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How to Select a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

What is a virtual desktop infrastructure, and why should you implement one? What are the benefits of VDI?
  • April 24, 2019

How to Select a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

This guide will give you an overview of virtual desktop computing, how implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) can benefit your organization and how you can choose a VDI that fits your business or enterprise needs.

What is a Virtual Desktop?

Virtual desktop infrastructure utilizes virtualization software to host an operating system on a central server in the network data center rather than an individual computer. This virtual desktop can be accessed by more than one user on the network as if it were hosted locally on their own computer. Virtual desktops allow for greater productivity and collaboration, as all network devices with the same security settings have access to the same data and software. 

What are the Benefits of Using VDI?

Virtual desktop infrastructure utilizes virtualization software to host an operating system on a central server in the network data center rather than an individual computer. This virtual desktop can be accessed by more than one user on the network as if it were hosted locally on their own computer. Virtual desktops allow for greater productivity and collaboration, as all network devices with the same security settings have access to the same data and software. 

Some of the key benefits are:

Productivity


Since VDI operates faster than traditional networks, all users, whether local or remote, experience superior performance for file and data retrieval. There is never a risk of a laptop or tablet losing data — it's always accessible. Sales and other employees that work outside the office but need access to proprietary data behind the network firewall will find using a virtual desktop particularly useful as they can log in and show clients presentations hosted from the VDI or get immediate responses to questions from clients or potential clients.

Reliability


There is never a lag in computer performance with desktop virtualization because of the redundancies built in for data storage, power supplies and networking features that all connected users can utilize.  

Skip Time-Wasting Upgrades


When desktops need updates, time is lost with downloads and installations. With VDI, employees can keep working as upgrades are seamless and done behind the scenes for an end-user, either in-house or remotely. Every user on the network gets security patches or service pack updates as soon as the VDI is updated. IT can also quickly expand the memory or storage of the VDI to fit the need for more intensive user activities like video editing. 

Troubleshooting


Finding problems on a traditional network can take up valuable IT staff time to hunt down which desktop or network component is causing an issue. A standard VDI setup gives your IT department access to any connected device and allows them to fix the issue immediately, saving time and frustration. 

Cost Reduction


Adding new desktops to your network costs money and is ultimately inefficient. The upkeep also costs money, plus potentially lost productivity while employees wait around for access to their desktops. A virtual desktop server hosts all data and files for everyone and reduces upkeep costs. Desktop virtualization also helps you save on software licensing, since a single software license can be distributed to multiple users rather than paying for multiple licenses on individual computers.

Security


VDI setups provide extra layers of security because data is virtualized and not stored on the hardware itself. Your employees won’t be carrying around proprietary data and there is less risk if their laptops or workstations are lost or stolen. Plus, access to a VDI is normally encrypted, adding another layer of protection. 

Virtual Desktops vs. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing and virtual desktops are not the same thing, but a virtual desktop infrastructure is often delivered via the cloud, especially as part of Infrastructure as a Service offerings. IaaS can also provide virtual hardware, server space and network connections from outside an on-premises data center, whereas VDI can only deliver applications to an end-user device. In other words, VDI is often only a component of a cloud infrastructure.

There are a lot of reasons to consider harnessing the productivity and power of virtual desktop software. Increasing the productivity of employees and allowing secure access for both in-house and remote workers can allow for great collaborations and teamwork with your staff. If you're ready to talk about implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure for your organization, CDW is ready to assist you. Talk to one of our experts and we can help you design a VDI that will grow with your organization.

Looking to bring virtual desktop infrastructure to your organization?

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