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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.

Key Takeaways

  • DaaS provides a whole desktop experience to the users, allowing them to run services and applications, while SaaS delivers software applications through the Internet that can be utilized for various business applications.
  • Both DaaS and SaaS follow the subscription model and ensure significant cost savings to the business.
  • With both DaaS and SaaS, the DaaS or SaaS provider manages important tasks and upgrades.

Let’s face it: ‘cloud’ is the future of computing. Cloud services have seen tremendous growth over the recent past, and the COVID-19 pandemic has further driven the trend in terms of adoption, spending, infrastructure, and development.

Among the various cloud-based services, Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) are playing a huge role in revolutionizing the workplace in the digital era. Both these cloud services let businesses of all sizes and forms leverage most of their existing resources that only larger enterprises could earlier use – warding off the need for an on-prem desktop or IT and infrastructure expenses. Let’s explore DaaS and SaaS in detail, as well as the differences between these two.

DaaS

DaaS is a subscription service that offers businesses remote desktop sessions. The sessions themselves are hosted in Virtual Machines, or VMs, that run in the cloud. Using a Web browser or local application, authorized users can connect to these cloud-based desktop sessions to  access their files and applications from anywhere, and at any time. Virtually ny application you already use or are looking to use can be integrated into a DaaS model.

Also, you can decide if you want to transfer some or all of the applications you utilize to the cloud. DaaS offers you any degree of flexibility your business – no matter the size – requires while still letting you manage your desktop and data.

Best of all, DaaS lets you maintain all of the same functionality provided by the software without compromising control over any of your data. You no longer have to host the applications or maintain the complex IT infrastructure.

SaaS

SaaS is a cloud-driven version of a discrete element of software (or a software package) that is provided to end-users through the Internet. The end-user doesn’t own the application, and it is not stored in the end user’s computing device. Rather, the end-user accesses the application based on a subscription model and pays for licenses as per the number of users that have to utilize the application.

SaaS is easy to handle and use as long as you have smooth internet connectivity and a device with sufficient RAM to run the program. Moreover, you don’t need to worry about upgrading or updating your programs to the latest versions as the cloud hosting service provider takes care of the updates.

DaaS vs. SaaS: The Key Differences

Working
Managed DaaS provides users with virtual desktops that let them manage a bundle of applications and services, and the associated data produced by the applications. In this cloud model, the DaaS provider copies the user’s data to and from a virtual desktop to log in and log out.

SaaS provides software to anybody having a connected computing device, smooth internet access, and a web browser. The software is a web-based application whose backend operations and database are all done in the cloud.

Control
DaaS provides an entire desktop experience to the user over the internet. The cloud model offers users the option of storing all user information, application data, and others, within their own data center, providing them complete control. In general, a data center capable of sharing/isolating data is set up to let the users have certain control over the data.

On the other hand, SaaS only provides access to a single (or, in some cases, a few applications), which are shared across several clients following the “one-to-many” model. In addition, SaaS doesn’t deliver a complete desktop environment; it only provides applications.

Interoperability
With DaaS, the user’s entire desktop is virtualized and put together, enabling applications to integrate smoothly. SaaS applications can be integrated and leveraged along with each other, too; however, it’s often hard to do this because of their hosting location and how they are delivered to end-users.

Mobility
Although it’s usually possible to access DaaS sessions from a mobile device, DaaS is typically designed to be used in conjunction with a PC and a full-size screen.

In contrast, many SaaS applications are designed to work equally well regardless of whether users connect to them from a PC or from a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet. 

Ideal Use Cases: SaaS vs. DaaS
DaaS is ideal for businesses that are resource-limited, but still want to leverage cloud computing solutions.

SaaS is ideal for businesses with individual applications that users need to access from any device. This service level makes it pretty easy to access the web sans the need for any hardware updates or upgrades.

DaaS SaaS
Delivers a complete desktop as a service Delivers individual software applications as a service
Delivers virtual desktops and applications. Operates web-based applications.
The DaaS provider manages critical management tasks and upgrades. Critical backups and computations are all handled in the cloud.
Ideal for those who need virtual desktops with high computational abilities in remote areas. Ideal for those who don’t want to spend on the hardware for specific software.
You can install your desktop apps on the virtual desktops of the service provider. The SaaS software is owned by the service provider.
Applications can be integrated easily into a DaaS model. Integrating applications in a SaaS model can sometimes become difficult.

Final Words

Cloud data centers will process 94% of all workloads in 2021. It is apparent that cloud computing is rapidly becoming the new norm; indeed, some businesses are now totally phasing out their on-prem software and replacing them with cloud-based alternatives.

So, what’s your next move for your business – DaaS or SaaS? Well, it all boils down to your business’s core requirements, size, and complexity. Both the cloud services discussed above deliver the leading-edge features, flexibility, and choice to users that on-prem hosting models cannot.

Figuring out the right service for a required scope of work is essential, irrespective of your choice of tools. The better you decide between DaaS and SaaS, the better you choose and implement.

A final note: Keep in mind that DaaS and SaaS are not mutually exclusive. You could take advantages of DaaS to lower your desktop operating costs and simplify your desktop infrastructure, while also using SaaS applications. Indeed, SaaS apps could be accessed from within DaaS desktop sessions.

Key Takeaways

  • VDI and DaaS have emerged as game-changers for businesses in today’s climate of workforce mobility and remote work.
  • VDI uses a CAPEX financial model, while DaaS uses OPEX.
  • Both VDI and DaaS are set to see at least double-digit adoption growth in the future.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought desktop as a service (DaaS) and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to light as reliable, scalable technologies to support the remote workforce.

We have seen a notable change in the way people work and live over the past couple of months, and some of these changes will persist beyond the crisis. As the workforce gets scattered across locations, time zones, and devices, ensuring secure access to their applications and data with the similar experience, as in a corporate climate, becomes crucial.

VDI and DaaS can both serve as a solid solution to such challenges as businesses run applications on virtual machine (VM) and server computers that shift the user experience into the browser running on nearly all sorts of connected devices. As per a survey, 36% of the Both VDI and DaaS are set to see at least double-digit adoption growth in the future. respondents have deployed DaaS or VDI for their remote workforce. Moreover, desktop virtualization will witness a double-digit growth within the next 2 years.

Considering such stats, let’s delve into how VDI and DaaS are shaping the corporate world.

Central IT Management

With VDI, desktop sessions are hosted on servers that your business owns. Your IT team (or a solutions partner, like Anunta) takes care of updating the platform, including secure network services. In general, new iterations of the platform are deployed only on an annual basis. VDI is a mature and tried-and-true solution. Some businesses run hundreds of thousands of concurrent user desktop sessions using VDI.

Compared to VDI, DaaS generally provides less control, because DaaS solutions are hosted in a public cloud rather than local servers. However, a potential DaaS benefit is fast update intervals; DaaS software can be updated continuously from the cloud. Just like VDI, DaaS also unleashes new use cases by using flexible infrastructure subscriptions and a global data-center scale.

If your key goal is to deploy a platform where you have full control over the security, broker, locality, and so on, better go with VDI.

Slash IT Expenses

Desktop virtualization lets you reduce the upfront desktop investments and periodic expenses. VDI comes with a considerable capital expense (CAPEX) stemming from initial scaling costs, infrastructure costs, and regular infrastructure updates. But, if the hardware is already in place, businesses can pay off their technical debt and save the existing subscription fees.

DaaS provides more flexible deployment models. You can operate all user desktops/applications in the cloud – a totally OPEX model. With some additional solutions, you can run some or all user desktops/ applications with on-prem infrastructure (with the broker as a cloud service), fusing OPEX and CAPEX.

If you have a clear-cut consumption pattern with predictable growth and aren’t resource-constrained, VDI – or DaaS with user desktops/applications running on-prem – are the most cost-efficient deployment choices.

Straightforward Set-up

From your IT department’s perspective, you need to consider whether you have the expertise, the resources, and a pressing need to apply ‘the art of VDI.’ If you lack the resources to implement and manage VDI, you may be better suited by DaaS.

All virtual desktops and applications need a connection broker – a control plane – that manages tasks such as ensuring safe access to the exact resources and provisioning user sessions.

With VDI, your end user computing (EUC) team handles developing, setting up, securing, and supervising the entire platform, including the broker – a pretty complex process. With DaaS, the control plane is a managed service run by the DaaS vendor.

If you lack the expertise to take up the task of handling VDI, if your hands are already full, or if you have to utilize cloud resources to support your applications, DaaS is recommended as a better option.

Access Data Anywhere, Anytime

Desktop virtualization lets end-users bring their own devices and use them to access applications, files, and cloud services irrespective of the location. This paves the way for a remote desktop/digital workspace, ensuring a better user experience and making it a lot easier to work remotely as the workforce can utilize tablets, PCs, smartphones, and thin clients. Although bring-your-own-device policies are technically possible to implement under a VDI architecture, they are more complicated and much less common.

If you don’t have a large scattered workforce, then, opt for VDI as you need a deployment that will be reachable and accessible to all supported locations. High latency and low bandwidth significantly affect the user experience along with various remote display protocols.

With DaaS, there is no limit or any boundaries. It supports every end-user from the cloud via VMs in several zones to ensure a smooth user experience. Also, you can leverage the cloud as a connection broker for every region, with user VMs operating on-prem in a few or all locations.

Enhanced Flexibility and Elasticity

Because little actual computing occurs at the endpoints, IT crews can extend the service life of outdated PCs by reprogramming them as virtualized endpoints under both DaaS and VDI strategies. And when the time comes to buy new computing devices, businesses can purchase less powerful – and cheaper – end-user devices, including thin clients.

That said, compared to VDI, DaaS deployments require minimal time to get up and running as the platform and infrastructure are already configured for you. You just have to specify desktop users and settings. Scaling with DaaS services only includes requesting ancillary user licenses or desktop instances. You don’t have to buy or spend time preparing new hardware.

With VDI, it takes businesses a lot of time to achieve software upgrades, and you might be constrained by budget and refresh cycles.

The Path Forward

Looking at today’s workplace scenario and robust environment embraced by businesses, we will see more demand for VDI and DaaS and their rise in the market. VDI and DaaS solutions will play a key role in shaping the market. More people will realize the benefits they offer without spending a lot of cash.

Businesses need to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies. DaaS and VDI are poised to be at the center of technological innovation over the coming decade. With the rising demand for cloud – which is driven in part by the COVID-19 crisis – VDI/DaaS deployment has seen about a 100% surge in adoption during 2020, and this trend will continue in the future.

DaaS – All You Need to Know About Desktop as a Service

What is DaaS?

In simple terms, DaaS, just like SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, is a cloud service that allows users to connect to a virtual desktop from anywhere in the world, provided they are connected to the internet. DaaS is among the best solutions for small and medium businesses for remote working.

Benefits of DaaS

  1. A highly reliable and secure solution: DaaS allows users to access their virtual desktops using any device (laptop, smartphone, or tablet, etc.), regardless of where they are physically located. This allows businesses to quickly add new users when they need and adopt the concept of distributed workforce to become future ready. Hosted on the inherently secure cloud, and often complemented with two factor authentication, DaaS allows users to securely access their desktops from anywhere.
  2. Disaster recovery: Another key advantage of DaaS is that it mitigates challenges that businesses face in ensuring business continuity in the event of a disaster. Since DaaS provides cloud-hosted desktops, you can be certain that sensitive data and business applications are secure at all times. Additionally, you have the choice to opt for instant infrastructure duplication at any time.
  3. Cost-effective:  With DaaS, you only have to pay what you actually use, with monthly or annual subscription models. This helps lower your capital expenses, given that you would have otherwise had to allocate capital to purchase servers, desktop hardware, and licenses. Additionally, when you adopt DaaS, you have more predictable operational expenses.
  4. Flexible:  One of the key reasons why enterprises invest in DaaS is because it allows their employees to become more agile and work remotely. With DaaS, employees can access their desktops, applications, and data, via a PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, from anywhere in the world. Thus, DaaS helps you create a more modern workplace.  
  5. Agility and scalability: DaaS helps you scale up to meet increases in demand (such as the need to deliver desktop sessions to more employees). Likewise, you can quickly scale down the number of resources you consume if business requirements decrease. Simply put, you can have more hosted desktops available to you during peak seasons, and then return to your original usage pattern once the peak season has ended when you use DaaS.
  6. Ensures compliance: Regulatory laws usually dictate how digital data should be stored and managed, and may prevent you from storing data in a certain geographic location. DaaS helps businesses adhere to compliance laws by offering flexibility in terms of data storage. 

VDI vs DaaS – The 5 Key Differences

Now that you know what DaaS is, you are likely wondering what the difference between VDI and DaaS is. The two types of deployments have certain distinct differences. Here’s how they compare:

  1. Single-tenant vs multi-tenant
    VDI deployments essentially work on a single-tenant model, where resources are dedicated to a single organization or user. This provides more flexibility to the user and also removes the chance that the resource demands of other users will affect your company’s deployments. In comparison, most cloud desktop services work on multi-tenant models. Here, your company’s service is hosted on a single physical server that is shared with multiple other organizations.
  2. Desktop session type
    When it comes to VDI, desktop environments function as virtual sessions on one host operating system. In comparison, in DaaS, different virtual sessions function as separate virtual machines. This means, when you deploy DaaS, you get more isolation between different desktop environments.
  3. Historical popularity
    Although both DaaS and VDI technologies have been present for many years now, VDI has witnessed a higher usage rate among businesses. That said, DaaS is now rising in popularity as well and may overtake VDI in terms of usage rates, in the near future.
  4. Cost
    VDI deployments typically require substantial upfront expenses. However, VDI does result in long-term savings. In comparison, the DaaS deployments don’t require you to invest too much capital upfront, but you may incur some ongoing subscription fees. With this, you can be assured that you are only spending on resources that you are actually using. For businesses with fluctuating requirements, desktop as a service may be a cheaper option.
  5. Agility
     VDI usually takes quite some time to set up and can be challenging to modify once it is established. However, DaaS deployments typically happen a lot faster, thanks to the fact that the platform and infrastructure are already configured. All you need to do is define the users and desktop settings, to get started. 

Use Cases of DaaS

DaaS systems offer benefits to businesses across sectors like Banking, Finance, Healthcare, and more. From offering increased security to reducing overall costs and simplifying regulatory compliance matters, DaaS helps businesses operate more profitably. Here are a few uses cases of the DaaS technology:

– Security and compliance, which are easier to manage using remote desktop sessions.
– Bring your own device (BYOD) policies, which can be reconciled with security requirements by allowing employees to connect to secure, centrally managed DaaS desktop sessions from their own devices. 
– Contractors and temporary workers.
– Remote office workers.
– Field workers .

By providing on-demand access to desktop environments for your workforce, DaaS helps increase the productivity of employees, while also ensuring that all data and applications are stored securely as per the compliance laws in your country.

DaaS – Future Trends

Desktop as a Service has seen increased adoption in key sectors like Banking, Healthcare, Finance, and more. A report from Absolute Markets Insights indicates that the DaaS market is poised to witness a CAGR growth of 20.82% from 2019 to 2027. Gartner forecasts that the total number of DaaS users will grow by more than 150% between 2020 and 2023. This doesn’t come as a surprise given that an increasing number of companies are opting for DaaS to grow their IT operations.

Should You Invest in DaaS or VDI Right Now?

Since you now know the differences between VDI and DaaS, you can decide which of the two technologies to deploy in your organization. Regardless of which technology you intend to use, we can leverage our decade’s worth of experience with virtualization technologies to provide you with a seamless transition to either VDI or DaaS. Reach out to us today to learn more about our offerings!

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Why is end-user computing important for today and the future?

The pandemic has transformed many things irreversibly. What was initially deemed to be a temporary disruption in work and business is now indicating that it will continue to stay. According to a recent report, Microsoft said that hybrid working models would be the future, looking at the findings and considerations of work trends over the past year.

Interestingly, the pandemic led to an expedition of digital transformation in organizations, and in some cases, even forced it to happen. Suddenly, companies that were delaying their plans of moving their workload to the cloud had to shift in a matter of days or weeks.

One aspect of digital transformation in the workplace that impacts end-user computing is desktop virtualization or centralized desktop infrastructure. This basically means the shift of end-user computing, applications, and storage to the cloud, allowing users to access these resources from a web browser. This is crucial because businesses are entrusting employees with high-performance EUC devices, which will require updates, patches, support, and replacement. And it seems more convenient and sensible to just let them access all the organization resources needed for work through secure, company authorized EUC services in the cloud.

The shift to IT and EUC over the years

If we took a look back twenty years ago, end-user computing didn’t exist. During the time, users worked only with Windows Pcs and applications, and firms had desktop administrators for infrastructure management. However, today’s users work in heterogeneous environments and so, acknowledging end-user computing is necessary.

During the course of a day, modern users may be working with internal apps, virtual apps, SaaS web apps, or native mobile apps either through their Windows computer, or Mac, or iOS tablet. They could be working at the office, or home, or maybe connected to public Wi-Fi. There is a growing diversity of apps, devices, and work styles, and that’s what has made the changes in EUC over the years.

However, the major shifts to EUC happened only over the last decade. Web and SaaS apps became more feasible alternatives to Windows applications, and mobile devices made a rapid transition from just being portable email machines to devices that can replace computers or laptops for many tasks. Moreover, mobile devices have even become powerful enough to open up and support new business models.

One significant turning point was when end-users started adopting web and SaaS applications and mobile devices and bringing them to work. This reversed the old traditional way when IT was entirely in charge and led to the consumerization of IT. Although it caused chaos and security risks, it also paved the way for major technological leaps forward.

Another trend that eventually put IT in a different position than before was the mobile revolution, where end-users combined work and personal data on a single device. One of the advantages that mobile devices and SaaS apps brought to the table was resistance to many traditional forms of viruses and malware. But it also gave rise to some of the top security issues like phishing campaigns and stolen passwords in this new EUC world.

Considering the end-users, applications, data, devices, and security concerns, conditional access technologies can be improved to offer a common framework to deal with the heterogeneous EUC world over the next few years. Eventually, EUC deployments should also become unified and resilient.

The shifts to IT and EUC over the years

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Significance of EUC in the modern world

Whether it is the pandemic or the urge to hire the best talents, the work environment has changed drastically, irrespective of their locations. Businesses have to look for newer ways to survive, retain their success, and look for ways to grow. These pointers are prompting the organizations to recalibrate and revamp their operations. EUC services are one of the forerunners as one of the most successful application deliveries to a workforce, which is not hindered by geographical presence. The main benefits can be summarized as follows:

  • Productivity and collaboration: EUC is nothing but an umbrella term, covering all technologies like VDI and DaaS. Organizations can use these tools to deliver and manage desktops, data, and applications securely to all their end-users.
  • Enhance the power of automation: EUC services help automate most of the steps associated with computing the delivery of the resources. These services can improve efficiency and reduce the staff’s workload so that they can devote more of their time to other innovative projects.
  • Centralized management: Have you ever lent thought to how arduous managing the traditional IT infrastructure can be? There are hundreds and thousands of physical computers at the enterprise level, and managing all of these is an administrative nightmare. The EUC has a solution to this issue. Right from installing updates, applications, patches, and operating systems, that too all from a centralized location, is relatively easy now.
  • Supporting the BYOD concept: Many organizations nowadays prefer BYOD or Bring Your Own Device Policy. This policy helps in reducing a lot of IT expenses. Once these devices are delivered over the cloud as virtual desktops, we have to leave it over to the end-user computing services to provide the ideal technological platform.
  • Better security: When talking about cloud-based EUC infrastructure offered by third-party service providers, availing a better security profile becomes relatively easy. The data is not spread across multiple devices; instead, it is centrally located on cloud data centers.

Significance of EUC in the modern world

How enterprises perceive end-user computing (EUC) as a key enabler of digital transformation to enhance workforce productivity and deliver seamless experience to their employees

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The future of End-user Computing

The end user computing services have already proven critical in aiding businesses in sailing smoothly through the COVID-19 scenario. Suddenly, organizations had to shift to a remote working model. But now, they are also considering making the work from home model permanent even when the situations are favorable. Even before the pandemic, a huge percentage of the workforce worked from their homes, at least some days of the week. Looking at all these prospects, organizations will stick and adopt every service that will help them get the work done on every device and every network. Thus, the future of any productive workplace will be based on end-user computing.

The future of End-user Computing

Anunta enables anytime anywhere working for India’s top private sector bank

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FAQs

Why is end-user computing important?

The knowledge workers of today are highly mobile and prefer working across multiple devices in different environments. Additionally, they have also been accustomed to access everything instantly through the cloud on their mobile devices. Therefore, organizations have to focus on offering a high-performing EUC infrastructure to ensure their employees receive all the key applications and data they require.

What are the benefits of EUC?

Organizations today have a huge requirement for offering mobility and BYOD to end-users. With EUC, they can deliver that. Moreover, end-user computing services also present IT organizations with the ability to centralize desktops and data within the data center, thereby helping them to keep the data and resources secure. As a result, end-users can work on multiple devices from anywhere and any time they like.

What are the applications of EUC?

EUC can be used in organizations with a diverse physical presence so that access to desktops and other applications can be offered consistently. EUC solutions can be beneficial for organizations looking to improve the management of their software licensing and provide a centralized platform for all user desktops and applications.

What are end-user computing needs?

As more and more enterprises are moving their way of working to the cloud with the help of EUC transformation, some criteria have to be followed. The first need is to have a user-centric approach that will maximize the availability of the applications and increase workforce productivity. The pay-as-you model should be available as it will help in streamlining the way the companies can build, manage, deliver and configure the desktops to the users.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of our life, right from the way we commute and work to the way we conduct business. While it still seems impossible to lay down a perfect prediction of how the steady-state outcome is going to be, one thing that we all can be sure of is that remote working will play a significant role in organizations going forward.

As several organizations are shifting out of the traditional confines of physical office space towards hybrid work ecosystems, it can be challenging to administer the security, manageability, and infrastructure requirements. Consequently, it makes more sense for business leaders to rely on End-User Computing (EUC) technologies to manage such environments. VDI and DaaS have come up as a solution to all the challenges that enterprises face while implementing or expanding work-from-anywhere solutions. VDI solutions are handled and maintained by the in-house staff, while DaaS is an entirely outsourced solution handled by a third-party vendor.

What is Cloud VDI?

DaaS (desktop-as-a-service) is also known as cloud VDI. Here, third-party providers create hosted virtual desktops on their cloud servers bundled with all the necessary pre-installed applications deployed on the customers’ end-point devices. DaaS or Desktop as a Service is a more pocket-friendly option for enterprises supporting remote workers and their need to access all the enterprise applications securely from anywhere. Besides, much of the burden is taken off as DaaS providers offer entirely managed desktops.

Over the past few years, several industries from medical, legal, accountancy, manufacturing, and other spaces have adopted DaaS and experienced significant growth as a result. In fact, from a Gartner’s report, we can see that DaaS will likely see revenue growth of $1.9 billion by the end of 2021 from its earlier valuation of $616 million in 2019.

VMware and Citrix are the big players in the market that make significant contributions to the VDI space. Many new companies have also joined the space, trying to deliver the best solutions to different industries. Usually, desktop-as-a-service providers partner with Citrix and VMware to offer completely managed or customized services to their clients.

Benefits of DaaS

Some of the main benefits of DaaS are:

Cost controlling: This has to be one of the most sought-after benefits of the model. The users will not have to invest in servers, licensing, or desktop hardware. DaaS ends the investment cycle associated with desktop hardware, servers, and licensing by allowing users to enroll for the yearly or monthly subscription models. This reduces capital expenditure which can be utilized for other value-added initiatives.

Agility and scalability: The dynamic nature of desktop as a service enables businesses and enterprises to scale up or down as and when required quickly. Depending on the needs of the business, users can choose to bring the hosted desktops online or push the newer applications through a hosted estate of desktops.

Continuity of business: The desktop is continuously available, along with centralized storage and backup of data making it an excellent alternative to the existing disaster recovery options. The companies can continue operating even when there is any unforeseen event or other disasters, like the current pandemic situation.

Flexibility and accessibility: With DaaS, employees can access their desktops, applications, and data over the Internet through any end device like laptops, PCs, smartphones, and tablets from anywhere and at any time. This offers employees greater flexibility and the freedom to structure their work times when they are most productive.

Security: DaaS takes over the real concerns regarding data security from the enterprises. Critical data is stored within a data center infrastructure and is regularly backed up in an environment with high levels of protection. As data isn’t stored on a local device, there is no chance of data loss. DaaS providers also ensure that the data is encrypted and is accessible through tight authentication protocols.

Cloud VDI: The Current and Future of Businesses

Cloud VDI is the current and future of businesses. To establish that, we can stress the following points.

  • Low utilization of resources: Cloud VDI is much better when it comes to pooling all resources to enhance the utilization of the devices and reduce costs.
  • Data security: Guaranteeing that the data on the PCs has an effective backup and can be immediately restored whenever there is any disaster or failure is the most significant differentiating factor of the cloud VDIs.
  • Desktop management: Cloud VDIs are capable of centralizing desktop management, although it is a complicated task. The desktop as a service provider takes it as a primary task to enhance on-demand access to the desktops from any place.

The need and demand for cloud-hosted desktop services are building traction and are expected to grow even more going forward. In fact, a survey titled “Are Desktops Doomed? Trends in Digital Workspaces, VDI and DaaS” conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) supports the statement.

Some of the major findings of the survey include,

  • Security is among the top priorities for businesses and IT professionals, and 79% of the survey respondents believed that VDI and DaaS are more secure than the traditional desktop models.
  • 40% of respondents said that they are already working with VDI and have aggressive expansion plans. Besides, 60% of the organizations that don’t use VDI are already on the verge of implementing it.

Hosted virtual desktops sure look attractive and sensible primarily from a financial perspective. But the earlier predictions regarding the rapid growth of the DaaS market didn’t go as expected. That doesn’t mean that DaaS models won’t witness a rise in their popularity now. It’s just that there are a few hindrances to their adoption as large companies will still need time to convert to a DaaS model. On the other hand, companies that aren’t heavily invested in the traditional desktop infrastructure can easily migrate to DaaS. Hence, it might take a little longer for the DaaS market to match the hype.

FAQs

What is the future of VDI?

Considering the inception of VDI over a decade ago, it has made significant progress as a top desktop solution for several businesses. The traction can also be attributed to big giants like Citrix and VMware, who have successfully helped organizations eliminate their operational and performance challenges.

The VDI market is still evolving and trying to be aligned with the current market requirements like faster desktops with flash storage and high-end graphics processing.

Is DaaS the same as VDI?

VDI and DaaS have some clear-cut differentiating factors. In DaaS, applications and desktops are hosted either on a private or a public cloud, whereas in a VDI, the workspace is hosted on the private data center of an organization. DaaS is also quite flexible when it comes to deployment as geographical location does not matter, but in VDI, the data center has to be in the vicinity.

What is DaaS in cloud computing?

Desktop as a Service or DaaS is a virtual model of deployment of desktops in which the VDI technology gets hosted on a cloud. Organizations can deliver desktops with cloud hosting to their employees with the help of this model.

Is DaaS the future?

Undeniably, DaaS is the future. Many companies resort to permanent work-from-home models, and DaaS helps replicate the office hardware infrastructure and offers several other benefits.

Key Takeaways

  • The COVID-19-induced shift to remote work has piqued the interest in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and its cloud spin-off – Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS).
  • With many schools and universities sticking to remote learning, VDI helps bridge the desktop divide and enhance outcomes.
  • Rising spending on public cloud infrastructure will augur well for VDI now and beyond the pandemic.

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) has been around for a few decades. But the COVID-19 pandemic has put a big spotlight on VDI, and 2020 may well have been the game-changer for this technology to go across the board.

While the pandemic has impacted almost every industry around the globe, VDI and DaaS services have seen tremendous adoption as more and more businesses shift their entire process to remote working.

A recent report found that the global VDI market is likely to be worth around $13 Bn by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 14.4% from 2019 through 2027. Such staggering growth reflects the current disruptive impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

So, what’s driving this trend? Read on to know more.

Sudden Shift to Remote Work

Following the nationwide shutdowns to contain the coronavirus spread, several businesses have to swiftly adapt and execute compute groundwork to support remote employees. VDI has emerged as a logical fit, and businesses have employed VDI solutions at length.

Experts anticipate that the COVID-19 crisis will influence 70% of desktop virtualization business cases through 2023. Now, businesses are looking for technology that is mobile, scalable, more secure, and cost-efficient. They are switching to centralized virtual desktop infrastructure solutions, including both cloud-based and on-prem solutions, that are safer and leaner.

The COVID-19 crisis is expected to influence 70% of desktop virtualization business cases through 2023 and businesses are switching to virtual desktop infrastructure solutions for better mobility, security, scalability and cost savings.

As most of the processing for VDI is done on the centralized servers, businesses don’t have to bank on expensive hardware for workers to access resources. Also, this streamlines device management, security, and support.

None of the linked devices store any confidential information. This approach is highly secure for remote employees. Software patches and updates can be easily applied across all access device hardware securely and effectively, ensuring everybody is well on track.

Flexibility and Speed – Much-needed while Working from Home

Moving ahead, VDI allows businesses to provision and de-provision systems with typical application sets as needed within minutes instead of hours or days. This speed and flexibility of service delivery offer a terrific opportunity for VDI in the post-COVID-19 world. Properly leveraged, VDI can curb the hardware ownership and support personnel needed to support the remote employees.

VDI service providers will do well to comprehend their customers’ particular needs and their potential challenges in the future. Exploring the critical areas that stem from a sudden switch to remote work will, no doubt, result in sales.

Putting the Classroom in Cloud

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a great deal of pressure on educational institutions to swiftly turn to a virtual learning experience. Now, the remainder of 2021 won’t be business as usual for several school and university students. While some educational institutes have announced plans to resume in-class lectures, others are planning for continued online classes.

User experience is king in this context. It has to be on-par or better compared to in-person. VDI provides a means to bridge the gap by offering students streamlined, simple, straightforward options for remote access.

While remote learning remains a prerequisite, it’s not sufficient to simply enable limited IT access and provide canned lectures. The student experience and user-friendliness are critical to stepping up academic outcomes and bolster ongoing student enrolment. Executed smartly, VDI provides a potential way to achieve both.

Furthermore, as educational institutes embrace DaaS to set up new virtual education labs, the market growth opportunities for VDI are likely to boom.

Public Cloud – An Unsung Hero

In a way, the public-health crisis has served as a de facto catalyst for unfolding the flexibility and value of cloud infrastructure (once again) and triggered faster adoption. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the global end-user expenditure on public cloud services will surge 18.4% in 2021 to total $304.9 Bn, according to Gartner.

Earlier, businesses were reluctant to shift critical workloads to the cloud due to security worries. But with tech giants such as Microsoft alone investing over $1 Bn on public cloud security and roping in more than 3,500 worldwide cybersecurity professionals, the industry is almost accepting that public cloud is becoming safer versus conventional data centers.

(In this case study, we explain how even critical cyberattacks like ransomware can be contained promptly in a DaaS environment and how organizations can achieve seamless business continuity with zero downtime: Proactive System Protection by Anunta against Ransomware with DaaS)

We have already seen conventional on-site applications such as Microsoft Office shifting to the cloud with Microsoft 365. VDI looks set to follow along the same path. Moreover, with the rise of cloud service providers, the capability and pricing of VDI have improved a great deal.

A Shift to Non-persistent Desktops for a Persistent User Experience

Conventionally, cost and experience have been two of the biggest challenges to large-scale VDI employment. Businesses looking to ensure a continuous user experience to their customers had to invest in cost-prohibitive dedicated hardware to back each virtual machine (VM) – persistent desktops.

On the other hand, non-persistent desktops deliver considerable cost-cutting but do not save user preferences and set up a new machine every time a customer logs in to their virtual desktop.

VDI service providers, including Microsoft and Citrix, have addressed this hurdle by putting an additional personalization layer over non-persistent machines thus ensuring a persistent experience to non-persistent desktops. Furthermore, the adoption of non-persistent VDI will skyrocket 18% through 2026.

What Lies Ahead for VDI post-COVID-19?

People and industries are still bouncing back from the pandemic shockwaves, and it’s a little too early to make overly specific predictions about the future of VDI following the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, a post-COVID world promises to spur recovery as enterprises of all sizes facilitate their entire workforce with secure access to business-critical applications – irrespective of device, location, or browser.

Virtual desktop infrastructure solutions have matured, and the infrastructure that supports VDI has also matured. Now they are a bit cheaper, more stable, and no longer confined to use-cases in particular domains. The market is still evolving, with more potential developments in the virtualization space after the COVID-19 chapter ends.

Key Takeaways

  • Hosted virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) establishes both infrastructure and workspace recovery and ensures business continuity for the end-user.
  • VDI enables better traceability, transparency, and control over application resource consumption.
  • Coupled with UC&C, VDI encourages businesses to have a unified, secure, and effective collaboration experience across the board.

Power outages. Cyber-attacks. Human error. Natural calamities. Any of these can be the fatal tipping point for potentially disastrous disruptions to the IT services on which businesses depend. And let’s not forget the COVID-19 pandemic, which has uncovered crucial business continuity downsides across every industry.

If anybody still believes that having a business continuity and disaster recovery (DR) plan shouldn’t be a top priority, you haven’t been catching sight of recent events. For instance, over 100,000 small-scale businesses in the US alone were forced to shut down due to the COVID-19 crisis, due no doubt in part to their inability to maintain business continuity in the face of an unexpected crisis.

At present, the majority of the people have to work from home due to the prevailing public health crisis across continents. In these challenging times, businesses need to keep their business continuity plan up and running. Now is the time to consider migrating to smart cloud solutions like virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), which by its nature helps to optimize business continuity.

VDI is designed to support businesses in the modern era. Let’s understand how it helps companies maintain business continuity.

En Route to a Flexible Home Office

Remote work isn’t going anywhere, so businesses have to ensure a top-notch customer experience while reimagining their remote work strategies. Today’s hosted virtual desktop, which is one form of VDI, solutions scale up endpoint security while improving workforce fluidity and streamlining network access.

VDI runs a thin client on the end-user system, a virtual workspace instance, to offer the virtualized applications, desktop, or other resources. Solutions and tools typically contain on-site storage, servers, and network components. However, cloud-based deployments are becoming more prevalent owing to recent events.

What’s more, the value of VDI continues to increase significantly. The VDI industry is presently worth $4.8 Bn, with cloud deployment making up for around a tenth of the revenue. Considering the existing business environment, VDI is seeing a demand upsurge as businesses look for resilient, cost-efficient ways to deliver scalable, high-grade services to remote users.

VDI is seeing a demand upsurge as businesses look for resilient, cost-efficient ways to deliver scalable, high-grade services to remote users.

Nonetheless, VDI solutions are intricate service chains that bank on several other IT services. They’re subject to both server and client network bandwidth and cluster capacity, the number of hops, and distance. Businesses have to ensure that they are providing an optimum user experience. This, in turn, requires transparency across this complicated service chain to see the pattern across multiple silos.

Curbing Risks by Improving Transparency

Hosted VDI is not a set-it-and-forget-it technology. Like any business solution, it is highly susceptible to data packet loss and network latency. Also, lack of server cluster capacity is a primary reason behind a slow VDI connection because it can increase application response times and slow down resource-poor client devices. With a record-breaking number of synchronous users, the pressure to achieve high performance is paramount.

However, efficiency takes a hit when the user experience is below par, implying the system has little room for errors. Businesses require a smooth log-on experience and a highly responsive desktop session for each user. IT experts must stave off silos and boost efficiency by constantly optimizing performance and creating a robust VDI infrastructure.

The ideal way for hosted virtual desktop providers to spot the problems early is by monitoring the user experience while tracking key performance indicators (KPI) for all tiers of the service chain. This becomes possible only by adding vendor-neutral tracking capabilities to current native solutions. Only then can businesses enjoy the benefits of collaboration across all relevant IT components to curb operating expenses (OPEX) and provide excellent service.

Getting Businesses Ready for the Long Run

IT experts adopted VDI at an early stage of the pandemic-induced quarantine because it offered them the ability to deliver a secure computing climate to the remote workforce and lock applications and privileges. But for VDI solutions to remain efficient over hte long term, the IT crew needs to ensure a good user experience.

If VDI has emerged as one backbone of remote work technologies, another is unified communication and collaboration (UC&C). This technology can greatly simplify remote work, but, like VDI, it is highly susceptible to packet loss, network bandwidth problems, and jitter. Given that the VDI-driven workforce can access UC&C services from within VDI sessions, operators encounter the additional hurdle of monitoring delivery of a complicated service like UC&C across another complicated service like VDI — further highlighting the need for end-to-end transparency.

Profile and policy-based management, which is one of VDI’s strong suits, can also become one of its pitfalls amid frequent changes such as a pandemic. A policy devised for a regional branch office might not apply to another area across the country or the globe.

Furthermore, UC&C and VDI must go through meticulous capacity planning. The last capacity planning cycle did not contribute to the explosive growth in remote work in 2020.

As such, market leaders should handle risks by embracing a pre-emptive approach that enables the quick sorting of headwinds and long-run (capacity) metric accumulation across UC&C and VDI, and the services they depend on, including network infrastructure and servers.

Connecting the Dots

VDI solutions have helped businesses of all shapes and sizes by allowing them to realize their objectives without the large cash outlay required for conventional desktop infrastructure. But to extract full value from VDI, you have to invest in additional technologies and tools. While most technologies were primarily developed for on-site and bare metal deployment, they were later re-invented for VDI.

When properly implemented and managed, the benefits and value of VDI offset the additional investments needed in technologies and tools. But the key to successful VDI implementation is cashing in on the right expertise and implementing an efficient plan.

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