Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been around for about a decade, and it is a technology used to create a virtualized desktop environment on a remote server setup. In other words, it involves running end-user or employee desktops on Virtual Machines (VMs) that are either hosted in the cloud or on dedicated bare-metal servers. Virtual machines are controlled through management software.

With a VDI environment, each user has a dedicated virtual machine that runs a separate operating system. Each employee has an isolated environment that looks and feels the same as a traditional physical desktop with VDI. The benefit to employees is that they can log into their virtual machines on any device and from any place through a secure network.

VDI is divided into two classifications-persistent and non-persistent. Persistent VDI is customized to a specific user, and this allows the user to log into the same desktop every time. Non-persistent VDI means that every time a user logs out, the desktop reverts to its initial state.

How Does VDI Work?

When we talk about how VDI works, it is essential to understand that technology utilizes application virtualization. This technology creates a virtualized application image and replicates it to all the virtual desktops in the desktop pool. It makes application deployment extremely easy and fast.

The technology creates an executable file of the application by capturing pre and post images of the system before and after installing the software. You can use this file in any system without going through the installation process repeatedly.

Users log in to their desktop using the client software. A request is made and accepted by the connection broker after the user is authenticated. The connection broker analyzes the right and sends the user to their desktop in the desktop pool. The admin can turn the virtual desktop off if the user is not using it. This provides a way to control overall capacity. It can accommodate more users than the server’s actual power by turning off desktops that are not in use. As an example, on a server with 500 GB RAM, you can create 600 Virtual desktops with 1 GB RAM, assuming that not all 600 users will use the desktop at the same time. The desktop image is mirrored from a master desktop to all the other desktops. It is called cloning. Cloning is classified as either full or linked. In linked cloning, the virtual disk of the master desktop is connected to all other desktops. It saves disk space on the server. The data of all the users is protected separately. The only real problem with this method is that the cloned desktops must be linked to the master desktop at all times.

If you choose full cloning, the cloned desktops are not linked to the master, and they function as independent desktops. In this scenario, all the desktops use separate disk space.

A VDI management software like VMware View Manager can be used to create desktop pools. The admin user can manage the desktop pools, provision new desktops, create new collections, and set up policies.

Benefits of VDI

The ability to have remote access to all of your applications and data is probably the single most significant benefit of VDI. Still, many other benefits come with VDI. Security is one of them. Because remote data centers store the data with high-level redundancy, you do not need to worry about your data’s total loss. Even if you lose the device, you can still access your desktop and data from any other device.

Portability is another critical benefit of VDI technology. You are no longer limited to using your desktop computer anymore. With VDI, you can use your laptop, mobile phone, tablet, or your thin client. You can also provide more desktops quickly and easily. You can provision more desktops instantaneously.

If you are hosted in the cloud, you also receive all of your provider’s data center benefits, such as high-end infrastructure, the most advanced security, and disaster recovery protocols. Finally, you benefit from reduced costs. No more hardware to purchase or maintain. VDI allows businesses and IT departments to streamline equipment costs by using a single server to host multiple desktops for end-users while also delivering secure platform users can access from virtually anywhere.

Experts and analysts agree that VDI will continue to increase in adoption as the cloud continues to mature and reach a suitably stable state because VDI is more comfortable to deploy and maintain. It is also true that VDI has grown to a point where financially driven business cases are reaching positive territory. Another major factor causing businesses to reconsider how they might move forward with cloud-hosted VDI is the release of Windows Virtual Desktop. These factors combine to make it the right time to study and understand VDI and how it can benefit your company as we move forward in 2020.

Nov 10 20
Christina Zumwalt