Most business environments today utilize virtualization to some degree, consolidating their server hardware into fewer, beefier machines, and running their servers as virtual instances, saving hardware costs and data center space. Even smaller enterprises take advantage of virtualization to reduce their server footprint and reduce costs.
Likewise, many organizations are moving to cloud services to further reduce the size and complexity of their IT systems. Cloud services such as Office 360 and Salesforce allow companies to access the applications their business requires, and only pay for the licensing and features that they need, further minimizing business computing expenses.
But what about the desktops their employees use? Most business still issue desktops and laptops to their employees, along with all of the office and productivity software those employees require. And with that comes all of the licensing, maintenance and support costs that come with that desktop environment.
But it stands to reason – if virtualization can save your business money at the server level, it should be able to save you money at the desktop level as well.
And that’s where VDI comes in. VDI stands for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, which is the use of virtualization at the desktop, in essence. In a VDI deployment, a server provides the user with a virtual desktop, which has all of the features and look and feel of their desktop, but is actually served from a server. This allows for the consolidation of all of the desktop computing into a central environment, reducing support and maintenance costs.
Some of the ways that VDI can save your business money include:
- You can deploy a pre-defined desktop environment to every desktop, all at once. This reduces your costs to upgrade the OS on every single desktop individually, and it eliminates issues where any single user’s desktop is configured differently from all the others.
- Updates to the desktop OS and/or common applications are instant. In VDI environments, the OS images are updated centrally, and when users log in, the OS/application is ready to go. There’s no need to bring the laptop to the IT guys, and wait for several hours while the updates are applied.
- It lets you keep critical data produced by your users at the server level, where it can be secured and backed up from a central location. No more ‘dropped laptop destroying a week’s work’ scenarios. With VDI, the user is actually interacting with a central server, not their individual machine, giving them the illusion of working on a standalone machine while keeping all of the data secure. And if one of your users loses their machine or has it stolen, none of the critical data that would have been on that machine is lost.
- It gives users the ability to access their desktop from any machine, anywhere in the world. VDI is designed to run from a central server platform, across a network, to the user. In that approach, the user’s machine becomes a simple client, and the only things the user needs to access their desktop is a browser and network connectivity.
There are costs associated with implementing a VDI environment, however, and complexities that need to be addressed in the design of your VDI environment. Without the right approach, a business could end up losing any savings that they would have realized had they taken a more measured approach to the design of their VDI environment.
And that’s where Carisma LLC can make a difference, by taking our knowledge and experience in implementing VDI environments and bringing it to bear for your business. Carisma LLC was recently awarded the Best of Bucks award for Computer Repair & Network Support, and we have a lot of experience with a full range of virtualization, cloud computing and virtual desktop infrastructure projects.
The pros at CARISMA can help you with any / all of these recommendations and more. Best of Bucks 2014 for Computer Repair / Network Support. Contact us online, on the phone at 215-CARISMA, or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.