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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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.

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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