office 2007 with Office 2010, showed only a 1% performance difference in favour of Office 2007. The comparison of Office 2007 and Office 2013 showed a significant performance decrease of over 20%. This leads to the conclusion that to maintain the same performance levels with the newest version of Microsoft Office, about 20% more infrastructure capacity may be needed. Office 2013 also consistently uses more CPU and over 272% more memory than Office 2007. In comparison, Office 2010 only uses 26% more memory. Optimizations such as turning animations and hardware graphics acceleration off did not influence the performance in any way.

Another key finding published in the white paper is that running x64 versions of Windows and Office will have substantial impact on Storage IOPS and memory footprint in comparison to x86 versions.

If you want to know the details, you can download the whitepaper at the Project VRC website.


Erik Scholten is the founder of VMGuru.nl and works for Imtech ICT as a Solution Architect creating the most ingenious virtual infrastructures. He has over 16 years experience as a system engineer and consultant and now he specializes in virtualization. His current job includes selling, presenting, designing and developing virtual infrastructures for some major companies in the Netherlands. Erik is a certified VMware VCP (3, 4, 5), VCP Desktop (5), VSP (3, 4, 5) and VTSP (3, 4, 5). In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 VMware awarded him the vExpert award for his virtualization community efforts.

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