What is Desktop Virtualization?

What is Managed Services?
October 26, 2018

What is Desktop Virtualization?

Desktop Virtualization

According to research by Verizon, 81% of security breaches originate from the user’s device. Traditional desktop operating systems expose your employees to man-in-the-middle attacks compromising your organization’s data.

Even worse, the IT infrastructure is resource intensive and cost prohibitive. So how do you safeguard your data from cyber attacks while running an efficient business? Virtualization is the solution.

Desktop virtualization is a new technology trend that is rapidly changing the IT space. With this mainstream technology, you can operate with ease from any unsecured network. Cybercriminals cannot spy on your data. And you get reliable, flexible, secure and seamless communication while running an efficient business.

What is desktop virtualization?

Virtualization means operating IT infrastructure on a virtual layer. The virtual platform optimizes on resources and streamlines operations. Desktop virtualization takes on several meanings depending on the context of implementation.

Desktop virtualization is also known as a virtual desktop interface (VDI) or thin client computing. Desktop virtualization relies on virtual technology, according to PCM Canada managed it services Toronto. The virtual platform hosts the operating system on a centralized virtual machine server in a data center. Virtualization of desktops optimize resources, maximize flexibility and enhance security. Virtual desktop application restructures your desktop space using virtual reality (VR).

Each user retains their desktop OS and applications. But the Infrastructure operates in a virtual machine configured to a centralized server. Users gain access to the server using an affordable thin client.

Don’t confuse desktop virtualization with virtual solutions

Virtual solutions such as Microsoft Virtual PC, VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop are not engineered by server computing. The virtual machine (VM) runs on a localized or remote operating system. These desktop virtualization solutions mimic the physical hardware whose properties are deployed to a virtual machine using a removable network or media.

With real server-based computing, users have their desktop. They can work, make changes and change settings without conflicting other users. The operating system either runs on a shared or separate virtual platform. The platform is accessible to any device as long as there is a reliable internet connection.

Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware offer customized VDI solutions. Microsoft and Citrix provide VDI solutions using Hyper-V and XenServer hypervisors.

Key approaches to desktop virtualization

There are two core desktop models you can establish in a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Persistent and non-persistent desktop virtualization.

1) Persistent VDIs

These are also known as a one-to-one ratio. Each user owns with a personal desktop. Each desktop operates from a different disk image. The user can customize the image and make settings on the desktop for future use.

Each time the user logs in; he/she can access the saved settings — the virtual desktop functions much like a traditional desktop. You get extra personalization. But need more storage space and back up than non-persistent VDIs.

2) Non-persistent VDIs

These consist of a library of similar desktops built on a master image. Users cannot change desktop settings or alter the master image. Non-persistent virtual desktops bounce back to their original state when the user logs out of the system. You cannot access any saved settings or data.

Benefits of desktop virtualization

Let’s review some of the benefits your business will reap when it goes virtual.

1) Maximize on data integrity and easy access to applications

More and more companies are joining the remote and off-hour work bandwagon. Providing all the necessary devices to streamline employee productivity is cost prohibitive. Abandoning this task to your employees can also pose a security threat to your business. Virtual desktops offer a heightened sense of security.  These high-performance virtual desktops back up your data in a centralized system. Run on encryptions to protect critical information. And safeguard your operating system from malware or Trojan horses.

2) Build on management

With desktop virtualization IT administrators seamlessly manage employees’ desktop computers. Virtualization downplays the need to own several desktops and servers for every employee. Administrators only need to create a countable number of VMs or VM templates for specific roles. For example, one VM is customized for sales reps and another one for call centers. The VM templates consist of operating systems, applications and drivers for each functionality.

3) Optimize your flexibility

Desktop virtualization solutions ensure you configure many users to a single server. With fewer desktops, you can save on hardware costs. Administrators can customize settings.
They can also manage the desktop operating system from a single interface. Virtual reality eliminates the need to dig down to specific user desktops.

4) Go low on maintenance

Virtual desktops are easy maintenance operating systems. On logging out, the system is easy to reset. Any modified settings, saved data or downloads can be removed with ease.
Prevent your operating system from slowing down your computer. You can also troubleshoot the system when it freezes. A simple reboot and the desktop revert back to its original state.

5) Enhances your productivity

Employees can access their documents and applications from any device. Their productivity is increased as they can work anywhere at any time. Better still, if their device stalls, they can log in to another device and access their work. Data is not stored on localized systems.

Drawbacks of desktop virtualization

1) Prohibitive costs

Storage is the priciest concern when using VDIs. A desktop operating from a local server stores its IT infrastructure in a centralized system. You incur zero storage costs.
Keep in mind, if you opt for persistent VDIs, the OS infrastructure for each user should be stored in a data center. Capacity needs and cost requirements will cripple your finances.

An emerging solution is to adopt converged and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). HCI bundles the storage, networking, server, and virtualization software in modular building blocks. These building blocks shrink storage costs and scalability setbacks linked to VDIs.

2) Connectivity setbacks

VDIs are dependent on reliable internet connection. With no internet connectivity, your employees cannot access the server. This halts employee productivity and reduces performance. VDIs are not reliable if you are running graphics-intensive applications. Also, they are not an ideal option if you are operating software with high processing requirements.

Conclusion

Desktop virtualization is becoming a favorite trend for most businesses. Virtual desktops are secure, reliable and cost-effective solutions for efficient business operations. This game-changing technology requires minimal investments in resources. They help manage your business anywhere any time.

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