VDI, or desktop virtualization, has proved to be one of the most demanded technologies during the pandemic. It allows employees to work safely and productively remotely, while companies can save on operating costs. The world's largest businesses that are part of the Fortune 500 keep working as usual with VDI. And even those companies that were not rushing to implement this technology before, gradually faced this necessity.
The growth of cloud computing is also related to the increasing growth around VDI. Gartner writes, “Through 2020, an increasing percentage of annual IT spending will be directly or indirectly impacted by a cloud shift.” VDI is a natural extension of cloud migration.
Until recently, IT specialists of many companies have considered VDI to be an immature technology, and the costs of its implementation were high.
However, over the past few years, technology has been actively developing. Now, with virtualized graphics, delays have been reduced, and due to the growth in the number of cores in server processors, energy efficiency has increased significantly. There has also been an increase in data transfer speed and endpoint performance. Thanks to VMware products, deployment, and management have become automated.
Virtual Desktop Solutions
With Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, each user in the organization gets a separate virtual machine. Having the appropriate rights, they can install any software on it and always get 100% of the ordered resources by capacity. This method is expensive, but it provides complete independence from other remote desktop users. So it is used when privacy and performance issues are particularly important.
The VDI provider supplies the VDI platform and protocol for remote connection and display. The functions of the platforms and protocols for desktop virtualization differ, and they must be compatible, as the connection between the desktop host and the end device is also essential.
Choosing the right VDI platform depends on your devices, endpoints, operating systems, end-user requirements, etc. Today’s leading providers of virtual desktop platforms are VMware and Citrix.
Among other solutions, enabling a viable VDI environment is Remote Desktop Services (RDS) – Microsoft’s remote access solution, formally known as a terminal server. It provides end-users with a graphical interface to connect to another computer over a network connection. In this scenario, a single virtual machine allows multiple users to work together. The administrator installs to the server the software that is shared by all users, assigns roles, and groups of users with different rights. This technology benefits in terms of cost savings and ease of administration.
While the server resources are split amongst all the users, if one of them runs a resource-intensive program, it can reduce the speed for all.
This option is cheaper than VDI, and the configuration can be flexibly managed.
Both VDI and RDS are suitable for collaboration when users need cloud mail and cloud storage. This suite of tools covers all the IT service needs of most businesses. Employees work in the cloud, where they store all their data and use internal mail. This ensures maximum security for the company's data.
Why business should choose remote desktops
The cost of IT equipment maintenance is lower.
Previously, the company's IT infrastructure consisted of dozens and hundreds of computers united in a corporate network, and the software was updated centrally within a couple of hours. During the pandemic, each employee works with a personal PC or laptop at home, and there is no need for mass software updating. But if the software on your computer crashes or hardware fails, it will cost the company a lot of money. When using VDI, such problems simply do not occur – the software is installed on the corporate server, it is regularly updated, and these updates are available to all users at once.
Working in a VDI environment is safe
Another important advantage of VDI is the ability to maintain information security at a high level. The virtual environment does not suffer from the fact that employees use a variety of software packages, connect via open wireless networks or their devices can be infected with viruses. All programs and their data are stored on the same server, which is securely protected from cyber attacks and physical access by third parties. Using centralized security policies, the company's security professionals can ensure that critical data is not stolen or compromised.
VDI infrastructure can be easily scaled up
After the global shift to remote work, companies began to actively increase the number of VDI connections. But because the technology supports fast and flexible scaling, it did not cause any problems, and companies were able to retain control over the data and infrastructure.
No risks of data leakage
Some organizations are concerned about the security of data, especially when it comes to the safety of personal data in the cloud. Public services such as Google Documents, Yandex or Dropbox are not suitable for such organizations. Due to the users' carelessness, confidential data can be accidentally disclosed to the public, and even indexed by a search engine.
Also, documents from public services are very easy to download, copy, send by mail or provide access to. If all employees only work with documents in a dedicated cloud and use corporate mail, the risk of data leakage is much lower.
Are you ready for the switch to a Virtual Desktop solution?
Any business can benefit from VDI, but in practice, the most active users and promoters of the technology are financial organizations, retail, and manufacturing companies. Banks employing several thousand people were able to quickly stabilize the customer service situation through the efforts of remote employees. Neither the quality of services nor the security of personal data was affected.
In the future, the trend towards remote work might remain. Technologies will be in demand and VDI is one of the tools that will help many companies overcome the crisis.