What is VDI?Humanity runs on computing. Our personal lives revolve around our own devices, and for years work-life relied on physical servers and work environments. However, like life, technology evolved, and newer, more extraordinary solutions arrived to lift us into the cloud. Our lives now depend on cloud services from Google and Apple to power our smartphones. Companies now have the opportunity to move physical desktops into the cloud by implementing virtual desktop infrastructures and BYOD programs. But what does that all mean? Virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs) are a form of desktop virtualization that takes desktop images and delivers them to end users over a network. In other words, you can now access your work desktop remotely from compatible devices. These end users can access a virtual desktop environment that mirrors a physical desktop with the help of virtual machines (VMs), servers, hypervisors, and operating systems. Typically the endpoint device is a mobile device like a laptop or tablet, but they can also be thin clients. Regardless of the client device, application virtualization opened the door for a more cost-efficient method of having businesses operate safely in the cloud — that’s VDI. In this article, we explore how virtual desktop infrastructure works, the benefits of implementing VDI in your business, and how to use VDI for the best results!
How VDI WorksUnderstanding the functionality of VDI starts with the data center. IT experts provision centralized servers stored in the data center with VMs. These VMs create a space for the virtual desktop to operate using a hypervisor to manage the virtual desktop environments. A user will connect to these VMs using a connection broker or an intermediary program between them and the virtual resources. VDIs come in two flavors:
- Persistent Desktops – Persistent desktops, or persistent VDIs, are virtualized desktops where users can customize their desktop experience to match their needs. Settings, files, and configurations remain after each session. These desktops are ideal for call center work, where employees need to customize their workflow for their department.
- Non-Persistent VDIs – Non-persistent desktops, or VDIs, use pre-loaded desktops to display virtualized applications that don’t require saved settings. These non-persistent desktops are ideal for task workers who need virtual apps to complete their jobs but do not need customized desktop computing. Non-persistent VDIs are more affordable than persistent desktops but lack flexibility.
The Benefits of VDIVirtual desktops are gaining popularity, largely thanks to the remote work revolution. Remote desktop services (RDS) received a massive bump in performance. And now the benefits of VDI over physical desktops include:
- Cost savings – Anything technological immediately conjures nightmares of high-priced equipment. However, you can implement a virtual desktop infrastructure using old devices. Because of the ability to use older equipment, you save money on upgrades and state-of-the-art infrastructure.
- Centralized management – Your centralized server allows updates, bug fixes, and configuration changes to happen from a single origin point instead of individual machines. The single-point control eliminates the need for IT to update operating systems locally, which saves time and frees IT staff to focus on other areas.
- Remote access opportunities – You can load a virtual desktop onto any compatible device, which increases flexibility. The flexibility allows remote access as a VDI creates a digital workspace. VDI solutions allow for scalability without increasing workspace size, which further keeps costs down, especially during expansions.
- High-level security – Virtual environments are notoriously vulnerable, but with properly implemented VDI technology, you can enjoy a high level of protection. In fact, when you pair your virtual apps with Summit Hosting, you benefit from a host of security features, including multi-factor authentication, world-class EV SSL certifications, and VPNs. Your data and desktop instances are safe from prying eyes.