What is a Virtual Desktop Environment?

The days of cubicles stuffed with massive desktop computers, each with its own individual environment that powers company software and data, are coming to an end. The landscape of how and where business gets done is entirely different from even a decade ago. And the desktop that powers the ever-growing remote-style business? It’s virtual, providing a user experience identical to the traditional desktop but with some added advantages. Virtual desktops connect users to company applications and data from any device. These devices can be personal laptops, mobile devices, or thin clients, and they access a centralized server that hosts operating systems, apps, and files. Virtual desktop environments (VDE), or sometimes virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), is an excellent option for remote workers but is also powerful enough to handle on-premises employees, too. Plus, eliminating on-site equipment can be a cost-saving measure. You may already know what virtual desktop environments are, but you might need a guide on executing the transformation without disrupting operations. You’ve come to the right place because this step-by-step guide has everything you need to get your VDE solution up and running. Microsoft Azure and Amazon’s AWS provide VDI solutions, but to them, your business is just another number. Summit Hosting understands how important your business is to you, and our VDI platform was designed with you in mind. Try it today and see the difference for yourself! 

What Can Virtual Desktop Environments Accomplish?

As with any other change you make for your organization, knowing what virtual desktop environments can accomplish helps justify the effort. Whether you’re looking for improved security or additional support for your remote staff, desktop virtualization could be the answer. 
  • Security compliance – Data security is a hot-button issue, with privacy and sensitive data a constant concern for businesses and consumers. Unlike traditional desktop experiences, the centralized locations of VDI solutions mean security updates and compliances can happen instantly to all desktop instances, keeping you up to date.
  • Multi-device connection – Traditional workstations involve a physical desktop computer tethered to a company network. However, today workstations can be laptops, mobile devices, thin clients, or any other number of devices. With virtual desktop environments, you can access company apps and data from any of these devices without requiring specialized installation. 
  • Allows for remote access – Business is more mobile than ever, demanding greater access to critical business functions while not in the office. Using a VDI solution, your in-field or remote workforce has the same tools as your in-office staff, meaning peak productivity from wherever your team reports. 
A massive benefit of establishing VDI is improving accessibility while maintaining security by keeping apps and data separate from endpoint devices. This separation means users can access app functions and information without risking that endpoint falling prey to a security threat because everything operates from a centralized data center.

How To Implement a Virtual Desktop Environment

Organizations are turning to virtual desktop environments and Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solutions for many reasons, from powering resource-heavy apps to eliminating on-site data centers. Regardless of why you’re implementing a virtual environment, the process can seem daunting, but we’ve broken it down into a handful of easy-to-follow steps to make it digestible.

1. Analyze Business Needs

Every business is unique and utilizes VDI environments to solve different problems. Before getting started, you should ask yourself some crucial questions that analyze the needs of your business. Ask yourself and other stakeholders what problems a virtual desktop experience will solve. Will it replace physical devices or boost your IT infrastructure for application hosting? These questions can help answer what VDI services make the most sense for your situation. Complete cloud-based VDI overhauls can be costly, but many businesses transition slowly using a hybrid-cloud approach, offloading apps and data over time instead of all at once. This hybrid approach is only possible thanks to the scalability that virtual desktop providers offer. Future resource demands can be tough to predict, but virtual desktop environments allow businesses to scale resources on demand without needing upfront investment. That means upgrading your tech stack to handle a surge in sales is as easy as a button click. 

2. Determine Security Access

End users access virtual desktop environments over an internet connection, making security a prime concern. Security starts by determining who on the team needs access to your VDE. Implementing organizational access charts will help you decide which employees need access to various VDI services. Remote workers are also vulnerable to cyberattacks from the equipment they use. For example, call center employees need headsets, but allowing access to share features or USB input can expose data. When you configure security, these considerations are vital to data privacy. Furthermore, your VDE security strategy should include various layers to protect company data. While each layer adds to the monthly pricing, the protection can far outweigh the costs. These security layers can consist of the following:
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Firewalls
  • Self-protecting connection brokers
  • Anti-malware
  • Anti-virus
  • Intrusion prevention
  • Remote client restrictions
  • Physical building (data center) security

3. Browse Server Options

Microsoft Windows is one of the most popular operating systems for servers. However, many businesses use a Linux system instead of the classic Windows desktop. There are benefits to all options, but considering the drawbacks will help you make a more informed decision. During this stage, you should know which server options will work best for your business needs and security goals. Service providers will have several pricing options, packages, setups, and support, so doing your homework before you sign a service level agreement is key.  For example, some providers operate under a colocation or shared server space model. These setups use a hypervisor, virtual machines, and VMWare to partition virtual server space. While they are more affordable than dedicated servers, you contend with noisy neighbors and partial resources. On the other hand, a dedicated server doesn’t partition server resources between clients, meaning you can access all available resources. A dedicated server model is also an excellent option for use cases like healthcare providers needing bare-metal options for ultimate security. Don’t spend all day looking for a reliable VDI hosting provider. Summit Hosting has everything you need to ensure your business operates the most stable VDI solution, including dedicated servers, world-class security, and 99% uptime. Try us free today. Your search is complete!

4. Verify Server Connection 

After deciding on a service provider, you must implement and verify server connections. During this step, you will install any physical machines, configure the user experience, verify network connections, and ensure all components function as intended. This step is also where you should take baseline performance measurements to monitor how various workloads impact the system. Unexpected resource demands or errors can alert decision-makers before damaging KPIs. Virtual desktop environments and cloud computing require expert installers. Let the experts from Summit Hosting handle the implementation of your VDI, saving you money and time while ensuring a proper installation. Give us a call today to get started! 

5. Train Team Members

Virtual desktop environments can change how users access applications and data. To complete a successful transition to a virtual workspace, it’s crucial that you train your team and leaders on how to navigate even subtle differences. Proper training of end users on virtual desktops, even nonpersistent instances, can help ensure the success of your digital transformation. 

Host Your Virtual Desktop Environment with Summit Hosting

Businesses are moving away from traditional desktops and switching to a virtualized desktop environment. These environments help keep enterprises secure, provide remote workers access to mission-critical apps and data, and allow organizations to expand resources when needed. While undergoing a digital transformation of any kind can be a massive undertaking, a few simple steps make it much more manageable. Of course, there will be plenty of reflection and analysis to make the correct choices regarding your virtual desktop environment. Installing a virtual desktop environment for your company has never been easier, thanks to Summit Hosting. Our VDI platform and cloud services are a match made in heaven, and you can take advantage of our world-class installation, monitoring, and support. Try us today. We’re always on, always secure!   

Klient Boost