by January 12, 2010 0 comments

There are different types of virtualization technologies that we know:
server, storage, network, etc. At the core of VDI or virtual desktop
infrastructure lies virtualization as well, even though there is a slight
difference in architecture. VDI can be explained as a technique using which
conventional desktops are decoupled from physical machines. In a typical VDI
setup one would find virtual desktops and data store inside a secured data
center and these virtual desktops are accessed by users using the existing
network. As all the processing is done inside a data center there is no need for
processing units inside users machine, and users typically access their desktops
from thin clients or other internet surfing devices. VDI as technology can be a
great enabler of ‘Work from Home’ culture that seems to be the next big trend
giving lots of benefits, reduction of carbon footprint being a major one. There
are number of benefits associated with implementation of VDI:

Data security and disaster recovery
Often we come across situations where important data residing inside an
employee laptop is lost. If this data is of sensitive nature like a future
business plan it could effect your business negatively. But if you have VDI
deployed in your organization, data remains within four walls of datacenter,
which means it is secure from most potential threats. Besides security, most
datacenters have disaster recovery mechanisms built-in meaning most information
in form of data is recoverable. Besides security and recovery of data, VDI
technology also enables automatic load balancing feature that intelligently
distributes loads across servers that run virtual desktops for users. If one of
the server fails other servers in grid take over the work of the failed server.

Reduced costs
If you have VDI deployed in your organization, there is no need for
processing unit at users end and therefore one can use thin clients instead of
full fledged conventional desktop computers. The price of thin clients is less
than desktop machines which means lot of savings per machine, if one multiplies
the machines with the number of users, the management can save huge sums of
money. Another future trend we came across during PCQuest Infra Summit 09 was
about companies asking their employees to bring their own laptops. VDI
technology can help cut security risks associated with such a trend.

Fast deployment and efficient OS mgmt
If you probe your IT helpdesk about the biggest challenges they face, OS
patch management and creation of machines for new users would be high on their
challenge list. With VDI, both these issues could easily be taken care of. As
user desktops are created from pre-created templates, new desktops can be
created in a few clicks. Similarly, important patches can be forced on user
machines with ease. This gives IT helpdesk great relief from the conventional
system where they have to physically move to individual desktops for software
issues. Again if your organization wants to move from one OS to the other, VDI
technology enables smoother migration.

Resource optimization and scalability
VDI technology allows maximum utilization of resources, as the administrator is
the one who defines configuration (amount of RAM, frequency of processor, amount
of HDD etc ) for user, and desktop resources are optimally used. For example, if
the majority of the work of an employee is Internet based, there is no need to
give him desktop machines that have 160 GB of HDD. You may simply create virtual
desktops and assign a few GBs of storage from central data store to him. Besides
optimizing resources, scalability is another feature of a VDI deployment, and
adding new servers that run virtual desktops of users is fairly simple to
achieve. With VDI, employees can work more efficiently, leave office and start
working as soon as they reach home on the same desktop. As only browser and
remote clients are needed for access, one can even use smart phones to work.

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