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A virtual desktop is a thin or zero client merely relaying an image of data and applications stored remotely on a central server within a public, private or hybrid Cloud. It enables end-users with anytime, anywhere, any device access to data and applications in a remote yet secure manner.

Virtual desktops segregates desktop operating system, applications, and data from the hardware, and offers a robust, secure, flexible yet affordable solution. The Virtualization software creates desktop images and enables access to end-users over a network.

Virtual desktops are provisioned based upon user-group profiling which ensures that end-users have an uninterrupted access to role-specific applications and data via a customized interface. Since data and applications reside on a central server, management becomes simple. All bug fixes, policy and software upgrades are applied only on the centrally stored golden images ensuring security and compliance adherence for all end-users. The ability to provide consistently high application availability in an anywhere, anytime, and across any device improves end-user experience and productivity.

What are virtual desktop deployment models?

There are two models of virtual desktop deployment. These are,

  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI):

    For organizations that have already invested in building or owning in-house data centers, VDI as a virtualization solution makes sense as it addresses the challenges in upgrading traditional physical desktops and reduces cost on IT refresh. With the data center situated in-house, organizations have full control over software, hardware and data accessed by end-users via their virtual desktops. VDI minimizes the risk of data theft or loss even if the device crashes or is stolen as all data is stored centrally on a server. However, VDI requires management of various technologies (servers, storage, networking, thin clients, and virtualization software, etc.) provided by different vendors making the implementation a complex and challenging process for organizations on their own. It also requires specialized IT skills to manage the virtual infrastructure, which adds to the complexity further.

  • Desktop as a Service (DaaS):

    Organizations that haven’t yet invested in in-house data centers, organizations that plan to have a hybrid environment or organizations that aim to move their IT spend from Capex to Opex may have greater propensity to leverage the benefits of VDI on cloud. Available as pay as you go, DaaS reduces the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) of desktop computing as the upfront spend on infrastructure is negated. Further the cost of owning specialized VDI technical skills, desktop maintenance and infrastructure depreciation is eliminated. Cloud hosted Virtual desktops are typically subscribed at a pay per user rate on a monthly basis.

What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?

The Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a virtualization technology that segregates desktop operating system, applications, and data from the hardware, and offers a robust, secure, flexible yet affordable desktop solution. The virtualization software creates desktop images and enables access to end-users over a network.

In the VDI environment, virtual desktops are provisioned based upon user-group profiling which ensures that end-users have an uninterrupted access to role-specific applications and data via a customized interface. Since data and applications reside on a central server, management becomes simple. All bug fixes, policy and software upgrades are applied only on the centrally stored golden images ensuring security and compliance adherence for all end-users. The ability to provide consistently high application availability in an anywhere, anytime, and across any device improves end-user experience and productivity.

What are the benefits of VDI?

VDI improves end user experience and productivity by:

  • Reduced costs :

    The VDI reduces the Capex involved in costly PC purchase and frequent IT refresh. The outsourced operations and pay-as-you-go model induce transparency on future requirements and helps manage Opex.

  • Anytime, anywhere, any device access to data and applications :

    As applications and data are stored on central servers, this enables access independent of the time, place and device enabling end-users enjoy flexible yet secure application availability.

  • Simplified management :

    Centralized storage of data and applications enable IT to manage desktops in an extremely efficient manner. Since user profiles are also stored centrally, rolling out OS, application and bug fixes are simplified.

  • Secure access :

    End-users only have access to applications and data specific to their roles as a result of role-based user profile creation and policy adherence. This also enables enterprises in providing contract employees and partners with secured access to relevant data and applications.

  • Rapid disaster recovery and business continuity :

    In the event of a disaster, virtual desktops can be provisioned from the centralized backup, thereby ensuring business continuity.

What is Desktop Virtualization?

Desktop Virtualization is a technology that empowers end-users with a virtual computing environment across devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phone, etc.) and locations thereby delivering a consistent user experience. It ensures a secure, highly available, cost effective end-user desktop infrastructure wherein, end-user desktops are hosted on a centralized server, while ensuring maximum control and security over access and usage of desktops by end-users.

What are the types of virtualization?

Desktop Virtualization is not a “One Size Fits All” but requires a tailored approach to identify use case to be implemented. Organizations have the option to choose between in-house Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or Desktop as a Service (DaaS). The different types of desktop virtualization are:

  • Session Based Virtualization :

    It delivers individual session on a virtual machine or a server where each virtual machine is shared by multiple users.

  • Non-Persistent VDI :

    It delivers a virtual machine that where sessions are not reserved or locked and can be accessed by multiple users. The desktop allows users to access their data on different PCs, as systems refresh themselves once the user has logged off.

  • Persistent VDI :

    It delivers a virtual machine like non-persistent VDI except that user sessions are reserved or locked. This type of virtual machine is designed to suit the needs of individual users.

  • Hosted Shared Desktop :

    It delivers shared desktops hosted on a server and connected to multiple thin clients. This type of virtualization enables multiple users to access the same desktop screen concurrently. This is also called RDSH (Remote Hosted Desktop).

  • Application Virtualization :

    It is a virtualization technology where the required applications are hosted and published in a data center and are relayed as mere images to the end-user devices to capture actions (keystrokes and mouse actions) back to the application.

What are the benefits of desktop virtualization?

Desktop virtualization offers the following benefits to enterprises.

  • Reduced costs :

    The virtualized desktops reduce the Capex involved in costly PC purchase and frequent IT refresh. The outsourced operations and pay-as-you-go model induce transparency on future requirements and helps manage Opex.

  • Anytime, anywhere, any device access to data and applications :

    As applications and data are stored on central servers, this enables access independent of the time, place and device enabling end-users enjoy flexible yet secure application availability.

  • Simplified management :

    Centralized storage of data and applications enable IT to manage desktops in an extremely efficient manner. Since user profiles are also stored centrally, rolling out OS, application and bug fixes are simplified.

  • Secure access :

    End-users only have access to applications and data specific to their roles as a result of role-based user profile creation and policy adherence. This also enables enterprises in providing contract employees and partners with secured access to relevant data and applications.

  • Rapid disaster recovery and business continuity :

    In the event of a disaster, virtual desktops can be provisioned from the centralized backup, thereby ensuring business continuity.

What is virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) in the Citrix platform?

Before talking about VDI in the Citrix platform, let us understand what is VDI.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a virtualization technology that segregates desktop operating systems, applications, and data from the hardware and offers a robust, secure, flexible, yet affordable desktop solution. The virtualization software creates desktop images and enables access to end-users over a network.

Various companies offer VDI licensing and solutions – the major players being Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix.

Citrix offers an array of products and solutions, including cloud computing, desktop virtualization, analytics, content collaboration, endpoint management, and EUC solutions. Citrix has two VDI offerings – Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (formerly known as Citrix XenDesktop) and Citrix Managed Desktops.

As a Citrix Service Providers Partner, Anunta brings extensive experience in design, implementation, migration, and management of Citrix Desktops. Since inception, we have executed 300+ workplace transformation engagements on Citrix virtualization technology, both on-premises and on cloud. Visit our page for more information – Click here

What is Application Virtualization?

Application Virtualization is a virtualization technology, where the required applications are hosted and published in a data center, and are relayed as mere images to the end-user devices to capture actions (keystrokes and mouse actions) back to the application. From the user’s perspective, the application behaves like it would if it were native to the user’s device and the end-user has a seamless experience.

Benefits of Application Virtualization

Application virtualization enables applications to run in environments that do not suit the native application. Some of the benefits of Application Virtualization are:

  • Application Isolation :

    With desktop virtualization, employees use remote devices/thin clients that work on different operating systems. Application Virtualization helps applications become device-independent and enables data communication between heterogeneous networks. It also helps businesses that rely on older applications that aren’t compatible with the latest version of the server operating systems.

  • Reduced Costs :

    Virtualization helps remove the hardware restrictions that the applications generally have. The number of physical servers and data centers can be reduced thus reducing the cost of ownership. Application virtualization also helps organizations cut down operating costs.

  • Maintenance :

    App Virtualization makes the life of an IT admin easy. He or she needs to install or update the application in the server, rather than multiple desktops. The IT admins can also manage the access permissions to the applications. For instance, if a user’s access to an application has to be revoked, the IT admin can do it from the backend, without making any changes to the user’s desktop/ device.

  • Data Security :

    Users access the virtual applications from their devices (mobiles or thin clients). However, if the device gets damaged or stolen, the application data stays on the server (which is complimented by a secure environment including SSL encryption, firewall and SSL gateway) and cannot be accessed by anyone else without the authentication.

How virtual desktops help businesses?

Virtual desktops have the edge over other technology infrastructures in terms of end-user experience with anytime, anywhere, any device access resulting in employee productivity. It provides consistent end-user experience while accessing business applications and data from remote locations and becomes a perfect choice for sustainable business operations. It is a thin or zero client merely relaying an image of data and applications stored remotely on a central server within a public, private or hybrid Cloud. Since data and applications reside on a central server, management becomes simple. All bug fixes, policy and software upgrades are applied centrally, ensuring security and compliance adherence for all end-users.

If compared with other digital workplace technologies for easy scalability, virtual desktops are proven to be better. It can be set up within few days, and new users can be added in minutes irrespective of their location and can be customized as per the business needs of organizations. Attributes of virtual desktops like workplace accessibility, collaboration, and communication virtually define and enable remote working.

What is a Cloud-hosted Desktop?

A hosted desktop is a virtual machine hosting a remote instance of a local/physical desktop and its peripherals. When they are hosted on a cloud instead of an on-premises data center, it is called a Cloud-hosted Desktop. Cloud-hosted desktops are often delivered “As a Service” and referred to as Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS).

Why your business needs hosted desktops?

Cloud-hosted Desktops empower businesses with any time, anywhere, any device access to business applications, data, communications, and IT services. It is a complete, business-ready solution, delivered as a cloud service with predictable, pay-as-you-go monthly billing. It provides businesses, a simple, flexible and affordable approach to IT.

In addition to the flexibility, hosted desktops also offer the following benefits:

  • Better Security :

    Hosted Desktop providers, in addition to patch management and data backups, also implement cloud technology that protects files and documents against complex security threats

  • Low Maintenance :

    A hosted desktop enables the IT team to easily maintain workspaces/desktops and applications as these apps are hosted on a server of the hosting desktop provider

  • Cost-Effective :

    Organizations can now do away with the purchase of expensive PCs, as hosted desktops enable employees to access their workplaces from any device and ensure the productivity is not affected

How Anunta can help your organization?

With over a decade’s experience in Cloud and Virtualization technologies, Anunta’s Managed Desktop service enables you to provide your end-users with a secured remote access to business-critical data and applications predominantly hosted on cloud.

Anunta offers Managed Windows Virtual Desktops, Managed Horizon Desktops, and Managed Citrix Desktops across Cloud providers to accelerate your digital transformation journey.

What is BYOD?

Organizations now have increasingly started to encourage employees to use their own devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets, etc. within the organization. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to this trend of employees using their personal devices to connect to the organization networks and access their work-related applications and data.

With many organizations operating from remote locations and supporting their employees working from home or connecting on the go while on work-related travel, BYOD has become more prevalent. BYOD solutions can potentially increase employees’ efficiency, productivity, and morale. However, they also come with vulnerabilities in the network while accessing confidential data, which when left unaddressed by IT, can pose serious security challenges to the organization.

Why is BYOD important?

BYOD has become essential for businesses, especially for organizations with field workforce. Below are some of the reasons why BYOD is vital for organizations:

  • Increased Productivity :

    Employees are more comfortable when using a familiar device. It helps increases the employee’s productivity. Moreover, the employee can work offsite (or work from home) without having to switch devices.

  • Cost Savings :

    Introducing BYOD policies can reduce the costs related to hardware, maintenance and management of company assets.

  • Employee Loyalty and Retention :

    Implementing BYOD gives a perspective that the business is progressive and technically enabled. With a proper BYOD policy, employees will feel comfortable to operate on their own devices and will allow them to feel more in control of their work. When employees feel empowered, their productivity also increases.

How does Virtualization enable BYOD?

Virtualization makes it easier to deliver applications and data securely on employee-owned devices while providing them any time, anywhere, and any device connectivity. It allows IT admins to push enterprise applications hosted on a cloud or on-premises environment to employees’ devices seamless and securely.

With the current virtualization and cloud technologies, the data remains in the data center/cloud, thus ensuring there is no data loss or data theft when an employee damages or loses his/her personal device. The IT admins can even control what data (or access to applications) is delivered to the users based on the circumstances (such as the location of the user etc.). While the companies can take multiple measures to ensure security, it is also important to provide training and policies to the employees, around single sign-on and data sensitivity.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing provides on-demand delivery of the computing services such as servers, storage, databases, networks, analytics, software etc., over the Internet. Mostly delivered on a pay-as-you-go pricing model, it helps to bring down the IT operating costs.

There are three ways to deploy cloud – Public Cloud, Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud.

Most Cloud Computing services are offered under three categories – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Why Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing offers the following key benefits to an organization.

  • Cost Saving :

    CapEx on hardware, software, facilities, data centres etc. is eliminated. It also reduces the costs on IT team resources as any cloud operations and issues can be handled by the cloud service providers.

  • Scalability :

    With cloud, enterprises can deliver the right amount of IT resources that is actually needed. Enterprises can scale up or down the resources as per the business need.

  • Performance :

    Cloud services gives access to multiple technologies which can be deployed within a very short period of time. The cloud computing services run on networks from data centres that are frequently updated to the latest version of the hardware or software or technologies.

  • Security & Reliability :

    Backup and Disaster Recovery becomes easy with Cloud Computing, as data is stored elsewhere, and enterprises need not worry about Business Continuity. The Cloud providers also follow a set of rules and policies to ensure the data and applications are secure and protected from potential threats.

What are the benefits of migrating to the cloud?

Enterprises will need to move away from the traditional computing infrastructure and adopt cloud (public, private or hybrid) to accelerate their End User Computing transformation journey. Business leaders are looking at cloud collaboration as a sure-shot way to increase productivity, obtain concrete results, and enhance innovation. Following are the benefits:

  • Data Security
  • Enhanced backup
  • Increased resource sharing
  • Flexibility
  • Business Agility
  • Facilitates Innovation
  • Greater Efficiency
  • Cost Effective
  • Better Collaboration

Read our Blog to understand more about Cloud benefits.