Who needs a company computer when you can access the same files, applications, and services from a personal device? Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) delivers an enterprise desktop experience without the physical desktop. Yes, this infrastructure enables just that. It can host virtual apps and a desktop operating system on a centralized server in a data center that can be accessed from an endpoint device, anywhere and everywhere.
If you manage a distributed team, you’re certainly familiar with the term, “digital workspace,” and know it refers to a method of ensuring that workers may gain remote access to their data and programs from any location and on any device. A digital workspace is particularly useful for remote and hybrid workers.
Another term that you have undoubtedly come across before reading this article is VDI. Do you have a digital workplace or a VDI solution in place already? This is a fair question to ask, considering the potential complexity of this type of setup.
VDI is truly changing how the C-levels (CMOs, CTOs, CEOs, etc), founders, and managers run their business now that working remotely around the world and gaining remote access to a virtual desktop environment has become commonplace. However, some top-level employees still ask the question, what is VDI? We have seen how contractors and freelancers work remotely using VDI to work on secure enterprise files and documents without moving them to their personal computers.
With VDI, companies can now relax, knowing that company documents will not be leaked or seen by a third party or competitor. One of the most significant advantages of the VDI environment is its flexibility in the modern workplace. It empowers employees to work from anywhere with an internet connection, promoting a more agile and mobile-friendly work environment. This means that, so long as you have internet access, you can login to your office desktop and applications from your home office, a coffee shop, or even while travelling on business trips.
So, if you are curious about the trending need for this technology, this topic is for you. Let’s get started by understanding what VDI is, and what are the features and components it offers, so that you better understand how you can take advantage of it. Keep reading.
What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?
VDI is a cutting-edge technology that uses a hypervisor to create virtual machines that manage and deploy virtual desktops. It is an infrastructure setup that is used to create a virtualized environment on a remote server. In less technical words, by using virtual desktop infrastructure, you can access your virtual desktops remotely.
Read More: Bare Metal vs Hypervisor
Types of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
A persistent virtual desktop is a kind of remote desktop virtualization that enables users to customize their own personal desktop environments and saves their progress for future use like the traditional desktop, which is useful for work and school environments.
A non-persistent virtual desktop provides a pool of uniform desktops that users can access when needed. Non-persistent VDI is common in call centers, kiosks, computer labs, and public libraries. It is an environment where users do not need personalization and do not want or need their personal information stored on an external PC.
Why Use Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?
VDI is popular for many reasons.
- It is easily managed, which reduces IT headaches.
- It cuts costs associated with the procurement of company-issued devices by allowing users to use and work from their own devices.
- It’s more secure than having users store information on a specific device, since company data is accessed and stored remotely via the VDI.
- It enables users to work from anywhere.
- It keeps personal apps and information separate from enterprise applications.
Basic Components of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Virtualization is the process of creating one or many virtual versions of a physical desktop, OS, server, or storage. It is the consolidation of all physical server resources, thus utilizing their sum (CPU, RAM, Storage), to create a pool of resources that can support multiple unique operating systems or virtual machines that function independently of one another.
In a desktop virtualization environment, the resources used may come from one or several physical machines. In this type of environment, three separate virtual machines can coexist on a single server. Services like email, web hosting, and databases are all under its purview. They’re all handled concurrently by a single physical machine. However, not only are they capable of running the application for which they were designed, but also the operating systems.
A hypervisor, also known as a virtual machine manager, is a piece of software that runs on top of hardware in order to create a virtualization platform. The hypervisor also provides a platform for running virtual machines on top of that underlying infrastructure. Hypervisors allow you to share physical resources across virtual machines.
The key part of your computing process is the hypervisor, which includes Type-1 and Type-2 hypervisors. Type-1 hypervisors, such as Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere/ESXi, provide optimal speed and safety. Being the best choice for high-performance settings, Type-1 are perfect for important business jobs and demanding applications. Type-2 are preferable for VDI solutions because of their ease of use and simplicity when it comes to configuration and deployment.
A connection broker is a software that allows the end user to connect to a remote virtual desktop. Imagine a connection broker as a sophisticated conductor to lead and control the flow of network connections. One of the prime applications of a connection broker is in VDI environments, where multiple users require access to multiple virtual desktops. In this context, the broker is the gate guard, ensuring users are directed to available virtual desktops, managing user sessions, and facilitating features like seamless roaming, where users can move between remote desktops and devices without disruption.
Desktop pools are a group of virtual desktops with identical configurations, such as operating systems, storage, and applications. Any changes made to the parent desktop translate into a desktop pool. One of the key benefits of a desktop pool is the ability to scale resources up or down easily as demand fluctuates.
How Does Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Work?
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) uses a hypervisor to divide servers into virtual machines. These virtual machines house virtual screens that users can access from their devices. Individuals can view these virtual computers from anywhere and on any device, as the host server handles all the work. A software-based link called a connection broker helps users connect to their desktop instances.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Use Cases
VDI has seen a surge in adoption, especially due to the rise of remote work. It is a remote desktop protocol that allows employees to access desktop environments from home or other remote locations, ensuring a consistent and secure computing experience. This is particularly valuable when employees needed to stay productive while working from home.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
VDI is a robust solution for disaster recovery and business continuity. In a natural disaster or a system failure, employees can quickly switch to individual virtual desktop environments or desktops hosted on backup servers. This minimizes downtime and data loss, ensuring uninterrupted business operations.
Task Workers and Seasonal Employees
VDI is ideal for organizations employing seasonal or temporary staff. Instead of provisioning physical desktops, companies can deploy and manage virtual desktops as needed, allowing seasonal workers to access necessary applications and resources without the overhead cost of purchasing and maintaining physical hardware.
Highly Regulated Industries
Sectors like healthcare and finance, subject to strict regulatory compliance, benefit from VDI. It ensures data security and control while enabling remote access, making it easier to adhere to industry-specific compliance requirements.
Education and E-Learning
Educational institutions and e-learning platforms leverage VDI to provide students and educators with educational resources and software, regardless of location. It promotes flexible learning and ensures equitable access to educational tools.
Software Development and Testing
VDI is used in software development and quality assurance to provide developers with virtual environments for testing software across various platforms and configurations. This accelerates the development process and ensures software compatibility across different platforms.
Branch Offices and Distributed Teams
Organizations with multiple branch offices or distributed teams benefit from centralized VDI. It ensures consistent access to applications and data, even in remote locations, without needing dedicated IT infrastructure at each site.
Recently, VDI has grown to be able to handle heavy graphics software like CAD, 3D modeling, and video editing. Professionals in the design, engineering, and media fields can use graphics acceleration tools to make their work easier and faster.
VDI can help you save on costs by reducing the need for individual desktop hardware and simplifying IT management. Additionally, it extends the lifespan of existing Windows virtual desktop hardware as less processing power is required on the client side, reducing the need for frequent hardware upgrades.
What Are the Benefits of Virtualization with VDI?
- Access your desktop and apps from anywhere and everywhere at any time to enable a seamless working experience.
- Instantly backup your data to avoid losing important information.
- Access your personal and enterprise information from multiple devices (laptop, mobile phone, tablet, or desktop).
- Personal information is kept safe and secure, out of the hands of hackers and phishers, with the use of multiple authentication processes, data encryption technology, password protection, intrusion detection, and prevention systems.
- Save on costs because staff are not needed, maintenance is limited, and there is no cost for software updates and you pay only for your specific requirements.
To learn more about what a VDI solution can do for your company, book a consultation with us today! We offer a complete endpoint server that fits every need and can help you build the digital workspace to fit your business needs. We can suggest a dedicated server to help keep your virtual environment running for your remote, temporary, and freelance workers. Don’t miss out on the exciting benefits of our cloud server hosting services. We can work with you every step of the way to ensure a smooth deployment.