by March 21, 2014 0 comments

Desktop virtualization is a rapidly growing trend as more and more companies want to connect with the talented employees they need, anywhere, anytime, while upholding business continuity and saving on operating costs.
Desktop Virtualization: An Overview
Desktop virtualization essentially offers all the features of a desktop computer, accessible from any machine or device, anywhere. This is accomplished by storing the “virtualized” desktop environment using a data center or remote server and not the physical machine. Users interact with a virtual desktop in the same way they would use a physical desktop in the office. However, desktop virtualization lets the user remotely log in to access a desktop environment from any location. A virtual desktop infrastructure, or VDI, is desktop virtualization to link multiple virtual machines.
What are some benefits of desktop virtualization?
There are several benefits to desktop virtualization for today’s workplaces. We’ll discuss seven sound reasons desktop virtualization is a step forward and few things
to consider before you implement virtualization in your own company.
Supports BYOD initiatives
Allowing employees to use their own personal devices, like smartphones, laptops and tablets, to connect to the company network or BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a growing trend. The idea behind the BYOD concept is that it enables employees to work from anywhere, increase the collaboration among employees and ultimately increase productivity. With more workforces embracing a BYOD strategy, IT departments are saving money on hardware as well. IT security teams now have to shift from worrying about where secure information is stored and focus instead on what devices are housing that information. This makes BYOD policies and procedures an integral part of desktop virtualization. The BYOD practice can complicate governance, risk and compliance management significantly. As protecting virtualized data becomes the focus for IT security, IT teams can provide better security for critical information and adapt to the evolving needs of business users more easily.
Centralized management, back-ups and recovery
Centralized management of all devices, BYOD included, allows the company to manage administration, deployment and compliance from a central location. Recovering a virtual desktop to an originally deployed state and conducting backups can be relatively easy in a VDI situation. However, personal settings or changes to the machine’s profile may be lost in the process. Agent-based backups, local backups and synchronization are ways to avoid this situation.
Reduced data security threats
With desktop virtualization, the actual data rests in the data centers or remote servers, eliminating the loss of data on local machines. Because data is centralized, it is easier to detect and isolate viruses or threats before they cause damage. Further, the virtual machine has no contact with a machine’s operating system, so there is little possibility of a program damaging other files or applications. Also, because the data is centralized and virtual machines are behind strong firewalls, the company’s IT team can manage usage and reduce potential risks. This centralized control can better enable application activity monitoring.
Better support and troubleshooting for end users
Any changes or updates can be implemented simultaneously and instantly across devices companywide with desktop virtualization. This means the IT team can handle everything from pushing patch updates to deploying an operating system, like Microsoft Windows or Apples OS X to a device safely and easily. The same goes for troubleshooting. Problems can generally be resolved from within the data center saving the IT team from troubleshooting the actual PCs. Because the desktop’s environment and its data can usually be accessed from any connected virtual machine, a user experiencing hardware trouble on their PC can simply go to another device to access their data and applications.
Workforce mobility
Because desktop environments and the data they use are hosted in a central or remote server, employees have the ability to wok anywhere, anytime, no matter what may happen at the office. Desktop virtualization allows companies to attract talent from any location, by offering the ability to work remotely, while still collaborating with coworkers. This ability also supports business continuity plans and disaster recovery capabilities companywide. Recent history of weather-related incidents and other events have compromised businesses beyond their control on occasion. Having a desktop virtualization structure that supports workforce mobility helps a company get back to business faster should an event impact the physical workplace.
Supports green initiatives, saves power
Desktop machines are generally more costly to purchase, set up and maintain, than a virtualized data center. Desktop virtualization separates the hardware resources from the operating system and applications of a physical workstation. This means that multiple, sometimes under-utilized, computers can be virtualized into a single physical computer. Separating these components and managing them more efficiently and virtually saves on power and the use and disposal of devices. Because server-based virtual desktops run from the data center, companies save power in two ways:
1) In the data center: Desktop virtualization further consolidates and saves on power and cooling; and
2) On the desktop: Desktop virtualization devices have significantly smaller power footprints than their desktop PC-counterparts.
Capital Expenditures vs. Operating Expenses
One of the biggest hurdles for desktop virtualization is price. That being said, it’s important to know from a CapEx expenditure stand point, you will not see much savings. But there can be significant OpEx savings, especially when compared to a traditional, physical desktop rollout. Because OpEx of physical desktop machines have been steadily going up, switching to desktop virtualization is an opportunity to reign in these costs.
So there you have it, seven of the many benefits to desktop virtualization. As we have outlined in this article, desktop virtualization is a game-changing practice that could reduce cost, increase control, ensure compliance, protect secure data and more. Making the leap can be daunting, but well worth it in the long run.

 

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