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What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and How Can It Help You?

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There are many scenarios in which multiple desktops are needed, and need to be managed by a single or a group of administrators. It could be at home, in a school, or in an enterprise where every member wants to have their own desktop environment.

However, it is not always feasible to purchase an individual computer set for every family member at home, every student at school, or every employee of an enterprise. It gets even trickier when you want this desktop environment to share applications and files, or be accessed remotely. Luckily there are ways to go around this, and one of the best ways is to implement a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

So, what really is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?

A Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is basically a technology variation on the client-server computing model that uses a virtual machine to host and manage virtual desktop images. The virtual desktops are then accessible to the client over the network either on-premise or remotely.

The client accessing the virtual desktop environment provisioned by the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure can interact with the operating system of the virtual desktop and its applications as if they were running locally on their device. In this scenario, applications do not run on separate individual client devices, but on the server or data center and each client’s device can access them. For example, the end-users are able to use Microsoft Access Databases online in the cloud .

The devices the clients use to access a desktop image can be of any type and run any operating system.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is far from a glorified virtualization

It is easy to confuse Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with computer virtualization. The two are not competing for solutions, but rather an extension of each other. While computer virtualization uses portions of computer or server hardware resources to create virtual machines running separate operating systems, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure uses the virtual machine to create, host, and manage multiple desktop environments.

Virtual machines can run on top of any operating system using virtualization software and every virtual machine runs its individual operating systems and can have different applications in them. When using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, a virtual machine is created on top of a hypervisor and the desktop environments in the virtual machine share the operating system and applications.

The types of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?

There are variations in how the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is implemented. The variations change according to the environment or industry in which it is being implemented. The types determine how a user interacts with the provisioned desktop environment. Let us look at the two ways in which Virtual Desktop Infrastructure can be implemented.

Persistent Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

A persistent Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is a setting where the user connects to a desktop environment assigned to them and they can make customizations according to their taste, and save files in their environment.

This is ideal for repeat users because the customizations and files for the user are saved and can be accessed on the next login. This is ideal for a workplace or home where end-users might want to customize their desktops knowing they will be using them again.

Non-persistent Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

For a Non-persistent Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, the desktop environments are provisioned to return to their original state once the user disconnects. Any customizations and files saved are just temporary.

This type of deployment is ideal for public computers like in a library, internet kiosk, or school. Users are greeted with a fresh workspace every time they log into a desktop environment.

What will you stand to gain?

You might have noticed by now that implementing a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is like putting computer virtualization on steroids. There are many more benefits to using the solution, than not. Let’s look at some of the ways Virtual Desktop Infrastructure can be of any help.

Makes it easy for administrators

Managing all user devices at once in a company or a school is every administrator’s dream. Using a Virtual Desktop infrastructure solution makes it easy to do so. System administrators do not have to be on the client device to provide any help desk assistance.

Any fixes to application software problems or software updates are done on the host virtual machine and the changes reflect in all desktop environments.

Ensures security to data

Since all desktop environments are run from a centralized virtual machine, users are not expected to carry any data on their devices. This adds a great layer of security to data.

Enterprises and schools store a lot of data for their clients to access. They always want to make sure the data is safe and secure. Storing data in one place and having clients access it from that centralized storage prevents data loss from broken or stolen devices.

It is cheaper to implement and scale

It is expensive for institutions to buy computers for all their users. It becomes even more expensive for a start-up and for families to acquire enough computers for everyone. Using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, they can spend less on expensive computer hardware and focus on getting an optimal data center server with a good hypervisor and run everyone’s desktop from a centralized point while giving access to all users.

Increased employee productivity

Nowadays, remote working is becoming a thing in all industries. Statistics have shown that employee productivity increases in enterprises that implement full remote or hybrid working systems.

There is no better way to implement a remote working system for your employees than to use a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. The solution will give access to official data and applications to employees, making it possible for them to work while in the comfort of their homes.

Virtualize better and scale

We have looked at what Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is and how it can be very helpful in many different scenarios. We have discussed how it is a go-to tool for a systems administrator, an employer, or a parent at home looking to cut computer hardware costs while still benefiting from the possibility of all users accessing a desktop environment with full applications and access to data.

If you are willing to achieve the same, and many more, consider implementing the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and see how it will change your experience with computer virtualization.