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A Beginner’s Guide to Virtual Desktop Infrastructure



2020 changed the work and business environment. Companies once believed they needed all their employees working together in one space. Due to the health risks of a global pandemic, many transitioned to a remote workforce.

Working from home is the new office and with that comes the need for a virtual desktop infrastructure. A virtual desktop infrastructure or VDI is like a regular desktop but a data center manages and runs the computer software. This technology allows users to access and use their computer workstations remotely.

Businesses can set up and configure their VDIs to fit their security and access needs. As long as the end-user has a reliable internet connection, a computer, and the proper login credentials, they’re able to access their virtual desktop.

As more people work remotely in 2021, VDIs are continuing to grow out of necessity. Do you think you need a virtual desktop infrastructure? Read more to find out!

What Exactly is a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?

A virtual desktop infrastructure is a form of technology that uses virtual machines to manage a virtual desktop. This virtual desktop is a replica of a regular workstation you would use while in the office. It consists of all of the operating system, apps, data, and software you’d find on your workstation.

The virtual machine refers to a centralized server. The server saves, manages, and deploys the virtual desktops to the end-users or employees.

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A big difference between VDI and your traditional workstation is you can access your virtual desktop on another computer. You will need VDI software to login and access your virtual desktop. This allows employees and to work remotely on a device such as their personal computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

What about security? VDI software allows organizations to configure settings, passwords, hardware, and more to ensure privacy and security.

Virtual desktop infrastructure allowed companies to hire great talent outside their geographical location. Today, businesses can continue working without needing their employees to come into the office.

How a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Works

The centralized server hosts virtual machines or VMs. The VMs run specific virtual desktops and deliver them over a network to the end-user. The server uses a hypervisor to segment, run, create, and manage the virtual machines.

Every virtual desktop includes an operating system, usually Microsoft Windows. You can, however, also find Linux variations. VDIs can also manage and provide digital workspaces, a completely app-driven workstation.

The VDI server can host multiple instances, or copies, of these VMs. Multiple employees can access the same digital workstation or have different personalized workstations.

To connect with their virtual desktop, employees must connect to the central server. The VDI consists of an implementation connection broker, a technology that connects employees with an available digital workstation. This occurs as soon as the employee connects to the VDI.

From there you’ll find there are persistent and non-persistent deployments. Persistent refers to each employee having their own personal desktop image. Non-persistent desktops allow many employees to access a single desktop image.

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There are more details throughout the process. It doesn’t hurt to learn more about VDI before implementing it in your business.

VDI and Desktop Virtualization

If you’re looking for a virtual desktop solution for your organization, you’ll find there are many options to choose from. Two virtual options you’ll hear are VDI and desktop virtualization. While they sound similar, the two are very different.

The main difference between VDI and desktop virtualization is the latter doesn’t always need hosted VMs. VDI uses host-based VMs to create and manage digital workstations. Many consider VDI an alternative delivery of a virtual desktop. 

Why Businesses Use VDIs

The main reason businesses love using VDIs is they give the flexibility to work and manage remote employees. VDIs also allow mobile employees and contractors to access their workstations while they’re on-the-go. Other workers and industries who benefit from VDIs include:

  • Kiosk and task workers
  • Medical professionals
  • Field technicians
  • Educators

VDIs gives businesses the flexibility to work with remote employees and ensure they have access to everything they need.

Advantages of Using VDI

The overarching advantage to VDI is its flexibility. Organizations can enjoy many more great benefits other than just remote access. Here are a few more reasons why you should invest in VDI for your organization.

Security and Reliability

VDI adds an extra level of security by hosting a workstation virtually. All of the digital workstation’s software, apps, and data store on a central server.

If your traditional physical device gets lost, stolen, or damaged, you usually lose most of your work. With VDI, the high-redundancy server backs up and stores all of your work, data, and software virtually. You can access all of this on another device.

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Cost Savings

VDI saves organizations on hardware costs. In a traditional work setting, you need to provide employees with reliable up-to-date computers and hardware.

With VDI, employees can use almost any device to access their digital workstation. This includes personal devices, a thin client, and outdated devices. Software, memory, and everything else needed to complete work tasks are readily available and stored in a central server and not the device itself.

Portable Devices

Almost every type of device works with VDI as the desktop doesn’t require any specific hardware. This offers organizations and their employees a high level of device portability.

Employees can use their computers, tablets, and phones to access their workstations. A necessary benefit for any business with remote and mobile employees.

Provision Desktops with Ease

Without VDI, organizations need to manually configure individual physical workstations. This can be a time-consuming process.

VDI makes desktop provisioning quick and easy. Through VDI, you can configure desktops by mirroring them from a desktop image. This process is almost instantaneous.

Improve Your Business with VDI!

Do you want to improve productivity and flexibility within your organization? Virtual desktop infrastructure is a fast and secure way to work with remote and mobile employees. Everyone will have access to a reliable desktop that you can configure and provision based on your business needs!

Want to learn about more great tech? Check out our latest tech articles to learn how you can improve your business and workflow today!

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