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Virtualization is a technology that enables the hosting of desktop images and applications in a data center, cloud, or hybrid cloud, allowing users to connect remotely to these resources. Virtualization empowers users to access their desktop and applications from anywhere, at any time, and from any device. Virtualization also helps centralize and streamline desktop and application management. It enables dynamic and contextual enforcement of system settings and policies since virtual desktops and applications are not tied to underlying hardware but rather to the end-user.
When the concept of virtualization was first introduced to the market, it did not meet expectations due to high infrastructure costs, system complexities, need for specialists, dependence on network connectivity, etc. After several years, there was a revival of interest fueled by user needs for remote work and mobility. The benefits were reevaluated and a good number of simplified solutions delivering optimal performance became available.
Different Approaches to Virtualization
The two main approaches to virtualization are Desktop Virtualization and Application Virtualization. While with Desktop Virtualization, end-users access virtual desktops, in Application Virtualization end users have access only to published applications and not the entire desktop. This type of virtualization is useful in cases where users do not need full access to a complete desktop. In both cases, the IT team can centrally manage, deliver, and monitor virtual desktops and published applications.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a type of Desktop Virtualization. Virtual desktops are hosted in a central location and can be delivered to endpoint devices like laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, etc. through a network. VDI can be Persistent or Non-Persistent. In persistent VDI, the virtual desktop can be customized per the user’s preferences. These changes persist and are available to the user during subsequent logins, providing a personalized user experience. Non-persistent or stateless VDI on the other hand does not retain user customizations across sessions and any changes made to the virtual desktop are discarded at the end of the session. For this reason, stateless desktops can be delivered much faster and can be destroyed just as quickly.
Features of VDI
There are many benefits associated with VDI that have played a significant role in its transformation and increased its adoption:
- Security: One of the main advantages of VDI is data security. As data is stored in the remote storage center, there are fewer chances of data theft. Even if you lose your device or if it suffers damage, there is nothing to worry about. You can retrieve your data anytime and access your desktop from another device.
- Accessibility: Another distinguishing feature of VDI is accessibility. You are no longer required to connect to a single hardware device, as you can connect to your desktop with the help of a self-service portal, anytime and from anywhere.
- Device Flexibility: Obsolete PCs can be reused as VDI endpoints. As little computing is required at the device level, outdated hardware can be put to good use for VDI. Organizations can also opt for less powerful and less expensive computing devices with VDI technology.
- Mobility: VDI supports remote working, enabling users to work with any device. The desktop is not bound to a particular hardware and can be accessed from multiple devices. These days, most individuals need remote access and require their desktop on-the-go. VDI makes it possible to access data and applications with any smartphone, laptop, or any other device, and from anywhere.
- Scalability: When an organization requires expansion, VDI makes it quite easy since a number of virtual desktops can be deployed in no time. New clients can be provisioned very quickly and accessed by the increased workforce, providing workload flexibility. A virtual desktop can be made fully functional within minutes.
- Cost Reduction: VDI helps eliminate the cost of hardware, as the virtual desktop is accessible anywhere. There is no requirement for advanced computer systems. Even outdated hardware can be effectively used, as desktops are hosted on remote servers with high-performance data centers.
- Access to Superior Data Center Facilities: VDI is usually operated through a cloud service provider and the virtual desktops are stored on servers at the data center. Thus, an organization using VDI services also enjoys features associated with the data center, like advanced security, disaster recovery plans, and much more.
- User Experience: VDIs are centrally managed, enabling an excellent user experience. Whether a user is using a mobile device or an office computer, they enjoy the same interface they are accustomed to. A consistent workspace helps improve the efficiency of the workforce.
- BYOD: Bring your device programs work well with VDI. Users bringing their own device do not need to install work related apps on their device. Instead, they just access a fully functional virtual desktop with all the data and apps they would need.
Virtualization delivers a high level of mobility, security, and accessibility to an organization. When everything is going to the cloud, why should workstations or applications be left behind? It reduces hardware dependency, centralizes and streamlines management, and helps organizations save substantially on hardware and administrative costs.
zDesk is a single vendor, end-to-end solution for VDI/Desktop as a Service (DaaS) from GAVS. zDesk enables secure employee mobility while guaranteeing exceptional performance at the best TCO. Integrated with AI, zDesk is self-monitoring and self-healing!
For more information on zDesk: https://www.gavstech.com/solution/zdesk/