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Event was hosted in partnership with Citrix on November 24th
– Over 130 attendees were part of the virtual session on the future of hybrid workspace and emerging trends

Mumbai, December 03, 2021: Anunta, a leading provider of Managed Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), recently concluded a virtual session themed around “Getting Ready For Hybrid Workplace” in partnership with Citrix on November 24, 2021. Attended by 130+ participants, the session was aimed at addressing the current challenges, ongoing solutions, and reasons to adapt to the hybrid style of working. In addition to the presence of Senior Technology Leaders, CIOs, CISOs, Technology Modernization Leaders, etc.

Additionally, Shri Prasanna Lohar, VP-Technology, DCB Bank, stated “Hybrid working has become a reality. As a result, businesses must concentrate on developing a safe and scalable distributed workforce strategy that is supported by technology. Employees demand work access from any device, anywhere.”

Vijay Jayaraman, Director, Systems Engineering, Citrix further emphasized on employee experience and added that, “Employees are looking for secure access from any device, anywhere. And businesses are looking for a low-cost, simple solution to securely deliver apps and desktops to employees.”

To compete in today’s world, businesses must consistently provide an extraordinary experience for their consumers. A remarkable customer experience is essential for every company’s long-term growth. Keeping this in mind, Ajit Aloz, Anunta Tech’s Head of Sales and Cloud Practice added, “CIOs are looking at the customer experience they provide at all phases of the customer journey as a key difference for retaining customers and ensuring a long-term future.”

In the recent year, many major corporations have declared that hybrid and remote work are here to stay. Although the pandemic was the most major factor in this change, the rise of remote and hybrid work settings in the business world has heightened the debate. Organizations must strive towards preparing for a hybrid tomorrow with a razor-sharp focus on seamless employee experience because the outcome may irreversibly transform how work is done. The perception of flexibility and adaptation has altered dramatically in the previous year. To reap the benefits of these developments and thrive in the new normal, businesses must widen their definitions of productivity, collaboration, and employee well-being in order to successfully transition to a hybrid workplace

About Anunta

Anunta is an industry-recognized Managed Desktop as a Service provider focused on Enterprise DaaS, Packaged DaaS, and Digital Workspace technology. We have successfully migrated 500,000+ remote desktop users to the cloud for enhanced workforce productivity and superior end-user experience.

Since its inception, Anunta has been empowering its customers globally with sustainable, secure, and scalable, managed DaaS offerings for business resiliency and workplace transformation. We are Top Tier partners with all the major technology OEMs (VMware, Microsoft, and Citrix) and cloud platform providers involved in virtualization technologies, particularly desktop virtualization. We have been consistently adding value to our customers by delivering excellence in design, onboarding, migration, and Day 2 packages by delivering cloud desktops across the most complex and varied use-cases.

For more information, visit https://www.anuntatech.com/what-we-offer/managed-virtual-desktops/

Registrations now open for joining the virtual session

Emphasizing the role of migrating to cloud adoption during the pandemic and the benefits of implementing VDI/DaaS in the foreseeable future, Anunta, a leading provider of Managed Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), will be hosting an event in partnership with Citrix. The 1-hour session will be themed “Getting Ready For Hybrid Workplace” and will be held virtually on November 24, 2021 from 03:30 PM IST.

The digital session has been specially crafted to focus on the future of hybrid workspace and how it is transforming lives, as well as discussions on emerging trends in the space. It will cover why an integrated workforce strategy is necessary and how to provide secure access to the applications, remote desktops and data from anywhere. Senior Technology Leaders, CIOs, CISOs, Technology Modernization Leaders, IT Directors, IT Heads, IT GMs, IT Managers should not miss the opportunity to widen the scope of innovation in Hybrid Workplace Management.

Enterprises have recognized the realities of hybrid working and are advancing their remote workplace strategy by integrating tools and technology. However, offering enterprise-level security and experience to remote workers is difficult. Rethinking where and how teams work is necessary for a safe and scalable dispersed workforce.

The virtual session will enable participants to learn from top CXOs and industry experts how to enable secure remote access to applications, remote desktops, and data on cost-effective devices and quickly spin up apps and desktops based on business needs without investing in additional infrastructure.

To register and know more about the event, visit: https://techobserver.in/webinars/getting-ready-for-hybrid-workplace/

About Anunta

Anunta is an industry-recognized Managed Desktop as a Service provider focused on Enterprise DaaS, Packaged DaaS, and Digital Workspace technology. We have successfully migrated 500,000+ remote desktop users to the cloud for enhanced workforce productivity and superior end-user experience.

Since its inception, Anunta has been empowering its customers globally with sustainable, secure, and scalable, managed DaaS offerings for business resiliency and workplace transformation. We are Top Tier partners with all the major technology OEMs (VMware, Microsoft, and Citrix) and cloud platform providers involved in virtualization technologies, particularly desktop virtualization. We have been consistently adding value to our customers by delivering excellence in design, onboarding, migration, and Day 2 packages by delivering cloud desktops across the most complex and varied use-cases.

For more information, visit https://www.anuntatech.com/what-we-offer/managed-virtual-desktops/

Accelerate your cloud journey with Anunta’s Cloud Adoption

Enterprises often fail to move beyond the POC stage of cloud adoption. This happens primarily due to lack of experience and expertise in EUC cloud implementations in either the internal IT teams or the Managed Service Partner (MSP). This manifests itself in an inability to properly identify and implement different use cases, inability to integrate with applications and peripherals and an inability to deliver a smooth, trouble free transition experience to end users, leading to resistance to adoption.

Anunta’s “Cloud Adoption” helps enterprises, who have taken the first steps towards implementing VDI/DaaS, define a full adoption plan and then take complete ownership of the EUC transformation from discovery and migration to complete stabilization of the environment before handing it over as a steady state operations to the customer’s IT team/existing MSP in a time bound manner.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI is a form of desktop virtualization in which desktop environments are hosted on a central server. This technology allows for several desktop images to run within a virtual machine. The images are then delivered to the end-user via a network. The endpoints could be devices like PCs, tablets, smartphones, or thin client terminals.

Why would businesses adopt VDI? We explain in this post by discussing the Top 10 benefits of VDI.

  1. Centralized, simplified management: One of the biggest advantages is that everything is essentially managed in a central location. This means end-users are not required to hand over their devices and wait for updates to be installed. Instead, new versions of the OS or applications can simply be deployed to the central desktop image, which is in turn made available to all end-user devices.
  2. Accessibility: One of the key end-user benefits is that employees can access their virtual desktop image using devices like laptops, smartphones, and mobiles. Also, due to the unique capabilities of VDI, end-users can access software solutions to which they may not have had access to in the past.
  3. Flexibility: VDI can help enterprises become more agile. With VDI, businesses can quickly get access to new VMs for temp or seasonal employees, consultants, and for development and testing purposes.
  4. Workforce mobility: This might, by far, be the most obvious advantage of deploying VDI. Given that the desktops in a VDI architecture are hosted virtually, end-users can access them from anywhere in the world, on pretty much any device, provided they have internet connectivity. This typically results in increased flexibility for both employees and businesses. For employees, this will mean increased morale and productivity. And, when VDI is coupled with technologies (such as VPNs) that allow access to local VDI networks from remote locations, businesses will also be able to employ a diverse workforce that is not restricted by location, thanks to virtualization technologies.
  5. BYOD: Since virtual desktops are hosted on a central server in a remote location, the device that the end-user uses to connect to the network to access the virtual desktop is of no consequence. Thus, users can essentially use any device they like to access their virtual desktop. Given that the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend has seen a major uptick among organizations, it is expected that businesses, going forward, will only want more and more of their employees to use their personal devices to connect to the network (for at least one or a few applications).
  6. Increased productivity: One rather overarching benefit of VDI is that it improves the productivity of your employees by offering an enhanced work experience with remote access to desktops, increased security, no downtime due to IT maintenance and upgrades, and more. Virtual desktops help your business operations become more agile, lean, and efficient, while employee efforts and abilities become more focused and flexible. You can ensure that your employees are able to maintain their productivity even in case of a disaster. This type of productivity is invaluable to any business over a period of time.
  7. Cost efficiency: If the server setup is already present, VDI comes at a minimal cost. Plus, even if businesses need to foot an initial cost to deploy VDI, the long-term savings it offers are significant. In other words, VDI is a positive investment and can bring you substantial returns over time. This is because when you deploy virtualization technologies, you don’t need to spend as much on PC hardware. Licensing costs are also often lower using VDI because a single operating system or application license can often be shared across multiple virtual desktop sessions. Further, with a traditional set up, in the event that maintenance is required, it will take the IT team a significant amount of time to perform the necessary updates on every single machine. This time and effort output can be reduced to a minimum with VDI, which is managed from a central location.
  8. Decreased security risks: The security benefits cannot be overstated. As organizations expand, maintaining digital security remains essential. After all, a single data breach or cyber attack can cost a business millions in damages and, more importantly, its reputation. Given this, preventive measures are certainly not optional. If you want to ensure the success of your business, employing the right preventive measures is crucial. The virtual environment plays an important part in making your IT infrastructure more secure. Since all the data is located in a central system, you can protect it better than you would be able to if it was spread across your employees’ devices. Thus, VDI helps you keep your data in the right hands. With this, you can reduce the risk of accidental data breaches and intentional cyber-attacks.
  9. Better disaster recovery: Another important benefit of VDI is that it keeps your data safe and backed up at all times. Disaster recovery is an important aspect of IT management. Companies that don’t have a disaster recovery plan face critical disruptions when their data is lost and their business operations come to a halt. Virtualization is not the only step you should employ to prevent this risk, but it will help significantly because virtual desktop infrastructure that is centralized on servers can be recovered more quickly than conventional desktops, which would need to be rebuilt by hand and individually following a disaster.
  10. Centralized troubleshooting: If your end-users experience any issues, VDI allows for remote troubleshooting sSolving the issue for all systems at once. Since IT departments are continuously on the lookout for ways to perform their operation with a leaner budget and less time, the centralized troubleshooting capability is key.

Conclusion

The many benefits of VDI make it apparent that deploying the technology for your business can be extremely beneficial. That explains why businesses across the healthcare, banking, finance, and other sectors are choosing to make the switch to VDI.

But switching to a VDI environment is a complicated process, and that is precisely why you need a trusted, credible partner.

At Anunta, we have over a decade’s worth of experience deploying virtual desktop infrastructure solutions for businesses across the globe. With our trusted OEM partners, including Citrix, VMware, Microsoft, AWS and Google Cloud, we offer businesses a smooth transition to virtualization technologies. If you want to know more about how to implement VDI or would like to better understand our offerings, you can reach out to our experts at Anunta today!

According to a study by Cisco, by 2021 around 95% of the total workloads worldwide will be handled by the leading cloud data centers of the world. Additionally, the SaaS process will account for approximately 75% of the entire workload. Cloud computing has become imperative to the information landscape as the collaborative capacities increase remote interactivity of the big data realm. 

Cloud computing is fundamental for companies looking for improved scalability, cost, efficiency, and business continuity. In this article, we will be delving into the top cloud computing trends of 2021:

Domination Of Hybrid Cloud Computing

Presently various organizations have utilized the hybrid cloud computing system to enhance their production and workflow. Industry experts believe that by the end of the year 2021, a lot of companies will be taking upon hybrid cloud computing for optimum speed, greater control, and enhanced security.

The Edge Is The New Cloud

Multi-cloud’s enterprise utility signifies the developing distribution of the data realm. Moreover, the fluctuating levels of inclusion ascribed to the existing public health climate are amplifying this pattern and edge computing’s practicality at the fringe of the cloud. Moreover, progressively heterogeneous conditions reinforce the need to connect them, which is the area where multi-cloud deployments stand out.

Serverless Computing

Serverless computing is one of the main cloud computing future trends that industries cannot overlook. It has already witnessed an expansion as an extensive improvement due to the increasing need for the traditional innovation to go serverless for headways. It changes the overall foundation by isolating the beginning and the end aspect from the application. For instance, the pay-as-you-go model around which most serverless services are priced has a basic structure. These projects empower companies to possess more common over-cost in their cloud hosting.

Multi-Cloud And Joint Cloud Providers

One of the prominent cloud computing trends of 2021 will be the start of the multi-cloud and joint provider cloud contributions. This is because the suppliers have begun to acknowledge that they can partner up to fasten the go-to-market launched, take advantage of the mutual strengths and AWS. 

The Oracle-Microsoft interconnect relationship that started in June 2019 is an example of such a relationship that can be extended to capitalize on the ML capacities of Microsoft and the networking capabilities of Oracle.

Implementation Of FaaS in Cloud

Among the popular trends of cloud computing is the implementation of Functions as a Service, or FaaS, which is a serverless computing service hosted in the cloud. Functions as a Service is the primary subpart of these services. Moreover, it strengthens an engineer with code usage and maintains a strategic distance from the implementation of complex infrastructures. Moreover, FaaS is an element of serverless computing and primarily focuses on gateways, API, storage, and competition. 

Being more streamlined in comparison to DaaS and IaaS partners, FaaS permits the developer to save a lot of time in coding. Additionally, it also allows you to create applications that execute more quickly and efficiently. In 2021, more tech companies will choose FaaS as a vital tool for their everyday work. According to industry leaders, FaaS is projected to witness a market expansion of approximately $7.72 million by the end of 2021.

Hyper-Scale Data Centers

In the digital era, instant data consumption has facilitated organizations to work at high speed. Additionally, they require an IT infrastructure that is capable of scaling at a quick movement to cater to the increased demand. The business requirement in the digital era is increasing the demand for hyper-scale data centers. Additionally, the hyper-scale data center can scale significantly to cater to the progressively heavy demand.

Cloud Computing, IoT, And Big Data

Among the leading cloud computing trends is its collaboration with IoT and Big Data. The popular tech companies will certainly partner with the consolidated services, paving the way for new trends of cloud computing. Big data, as well as IoT, are a big deal and the operations of many companies depend on them. 

Big data offers identified data with certain enterprises once it is processed and analyzed. Additionally, IoT is a platform where physical devices that have legitimate interconnection can be facilitated for production. If cloud computing works together with IoT and big data, organizations can significantly improve their production.

Disaster Recovery Solutions

Companies are increasingly taking the digital path, which has increased the expenses that result from downtime. According to Gartner, generally, IT downtime can cost $5,600 per minute.

Additionally, companies are also under guidelines to protect the customers’ data. Companies should comply with all the legitimate terms when designing their disaster recovery strategies. Therefore, companies are increasingly moving towards Disaster Recovery as a Service, or DRaaS, which is a technique that works to decrease recovery time and simplify recovery operations.

Automated Cloud Orchestration And Optimization

Cloud platforms will continue to create automated cloud orchestration and optimization as a comprehensive nature of evaluating the quality and quantity of interconnected services across applications overwhelm even the savviest IT firms. As a result, automated services and performance management will be among the top priorities while picking a cloud provider in 2021.

Artificial Intelligence Engineering

Organizations today need artificial intelligence engineering strategies to ensure the success of their AI projects. And without proper AI engineers, companies are likely to fail to move their projects ahead. AI engineering makes AI an aspect of commercial DevOps processes instead of isolated and specialized projects. 

AI engineering includes three main pillars that include DevOps, ModelOps, and DataOps. DevOps primarily deal with high-speed code changes; however, AI projects tend to deal with more changes in data, code, and models. Therefore, organizations must apply principles of DevOps across the pipeline for machine learning and DataOps.

The Adoption Of SASE

Secure access service edge, or SASE, will continue to acquire adoption as organizations move above the prompt response measures for their massive increase in remote working connectivity. SASE is a network architecture that amalgamates software-defined WAN abilities and cloud-native network security services. These services include secure web gateways, zero-trust access, firewalls, and cloud access security.

Conclusion

Regardless of their operational nature, companies are moving towards cloud computing due to the flexibility and scalability that it provides. As industry and enterprise needs keep on evolving with time, cloud computing trends will also continue to adapt to meet those needs. Hence, enterprises should be open to leveraging the trends to stay relevant and competitive in the market.

Key Takeaways

  • Implementing on-site virtual desktop infrastructure can be costly and complex for small businesses in particular.
  • For higher cost-effectiveness and to meet the in-house gap in expertise, opting for the Desktop as a Service (DaaS) model is a recommended choice.
  • DaaS brings plenty of benefits, including reduced operational costs, higher mobility in the workplace, reduced risks of cyber attacks, and on-demand assistance from experts.

In the brave, new, post-Covid world of today, conventional IT strategies and practices have become less relevant. Technological initiatives and innovations have paved newer paths for the corporate world, including greater adoption of virtual solutions like cloud desktops

Cloud desktops break away from the traditional constraints of legacy systems, enabling organizations with higher flexibility and new-age opportunities to scale and unlock enhanced returns.

DaaS and How it’s Changing the Business Landscape

Today, with different cloud services, online productivity apps, and stable high-speed internet access, most of the work can be offloaded. It doesn’t matter what devices we use; we can easily and conveniently transition our work across different devices by accessing file systems hosted in the cloud.

Cloud services are becoming increasingly popular, and their domain will continue to witness strong development. An important aspect of this trend is the virtualization of the workspace, where virtual desktop infrastructure can be hosted on a cloud environment. As we are focusing on cloud computing for small businesses here, it’s worth noting that for small and medium-sized businesses, implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure can be prohibitively complex and expensive. It’s typically way beyond the budget of all but large companies.

So, moving desktop infrastructure to the cloud and delivering it to users on a subscription-based model makes more sense, particularly for small businesses. Also referred to as DaaS or desktop as a service, it eliminates the legwork and maintenance associated with VDI setup. Hence, small businesses that lack the provisions to implement a VDI can greatly benefit from readily available virtual desktops with DaaS.

Desktop-as-a-Service has the potential to drive more success to small businesses through enhanced agility and productivity. Let’s see how.

Handling complex challenges

Handling the challenges that are part of managing infrastructure is tough for small businesses. Besides, most of them lack the technical expertise and knowledge required to do so. As a result, the IT team ends up using most of their valuable time on sorting out the problems with the existing infrastructure and spending less time on improving it. Hence, cloud computing for small businesses is crucial.

By implementing cloud desktop solutions, small enterprises can take the edge off the complexities. DaaS solution providers can take the burden of everyday management, maintenance, and administration of the IT staff and free them up for tasks that have an impact on your bottom line.

Reduces operational costs

The business world is constantly changing. And small enterprises are mainly always on the lookout to cut costs which can be used to improve their business operations. Cloud computing for small businesses involving DaaS solutions can help generate substantial savings by cutting down on extra expenses.

Owing to the mass-scale computing power offered by cloud-hosted servers, small businesses can make use of that to shrink their IT requirements. The cherry on top is that cloud desktop service providers also take care of the security of the servers, thus protecting them from attacks or data loss (although some security risks, such as phishing that targets end users, must still be managed by DaaS customers).

A Pay-as-you-go model is more favorable

Typically, DaaS solutions are offered on a pay-as-you-go model, which is favorable for small businesses. Additionally, DaaS assists them in moving away from CapEx towards OpEx, thereby eliminating wastage and enabling scalability.

With this feature, companies don’t have to worry about how their workload is going to turn out in future. They can simply scale up and down when necessary and pay only for what they use. Businesses also get the flexibility to try out a mix and match of features for each staff member according to requirements.

Mobility in the workplace

Telecommuting or remote working has become more important than ever. Studies have shown that it improves employee productivity, flexibility and increases the time available to work. As a result, it leads to higher employee attraction and retention as well.

Businesses that are proactive in supporting mobility in the workplace and building a strategy around it are at a better place to get more out of their employees than those who don’t. Moreover, with support for mobility, employees are less likely to take days off, contributing to higher overall productivity. As employees don’t need to depend on a physical office system for their work, they can continue to be productive in most situations.

No risk of cyber attacks

By implementing DaaS, all your critical data is stored on the cloud with the highest level of security. DaaS providers continuously work towards keeping everything updated and prone to the newest threats and strategies to keep your data safe.

Besides, when all the data is stored on cloud servers that are protected with Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies, the information can’t be accessed without the proper credentials. Therefore, any sort of cyber risk is eliminated.

Conclusion

Cloud computing for small businesses solves many of the problems that SMBs face in their day-to-day operations. As they adopt cloud desktop services, they can increase the productivity of their staff, get access to the latest software, and invest less in infrastructure. Hence, it’s a win-win situation for both the employees and the organization.

FAQs

Why should small businesses use cloud computing?

It is crucial for every business to tap into the power of networks and the internet to stay competitive and thriving in the market. This is particularly important for small businesses because they can get all the advantages of powerful computing systems without having to spend a fortune on expensive infrastructure. It can also transform the way all the network and computer resources are managed and ensure that everything is utilized to its fullest.

Why is cloud good for business?

Cloud computing is essential for businesses because it helps to boost their productivity, improve collaboration and promote innovation, all while saving time and money. Additional benefits that cloud offers businesses include:

  • Access to information anywhere and at any time.
  • Automatic synchronization of data across devices and users help to maintain consistency when users are working on the same project.
  • Easy data backup that prevents data loss from natural disasters, cyber-attacks, hardware failure, etc.
  • Virtually eliminates downtime.

Which businesses benefit from cloud computing?

Although cloud computing solutions are necessary for all business requirements, some businesses that stand to benefit most from implementing cloud solutions are:

  • Tech companies and startups that offer a competitive advantage of speed and agility
  • Healthcare and financial organizations that follow strict regulations and deal with sensitive information
  • Marketing teams and groups that rely on analytics and real-time reporting
  • Businesses with global workforces and remote teams

Is cloud computing right for your business?

Cloud computing is rapidly emerging as the much-demanded solution in the IT landscape. So, yes, cloud computing is suitable for businesses working across different verticals.

Cloud computing offers endless options for businesses in terms of flexibility, affordability, and reliability. But before you decide to adopt cloud solutions, you need to think over the following.

Are you a growing business?

Is cost-cutting highly necessary for you?

Does your business operate under compliance and regulatory requirements?

Once you are entirely clear about your requirements, you can make an informed choice of whether cloud solutions are right for you or not.

Key Takeaways

  • App streaming is a process where end-point devices access virtualized apps from a remote server setup. The apps delivered are virtualized on a server.
  • Virtual desktops are VDI-based desktops that are equipped with specific configurations and operating systems. They have dedicated resources, applications, and user settings.
  • App streaming provides stand-alone applications, while virtual desktops offer dedicated desktop environments. Both have their own set of pros and cons. Companies must first define their requirements and then select between an app streaming solution and virtual desktop accordingly.

The corporate world experienced a lot of rapid transformations and challenges since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier, remote working was just a matter of convenience, but considering the current situation, it has become a necessity to ensure businesses keep running. Having said that, migrating the entire workforce to the work-from-home model is a challenge in itself and is easier said than done.

What businesses and enterprises need is a remote working solution that can facilitate business continuity while also maintaining peak productivity levels. There are several solutions already available in the market to cater to the individual requirements of the users, but before selecting one, it is important to consider what you want and your budget for it. For example, if you are a small business, you may only require stand-alone apps to carry out your business operations, while others may have to go for a complete desktop setup for their daily tasks.

Once enterprises have figured out their requirements, there are primarily two solutions they can opt for. They are app streaming and virtual desktops. The desktop virtualization and app virtualization spaces are witnessing a strong upward growth, which is expected to continue in the future. These solutions are offered as services by third-party providers, and opting for their services can help to reduce capital expenses and on-premise IT challenges. 

Let’s take a look at some of the basics of app streaming and virtual desktops that can help you select the solution that is right for your business.

Defining app streaming and virtual desktops

So, what is app streaming? It is the process where end-point devices access virtualized apps from a remote server setup. The apps to be delivered are virtualized on a server that can either be present on a remote data center or on-premise.

Virtual desktops, on the other hand, are VDI-based desktops that come equipped with specific configurations and operating systems. Virtual desktops are virtual machines that have dedicated resources, applications, and user settings.

Functionality

Consider a traditional office scenario where multiple employees work. The applications that they work on and required for business are the same, but you have to install all of them on every desktop or computer system. The applications are bound by the OS as well. App virtualization involves creating virtual images of applications to be published on a server. Here, the apps are no longer attached to the operating system. The applications are separated from the underlying OS so that efficient application delivery can be ensured.

App streaming eases the process of application delivery on end-point devices. Every application consists of multiple blocks of code. A part of the code is installed on the end-point device, and the remaining part is streamed through protocols such as RTSP, or Real-Time Streaming Protocol. To work on these apps, the user has to install client software on the end-user device they will use to access the virtual apps. (In certain cases, streaming apps can be accessed directly from a browser, too, with no special software required on the end-user device.) Since the apps are streamed to a device and not installed on it, the operating system of the end-point device is typically not very important.

As for desktop virtualization, this means desktops that are hosted on a server or the cloud with the help of VDI technology. A management portal will enable the provisioning and management of the virtual desktops and also allow them to make changes to the desktop configuration as necessary.

Costs

App streaming is an excellent option, in terms of cost-efficiency, for businesses that need a limited number of applications. In the conventional approach, businesses would have to offer a dedicated desktop to their employees even if they need to work only on one application. But with application streaming, they can ask for only those apps that are required and get charged accordingly.

When compared to app streaming, the costs associated with a virtual desktop are higher because it offers a complete workspace solution. But having a virtual desktop is still cost-effective as businesses can cut down on the expenses of deploying an on-premise IT setup. Besides, virtual desktop providers typically offer their services according to pay-per-use pricing plans, where the charges incurred are only in accordance with the resources used.

Personalized Experience

App streaming only delivers you the applications necessary to perform your daily tasks. As users work with the same application, there is no scope for a personalized experience.

That’s not the case with virtual desktops. The complete desktop solutions offered by virtual desktop providers can be personalized according to user requirements. Virtual desktops can be persistent or non-persistent. Delivering a personalized experience is possible with a persistent virtual desktop.

Industry

The industry in which your business operates should also be considered when deciding whether to go for app streaming or desktop virtualization. App streaming can be suitable for businesses where employees depend on only one or two applications. An example of such a business could be a healthcare facility that uses a customer management application to handle and keep track of its clients.

However, if your business needs diverse apps like CRM software or the Microsoft Office suite, choosing a virtual desktop would be a good fit. The complete desktop solution it offers will help you work on any application without performance problems.

Conclusion

Both app streaming and virtual desktops are popular among enterprises looking for remote working solutions. App streaming provides stand-alone applications, while virtual desktops offer dedicated desktop environments. The one that will work the best for your organization will depend on your business requirements. So, it is crucial to analyze that before opting for an app streaming solution or a virtual desktop.

FAQs

What is application streaming virtualization?

It is a software distribution system where users receive applications on-demand. In application streaming, the software is stored on a central server and packaged as information blocks called starter blocks, predictive blocks, and demand blocks. When the user launches the software application, starter blocks are sent to the user, which helps initialize the application and run the necessary components.

After that, the predictive blocks are sent, which are important for closing the application. Finally, demand blocks are software components that are sent only upon request as the need arises.

When should I use desktop virtualization?

Desktop virtualization will work the best for you in the following scenarios:

  • If your organization is dependent on several servers, hardware like laptops and networks, desktop virtualization can help to reduce the operating costs significantly.
  • Your business employs more people than traditional servers can manage.

If your business has to manage large server racks, you will need IT personnel and office space. By adopting desktop virtualization, your office space can be put to better use and the hardware costs can be reduced.

Key Takeaways

  • Improper initial assessment, choosing the wrong VDI solution provider, and performance issues are some of the common challenges companies face when implementing VDI.
  • User experience is one of the most important considerations to focus on when deploying VDI.
  • Companies must have a thorough cost management strategy, as well as outlined plans to execute when something goes wrong (like security lapses) during VDI implementation.

In the remote work culture of today, while as important as VDI is, implementing it is far from easy. To successfully deploy the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, organizations require advanced planning and a well-defined strategy to ensure optimum returns. Some of the common challenges companies face when implementing VDI are improper initial assessment, overlooking user experience, choosing the wrong VDI infrastructure solutions provider, and various other performance issues. Poor deployment of VDI also exposes the business to security and compliance risks.

So, if you’re planning to switch from a traditional desktop to VDI (which you should, owing to the latter’s benefits like remote access and centralized management), you need to think things through and outline an effective migration and deployment plan. To help you with that, here the three fundamental requirements of successful VDI implementation:

Focus on User Experience

Your employees who will use VDI are comfortable with their local desktops. They are acclimatized to how certain things work. To maintain their productivity, the VDI must deliver them the same kind of performance that they are used to. Your employees shouldn’t have to settle for lagging performance and delayed response time. User experience is one of the most important parts of VDI deployment. Sadly, it’s also something that gets overlooked.

Engage the end-users. Understand their needs and requirements; after all, different employees will interact differently with VDI. Understanding their distinct needs is critical. Thereon, accordingly, optimize the rollout plan so the system stands true to your employees’ expectations and ensures a seamless transition for them from the local system to VDI.

Proper cost management

The bigger the company, the higher the cost of VDI implementation could be. (Of course, in the long run, with VDI integration, the IT administrative costs are reduced, which is one of the biggest benefits.) In the early stages though, during the roll-out, it’s essential for IT and finance teams to tightly manage the operational costs. One of the key parts of this is focusing on the hidden charges. 

WAN and backend storage costs are commonly underestimated. At times, more bandwidth might be required, which could further add to these costs. So, the organizations should ideally have a complete understanding of their fixed and variable cost; they must have cost mitigating strategies in place, as well as a defined plan to keep unnecessary expenses at bay.

Preparing for the worst-case scenarios

The impact of system outages is compounded on virtual desktops. It can hamper the entire operations, possibly affecting the revenue of the business. Common reasons for VDI system outages are hardware problems and software bugs. It’s essential that organizations are prepared for such worst-case scenarios with contingency plans. 

There are several other VDI challenges that IT teams should be prepared for, like performance issues, security lapses, complex environments, and more. Having a playbook that outlines how to tackle these worst-class scenarios is essential. Further, at the time of implementation, rigorous pilot tests should be performed as well.

Final Words

These are three essential requirements of successful VDI implementation. 

So, during the whole process, consider all the various aspects of local desktop-to-VDI migration, as well as the scalability of the VDI environment. Prepare your network properly, do an effective assessment, avoid underprovisioning, ensure higher availability, and achieve successful virtual desktop implementation.

In case if all these sound “too much” or you’re confused and need help from experts, consider contacting a VDI service provider. Tap on their experience and expertise for seamless system deployment.

Key Takeaways

  • Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) allows you to secure a remote desktop experience from virtually anywhere.
  • You can deploy and manage your IT infrastructure and scale swiftly according to your business needs.
  • AVD keeps your data and apps secure and compliant with security capabilities that vigorously identify risks and take remedial measures.

Harnessing the power of Microsoft’s cloud services, Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is an instanced virtual machine (VM) hosting an application and desktop virtualization service running on the cloud. AVD provides a complete virtual desktop experience and remote applications to any computing device.

Depending upon its configuration, the platform can bring together Azure and Microsoft 365 to offer customers a multi-user Windows 10 experience. Microsoft launched AVD (which was previously known as Windows Virtual Desktop, or WVD) in 2019. The product is the latest evolution in the tech giant’s Remote Desktop Services (RDS) technology.

AVD helps companies effortlessly scale their virtualization needs while leveraging state-of-the-art security features on Azure coupled with the cost efficiencies of its subscription-based model. With AVD, users get to enjoy a much better virtualization experience for accessing hosted apps compared to the conventional Windows Server-based RDS platform that utilizes Microsoft Partner community support for similar purposes.

What Sets WDV Apart From Others?

Deploy and Scale in Minutes

Shifting workplace IT infrastructure to the cloud streamlines operations for both the end-users and the IT crew. End-users can access their applications and desktops from various browsers and devices. As Office 365 applications have now been fine-tuned to work with AVD, the end-user experience has become even smoother.

After shifting to the cloud, the IT department doesn’t need to spend time handling local networks and physical machines. You can add users, configure network settings, enable security, and deploy desktop apps within a few clicks. Desktop applications are easier to handle as AVD supports Windows 7 OS or Windows 10.

Because Azure Virtual Desktop is managed via the Microsoft Portal, your business can scale virtual desktops to fulfill your requirements in a flash. Administrators just need an admin login account and they can add virtual RAM, increase virtual CPUs, and allocate more virtual hard disk storage, and so on, within minutes.

Furthermore, you can trigger automated scaling and handle your images effectively with Azure Shared Image Gallery. Focus on your desktop policies and apps while Azure takes care of the rest. As the user apps and profiles are stored in separate containers In AVD, this can improve scalability and flexibility.

Easy on Your Bank Balance

By shifting your systems and apps to Azure with AVD, you can effectively contain your costs for running virtual desktops with Windows operating system (OS).

AVD reduces your capital and operational expenditure in the cloud by allowing session-based systems on Azure VMs, leading to better usage of costly resources. By streamlining licensing for the use of Windows 10 on the AVD ecosystem and not requiring additional client access licenses (CAL) for access, AVD reduces Microsoft licensing costs.

You can curb your IT infrastructure expenses even further by right-sizing VMs and “unplugging” them (in order words, spinning down the virtual desktop sessions) when they are not in use. AVD lets you increase the usage of VMs with Windows 10 multi-session. You can keep overheads costs at bay and align operational expenses (OPEX) to business utilization.

If your business has already subscribed to Microsoft 365 or a corporate version of Windows, you can set up a virtual desktop for all users for free with AVD. As such, at no additional costs, your remote workforce can access a ready-to-use VM running Windows from anywhere, from any device, at any time.

Access Desktop and Apps Anywhere, Anytime

Owing to COVID-19, today’s workforce is rapidly becoming mobile and remote. To access the required apps and systems to do the jobs, employees are relying more and more on VMs and cloud platforms that they can access – irrespective of location, time, and device.

WDV enables you to ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) and access your applications and desktop over the internet with an AVD client that can run on any major operating system, including Mac, Windows, Android and iOS mobile. Pick up the right Azure VM to optimize the performance and exploit the Windows 10 multi-tenant benefit on Azure to handle numerous user sessions in sync and save on cash.

With WDV, you can deliver the same experience to your workforce they would have on a local PC – whether they are sharing files in OneDrive, managing their inbox with Outlook, or interacting with colleagues on Microsoft Teams.

Stringent Security Practices

Microsoft has equipped AVD with loads of security capabilities that will keep your business safe and sound. It takes security very seriously. The tech titan spends more than $1 Bn on research and development (R&D) related to cybersecurity and assigns 3,500 security pros for data privacy and security.

AVD lets you deploy VMs, configured exactly how you want them to be, that are safely virtualized in the Azure cloud. Confidential info is never transmitted out of the business’s control framework as any data transmissions are just between Azure cloud instances. The Azure cloud protects the data by all means of in-built security protocols, including Azure Security Center, Azure Firewall, Microsoft Defender ATP, and Azure Sentinel.

Under AVD, access to desktop instances is managed by conditional access protocols, such as multi-layered authentication. AVD infrastructure can be deployed to enable role-centered access control (RBAC) and identify risks using Azure Security Center. AVD is compliant with ISO 27018, 27001, and 27701, FedRAMP High for Commercial, PCI, HIPAA, and more.

Furthermore, AVD comes with several default complex security aspects, including Reverse Connect, which levels up the safety of remote systems.

Endnote

Businesses are going through their digital transformations to become more agile, and AVD sets a prime example of smooth flexibility. Given its distinct advantages, Microsoft AVD is now in widespread use, despite having been on the market for just a few years.

If you’ve shifted your data and applications to the cloud, why not host the desktops there as well? Centralization keeps everything aggregated and boosts performance potential. With software defining the system, you trim your reliance on diminishing product life cycles and rigid hardware.

Anunta’s Desktop Ready is an extensive cloud desktop based on Windows 10 and Azure Virtual Desktop that is built on a flexible and secure Azure platform. The virtual desktop solution is compliant with PCI, HIPAA, and SOC2 and offers round-the-clock access to the service desk. What’s more, DesktopReady lets you improve your business resilience by offering a cost-efficient and modern workplace environment.

Key Takeaways

  • While Microsoft has improved Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) at scale, IT administrators still should look at the caveats of the environment.
  • WVD doesn’t offer an auto-scaling feature, but it provides a set of scripts with similar abilities to ensure customers are operating a cost-efficient framework.
  • WVD still lacks the required capabilities to deliver real-time monitoring of the ecosystem and customer analytics.

Recently, Microsoft has made a couple of notable improvements to Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) management and added additional features with the general availability of the Azure Resource Manager. Still, the service lacks certain management aspects that are completely missing, or that require special effort on the part of administrators.

Moving ahead, Microsoft has begun offering support for multi-tenant Windows 10 with the requisite licensing rights for WVD. This makes the toolkit an attractive offering for consumers who are shifting their IT infrastructure and applications to Microsoft Azure as the chief cloud platform.

To run workloads on WVD management, users need to use Azure cloud computing. As such, those who want to leverage WVD have to move from their existing IT infrastructure to an Azure-based toolset (except for a small set of users).

IT admins should look into the existing capabilities of WVD management and keep a close watch on what’s still missing from the WVD environment before considering it a perfect substitute for VMware- or Citrix-based virtual desktops.

Let’s have a look at the present limitations and drawbacks of WVD.

Appropriate Auto-scaling Techniques

As WVD is a cloud-based service, managing auto-scaling and provisioning should be one of its core competencies. Azure virtual machines (VM) are billed per second, so toning down a notch after hours or scaling up when necessary should be among the core feature stock, like Citrix and VMware have.

However, Microsoft doesn’t yet provide these capabilities within the WVD service. It does offer a set of scripts that operate as Azure automation runbooks, and these scripts offer a couple of identical capabilities that make sure users are running a cost-effective infrastructure. Still, autoscaling using these scripts is more complex, and requires more setup, than a native autoscaling feature.

It’s worth noting that Microsoft is rolling out another capability – Start VM on Connect – which automatically initiates a VM when a user is logging into the session. At present, however, this feature is now available for Pooled Host Pools.

Image Management

WVD doesn’t provide a straightforward way to manage application or image updates as VMware and Citrix do. The IT department can utilize features in Azure to deliver some equivalent competencies, but this is not a core part of the WVD offering. Rather, they need to bank on a combo of VM Scale Sets, Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, and other community-centric tools.

This might not bother users too much within smaller and static environments. But, for larger ecosystems or ecosystems wherein the IT experts have to manage numerous applications and updates, this is one of the aspects they will miss the most if they switch to WVD from VMware or Citrix.

Alternatively, IT experts can utilize Azure Image Builder to develop VM-driven images with a command-line interface and configuration files. But, this doesn’t deliver the exact simplified method as VMware and Citrix do. Admins should look for a DevOps-driven method to deal with image management for WVD ecosystems. Still, Microsoft is steering toward the right path regarding image management.

End-user Experience

At its heart, WVD is an Azure-native service with regards to the data plane. This implies all end-user traffic to a WVD application or desktop goes through Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings. Also, it means the remote desktop protocol (RDP) traffic will be redirected to the current location of the data components.

Microsoft has been stretching the fundamental WVD aspects – data and control plane – to several regions worldwide. This implies traffic streams will be fine-tuned for multiple geographies. By default, WVD is still stuck to reverse Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) WebSocket-driven connections, which restrict data transfer to only use TCP. This also impacts end-user experience with regards to intense workloads such as video and audio and GPU-native apps.

Having said that, Microsoft has launched a new feature – RDP Shortpath – which is only available in the Remote Desktop client at present. RDP Shortpath enables sessions to utilize transport as per the user datagram protocol (UDP) instead. But for this to function, the user needs to create a direct link to the back-end server, which is mostly UDP-driven VPN connections or ExpressRoute connections. This implies WVD can offer equivalent end-user experiences, like the other protocols. Further, Microsoft has provided Teams audio and video offloading to ensure better conference experiences.

Management Tools

From a management standpoint, not much has changed over the recent past. That said, Microsoft did make the considerable change of pushing out an ARM-based version of WVD in 2020, as mentioned earlier. This implies WVD users have a plethora of options to create management processes in an automated way.

Also, it means users have more choices to deliver monitoring capabilities on WVD-driven ecosystems, where there are loads of standardization services in Azure, including Azure Monitor. WVD users can, for instance, utilize log data and performance parameters to deliver dashboards on the existing ecosystem.

But, WVD still doesn’t have the exact capabilities to offer real-time tracking of the ecosystem as Azure Monitor data can suffer a delay up to 15-20 minutes before the data flashes on the dashboards. It also lacks real-time customer analytics. Experts hope that Microsoft will build an agent extension to offer real-time insights into the user sessions and condition of the environment, but this is not available at present.

Those who are aware of the VMware Horizon Help Desk or the Citrix Director utility tool will also realize the absence of appropriate helpdesk tools available. As of now, Microsoft is offering PowerShell cmdlets, which deliver some functionality to control sessions. Also, Microsoft is developing a new management user interface (UI), which the IT crew has to install as an add-on. Besides, the IT experts must bank on third-party vendors to deliver UI competencies.

Looking Forward

WVD is still not a complete replacement for Citrix and VMware, particularly with its existing feature stack and core competencies. While Microsoft may view WVD as a self-powered offering in the flourishing service catalog in Azure, Citrix and VMware see their services as part of a larger environment.

For WVD to thrive at length, it has to fit into Microsoft’s environment, and Microsoft has worked proactively to accomplish this with little signs of slowing down.

Considering Microsoft’s rulebook for WVD, it seems the tech giant still wants to focus on the partner environment, instead of developing everything as a first-party service or feature. However, Microsoft has included a few new (promising) capabilities, and WVD users have reasons to be excited about what Microsoft has up its sleeves going forward.

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