Virtualization continues to gain momentum as an operational model, as technical developments have made it cheaper, more reliable, and more secure than ever before. One type of virtualization that’s becoming more common is the virtual desktop infrastructure.
What is virtual desktop infrastructure?
Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is a hosted desktop system that exists on a central server. It basically mimics an entire desktop computer, albeit digitally, via a virtual machine (VM). Nowadays, VDIs aren’t limited to just PCs, as these can now be accessed on different platforms or “endpoints,” such as tablets and thin client terminals.
VDI is an alternative to other types of desktop virtualization, such as hosted shared solutions that connect PCs together, or thin clients that connect to a shared desktop.
How does it work and what are its uses?
VDIs are a set of virtual desktops that reside within VMs, which then reside within a central server. Each virtual desktop has its own operating system (OS) image, usually Microsoft Windows, that acts and runs just like a regular PC, minus the hardware.
This type of virtual infrastructure is increasingly becoming common for call centers, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) workplaces, offices with remote and branch workers, contractors, and for industries that rely heavily on graphics-intensive applications.
What are its benefits?
A well-deployed VDI lets users remotely access a virtually deployed solution (as in the form of Software-as-a-Service or SaaS) safely and securely. This setup allows workers to access anything they need — from client data to manufacturing controls to financial transaction scheduling tools — from practically any device, without the need for specific hardware.
You won’t need to issue each of your employees' expensive equipment and install software on their devices for them to do their job, especially if they need to travel or work away from your main office. Regular hardware will do.
With VDI, you’ll get to enjoy the following benefits:
Cost savings – VDI technology is a great way to manage expenses, as it does not need expensive or cutting-edge hardware: you can even repurpose existing PCs for the job. On the software side, you won’t be forced to pay for a new set of software licenses per device.
Many VDI providers package this solution with other managed services, often available via a subscription-style payment scheme. This way, you don’t need a large cash-out and your costs stay uniform month to month. And without the need for large capital expenditure for new hardware, you can allocate your earnings for a different investment or just set it aside for a rainy day.
Improved security – Here’s where VDI takes the cake — it improves your device security drastically through a simple feature: centralized control. With VDI, your computers will run on an OS and access data that aren’t stored locally on the device. This means your IT administrator — or even your managed IT services provider (MSP) — can simply take control of the device’s “contents” even when the device is stolen, broken, or damaged.
This is an excellent feature for remote workers, remote offices, and work-from-home setups — and more relevant today than ever, with the coronavirus pandemic rendering traditional workplaces unusable.
Better performance – VDI has come a long way from its roots. It used to visibly lag behind performance levels of computers installed with their own OS, but nowadays, it performs at par, if not better, than the latter. If you want to maximize your VDI investment, then partner with a reliable MSP. Their experts have the insight and experience to recommend which digital workspace solutions can best augment your VDI, as well as provide proactive services to ensure your VDI deployments are always in optimal condition.
Looking into VDI and other desktop virtualization solutions? We’ve got you covered. South Florida’s top companies partner with WhiteOwl for all their tech needs. Schedule your discovery session today.