Desktop Virtualization: Is it Right for Your Business?
The growth of the mobile marketplace has also led to the growth of cloud services. More users access the Internet using their mobile devices than they do using their desktops or laptops. The shift to mobile has also crept into the workplace, with many employees preferring to work from their smartphones and tablets. While this gives workers more flexibility, businesses need a way of managing these devices while providing workers with the tools they need to be productive. A solution can be found in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).
Traditionally, users log into a desktop environment running on their local machine. The environment is contained to that particular machine, leaving users confined. With VDI, the local machine acts as a gateway to a desktop environment running on a remote system. This gives users the freedom to travel with their workstation: applications, documents, and settings become accessible from almost any Internet-enabled device.
Business of all sizes can benefit from a VDI solution, but small businesses in particular benefit from hosted VDI (otherwise known as Desktop as a Service); provided by a third-party. Unlike in-house VDI, hosted VDI puts the responsibility of installing and maintaining the VDI in the hands of the provider, allowing small businesses to quickly get up and running without a substantial upfront cost.
The Benefits of Hosted VDI
Hosted VDI allows users to access their desktop environment from almost any device or location. Using secure tunnels such as VPN or SSH, a user can safely connect to his or her environment using their desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. A sophisticated virtual environment can handle any activity performed on a traditional desktop, from document editing to graphics-intensive 3D animation. Perhaps most importantly, VDI lets users decouple the environment from the hardware. If a workstation experiences a hardware failure or power outage, the user can simply move to another workstation and continue where he or she left off.
VDI also reduces administration overhead. Instead of managing dozens of individual machines, administrators can control each user's environment through a centralized interface. Resources such as memory, processor time, and storage space can be adjusted independently. Updates also become easier: rather than having to push updates across the network, administrators can update a single base image and have the changes automatically propagate to each desktop.
Business owners can see substantial returns with hosted VDI. Traditional desktop deployments require a large initial investment followed by ongoing maintenance and administrative costs. Hosted VDI, on the other hand, requires a much smaller initial investment while reducing the costs of service and administration.
Determining If Hosted VDI Is Right for Your Business
When choosing a hosted VDI solution, there are a few things you need to consider. First, determine whether a hosted solution meets your business's needs. VDI is flexible enough to handle tasks ranging from web browsing to Computer-Aided Design, but if your business relies on specialty hardware or software you should verify that it works with a VDI solution.
Second, compare the cost of VDI to your existing solution. Hosted VDI recoups costs through increased productivity, less capital spent on hardware, and lowered maintenance costs. However, since hosted VDI is bandwidth-intensive, you’ll need to assess and ensure you have the network and bandwidth capacity available to implement this type of solution. While you will still have some costs associated with your existing workstation hardware, the cost of replacing old equipment will become substantially lower.
The desktop landscape is changing. As more users migrate to mobile clients, businesses need to find ways to keep workers productive while allowing them to work remotely. Hosted VDI manages this in a way that's both affordable and accessible.
Desktop Virtualization is one component of our Managed Network Services Give us a call at 619-473-5600 or contact us to discuss your business IT needs.