A virtual desktop is a thin or zero client merely relaying an image of data and applications stored remotely on a central server within a public, private or hybrid Cloud. It enables end-users with anytime, anywhere, any device access to data and applications in a remote yet secure manner.
Virtual desktops segregates desktop operating system, applications, and data from the hardware, and offers a robust, secure, flexible yet affordable solution. The Virtualization software creates desktop images and enables access to end-users over a network.
Virtual desktops are provisioned based upon user-group profiling which ensures that end-users have an uninterrupted access to role-specific applications and data via a customized interface. Since data and applications reside on a central server, management becomes simple. All bug fixes, policy and software upgrades are applied only on the centrally stored golden images ensuring security and compliance adherence for all end-users. The ability to provide consistently high application availability in an anywhere, anytime, and across any device improves end-user experience and productivity.
There are two models of virtual desktop deployment. These are,
For organizations that have already invested in building or owning in-house data centers, VDI as a virtualization solution makes sense as it addresses the challenges in upgrading traditional physical desktops and reduces cost on IT refresh. With the data center situated in-house, organizations have full control over software, hardware and data accessed by end-users via their virtual desktops. VDI minimizes the risk of data theft or loss even if the device crashes or is stolen as all data is stored centrally on a server. However, VDI requires management of various technologies (servers, storage, networking, thin clients, and virtualization software, etc.) provided by different vendors making the implementation a complex and challenging process for organizations on their own. It also requires specialized IT skills to manage the virtual infrastructure, which adds to the complexity further.
Organizations that haven’t yet invested in in-house data centers, organizations that plan to have a hybrid environment or organizations that aim to move their IT spend from Capex to Opex may have greater propensity to leverage the benefits of VDI on cloud. Available as pay as you go, DaaS reduces the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) of desktop computing as the upfront spend on infrastructure is negated. Further the cost of owning specialized VDI technical skills, desktop maintenance and infrastructure depreciation is eliminated. Cloud hosted Virtual desktops are typically subscribed at a pay per user rate on a monthly basis.