- 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.
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.