For those not already using a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and cloud computing, the concept can be a bit confusing and even disconcerting. The good news is that it’s actually quite simple.
Imagine that your Windows desktop, where you see and access your applications, is not on your local PC, but instead on a server running in a high-availability data center. Then imagine this “virtual” desktop is “projected” onto your local PC, in essence replacing your local desktop. Your keystrokes, mouse movements and the resulting screen images are sent back and forth between your local PC and the server, and your virtual desktop looks and behaves just as your local desktop does.
The question you’re probably now asking is: why bother? I already have my applications on my local desktop. Why do I need VDI?
VDI provides an extensive list of important benefits:
VDI provides a centralized, flexible, efficient environment that is easier to maintain and can respond more quickly to the changing needs of your business. You can turn access to each user’s desktop on and off – centrally – at the press of a button.
Access Anywhere, Anytime
As long as you have access to the Internet, you have access to your Windows desktop. You can access your applications and data from most any device, including your laptop, notebook, home computer, tablet (iPad) or smartphone. No need to keep your office PC running so that you can to get to your applications and data. No more paying for remote access software (like LogMeIn or GoToMyPC).
Built-In Disaster Recovery
Your applications are installed (and backed up) only on the server, and NOT on your local PC or another device. If your local device – whether a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone – is lost or fails, just connect a replacement and your virtual desktop is immediately available without spending hours (if not days) reinstalling and reconfiguring.
No data resides on your local device (PC), so thieves and hackers have nothing to compromise. Also, by using firewalls and VPN software, secure “tunnels” are automatically established to protect the privacy of the information transmitted.
Because virtual desktops reside on a server in a data center, you can take advantage of a redundant and resilient server, power and Internet connections, ensuring availability and dramatically reducing downtime.
Need to make a change? Have a new software application to install? Need to add a new user? VDI centralizes your work and allows you to accomplish tasks in minutes.
Legacy Application Compatibility
Many organizations have older, legacy client/server applications that do not easily run from within an internet browser. These applications can, however, usually run in a VDI environment – and they often run much faster.
There are a variety of different VDI offerings in the marketplace, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Your managed IT services provider can offer you recommendations as well as provide a proof-of-concept environment in which you can try it out – risk-free.
So give VDI a try. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
I’d love to hear about your experience with VDI. E-mail me at EBerk@CertusTechnologies.com or call me at 973-944-5000.
About The Author
Evan Berk is Managing Partner at Certus Technologies, an IT Managed and Cloud Services firm that specializes in helping clients dramatically improve their business productivity.
Evan is passionate about simplifying and demystifying complex Information Technology systems and believes that the best IT systems should make our lives easier and more productive, both in the workplace and at home. He can be contacted at EBerk@CertusTechnologies.com or at 973-944-5000.