As the size of your enterprise increases, so does the scope of its technical and network needs. Something as seemingly simple as applying the latest OS hot fixes, or ensuring that virus definitions are up to date, can quickly turn into a tedious mess when the task must be performed on the hundreds or thousands of computers within your organization.
VDI Allows One to Manage Many
A virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment allows your company’s information technology pros to centrally manage thin client machines, leading to a mutually beneficial experience for both end-users and IT admins.
What is VDI?
Sometimes referred to as desktop virtualization, virtual desktop infrastructure or VDI is a computing model that adds a layer of virtualization between the server and the desktop PCs. By installing this virtualization in place of a more traditional operating system, network administrators can provide end users with ‘access anywhere’ capabilities and a familiar desktop experience, while simultaneously heightening data security throughout the organization.
Some IT professionals associate the acronym VDI with VMware VDI, an integrated desktop virtualization solution. VMware VDI is considered the industry standard virtualization platform.
VDI Provides Greater Security, Seamless User Experience Superior data security: Because VDI hosts the desktop image in the data center, organizations keep sensitive data safe in the corporate data center—not on the end-user’s machine which can be lost, stolen, or even destroyed. VDI effectively reduces the risks inherent in every aspect of the user environment.
More productive end-users: With VDI, the end-user experience remains familiar. Their desktop looks just like their desktop and their thin client machine performs just like the desktop PC they’ve grown comfortable with and accustomed to. With virtual desktop infrastructure, there are no expensive training seminars to host and no increase in tech support issues or calls. End- user satisfaction is actually increased because they have greater control over the applications and settings that their work requires.
Other Benefits of VDI
- Desktops can be set up in minutes, not hours
- Client PCs are more energy efficient and longer lasting than traditional desktop computers
- IT costs are reduced due to a fewer tech support issues
- Compatibility issues, especially with single-user software, are lessened
- Data security is increased
There are several different conceptual models of desktop virtualization, which can broadly be divided into two categories based on whether or not the operating system instance is executed locally or remotely. It is important to note that not all forms of desktop virtualization involve the use of virtual machines (VMs).
Host-based forms of desktop virtualization require that users view and interact with their desktops over a network by using a remote display protocol. Because processing takes place in a data center, client devices can be thin clients, zero clients, smartphones, and tablets. Included in this category are:
Host-based virtual machines:Each user connects to an individual virtual machine that is hosted in a data center. The user may connect to the same VM every time, allowing personalization, (known as a persistent desktop) or be given a random VM from a pool (a non-persistent desktop). See also: virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)
Shared hosted: Users connect to either a shared desktop or simply individual applications that run on a server. Shared hosted is also known as remote desktop services or terminal services. See also: remote desktop services and terminal services.
Host-based physical machines or blades: The operating system runs directly on physical hardware located in a data center.
Client-based Virtual Machines: types of desktop virtualization require processing to occur on local hardware; the use of thin clients, zero clients, and mobile devices is not possible. These types of desktop virtualization include:
OS streaming: The operating system runs on local hardware, but boots to a remote disk image across the network. This is useful for groups of desktops that use the same disk image. OS streaming requires a constant network connection in order to function; local hardware consists of a fat-client with all of the features of a full desktop computer except for a hard drive.
Client-based virtual machines: A virtual machine runs on a fully-functional PC, with a hypervisor in place. Client-based virtual machines can be managed by regularly syncing the disk image with a server, but a constant network connection is not necessary in order for them to function.