VDI Environment and the Coronavirus

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virtual-desktop-image, VDI

From floods, tsunamis to SARS, firms are used to preparing for disasters to at least minimize their impact on business operations. The coronavirus outbreak is the latest menace that companies must now deal with appropriately to ensure business growth. Fortunately there is VDI Environment.

Like any other catastrophe, though, the coronavirus outbreak has new elements. And these elements are likely to give rise to lasting changes in how firms manage their employees, and how these employees discharge their daily duties. The plan for short-term action is fairly the same across both small and large companies and includes a reconsideration of business travel, self-quarantine for employees coming from higher-risk zones, routine communication of public health advice, and arguably the most important, encouraging and fostering remote working.

The most effective approach is arguably the encouragement of remote working. As the coronavirus continues to spread at devastating rates, major tech firms in the U.S have reportedly asked their employees to execute their duties from home. For decades, companies have always explored the prospect of having their workers work from home. And some firms in the industry are currently looking at the coronavirus outbreak as a test scenario for the long-awaited but never-arriving moment when working from home will entirely replace working inside offices.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, recently revealed that he wanted to move toward a highly distributed workforce during the most recent earnings call. And Twitter is just one out of several firms that have recently asked their employees to work from home as the coronavirus menace continues to cause havoc across the globe. And after making such an important transition, most major companies actually won’t go back to the old system of doing things.

Amazon Sign
Amazon, Twitter and Microsoft all ask employees to work from home

Working from home is a great option and is popular among younger workers not only because it offers the much-needed flexibility, but also relieves them of their daily commute duties, allows them to save money, and also allow them to work in custom work environments desired by them. As the global village becomes more connected, working in the comfort of our homes is fast becoming easier than ever. With more firms now providing highly flexible commuting policies, the remote work market is growing at a relatively faster rate.

However, to make a successful transition into the remote working world, there are a few changes companies will need to make. And one of these changes is the adoption of cloud computing and subsequent implementation of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). So, today in this post, we are going to discuss in excruciating detail what a virtual desktop infrastructure is and how medium and small businesses can leverage it for better business and information technology operations.

How does a VDI environment look like and how can it help your business?

VDI may be defined as the technology that is used to design and create a virtualized desktop platform on remote server setup. Typically, the virtual desktop environment separates the serves into different virtual desktops that every user can access remotely through their own devices. The various virtual desktops are hosted on VM or virtual machines that are regulated through management software. As you may have guessed, VDI provides the users with the much-needed freedom of accessing their desktop from anywhere and at any given time via a VDI client software.

VDI Image

Virtual desktop infrastructure is available as either on-premise (within the organization) or in the cloud or inside a remote and secure location.

Virtual desktop infrastructure is available as either on-premise (within the organization) or in the cloud or inside a remote and secure location.

In every VDI setup, the following characteristics are common:

  • The virtual desktops are kept within VMs on a centralized server.
  • Every virtual desktop features an operating system image, preferably Microsoft Windows.
  • End-users must permanently be connected to the central server to maintain access to the virtualized desktop it is hosting.
  • The virtual desktop infrastructure offers a virtual desktop within the resource pool for every user to seamlessly connect to it upon its successful access to the entire VDI environment.
  • On the central server, there is an installed virtualization software known as Hypervisor that creates the VDIs which are distributed to the employees of your organization. Also, the Hypervisors are strikingly similar both in terms of features and functionality to conventional desktops like the ones used in your office.

In today’s highly digitized work environments where various applications and programs need to be accessed on-demand, virtual desktop infrastructure facilitates a highly convenient and secure remote access that not only helps an organization to run smoothly but also helps to enhance employee productivity. What’s more, VDI guarantees a consistent experience across many devices.

So, what are the potential benefits of implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure for your company?

  • Enhanced convenience and performance: VDI allow your remote workers to work normally as if they are connected to your local business network. Your employees can use any computer device or program of their choice provided there is an internet connection. They can access the VDI from anywhere and at any given time. As opposed to traditional computers that somehow limits your access to critical documents and files to an office or home, virtual desktop infrastructure allows you to use your desktop anywhere, anytime.
  • Improved security: Today, internal security threats among the leading causes of cyberattacks and data breaches. On the security front, VDI provides a commendable improvement as opposed to running an Operating System and everything on it locally. Data from the VDI connection is securely stored on the server and not on the end-user, and this implies that if in any case the endpoint gets stolen, the central repository remains secure. The VDI platform is entirely controlled centrally and administrators can apply software updates and patches, enforce security policies for every virtual desktop across the deployment.
  • Easy and straightforward maintenance: As the whole VDI system is centralized, you don’t have to travel from one physical location to another to service and maintain the entire system or transfer big data in the network. When the administrator updates the VDI platform, (business programs and applications and the OS), every user gets updated as well.
  • Reduced hardware requirements and cost-savings: Bearing in mind that the lion’s share of data processing in the virtual desktop platform is server-based, fairly more expensive or high-end hardware is not necessary. Users can access VDI from any relatively inexpensive hardware, which could be a simple PC that has been solely configured for the task at hand and its lifespan extended. And this perhaps saves your organization new hardware purchases.
Cloud Computing Image, VDI example

You have every reason why you would want to create a VDI environment in your organization. Today’s workers, consultants as well as interns prefer hassle-free and quality desktop experience with secure, flexible, and convenient access to their data, programs, and applications from anywhere across the globe and from any device as well. And if your business setup can embrace this important feature early enough, then you are bound to enjoy many benefits including improved productivity, enhanced data security, and increased employee engagement among others.

However, despite its enormous potential, the prospect of setting up a VDI platform across an entire organization can somehow present significant cost and operational challenges, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. VDI somehow requires extremely complex capacity planning, relatively higher upfront installation costs for both licensing and hardware, and an extended period to successfully set up the whole infrastructure. Thankfully, DaaS can be an excellent alternative for you!

Desktop-as-a-service simply refers to a unique form of VDI in which the infrastructure is outsourced, operated and managed by a trusted third party. Often described as hosted desktop services, DaaS is usually delivered as a cloud service along with the programs and applications required for use on a virtual desktop. With this type of desktop infrastructure at your disposal, you’ll be able to manage your images as well as users, but the entire infrastructure will be managed for you. This means that your provider of the Desktop-as-a-service will handle storing, securing, backing up of your data as well as upgrades for your DaaS service and support programs.

What are the potential benefits of DaaS?

Increased cost savings:

This is among the most compelling reasons why you would want to use DaaS. A company that uses DaaS can potentially run its daily business operations using less expensive computer devices (laptops and desktops) than traditionally required. In a DaaS setting, the user’s device only needs to run a thin client or a browser to access the virtual desktop over the internet from anywhere. And this implies that organizations that embrace the power and magic of DaaS won’t require huge amounts of storage, RAM, or a powerful CPU. For most use case scenarios, thin clients that cost a couple of dollars can do the job.

Equally, these thinner endpoints are relatively easy to maintain, use less power leading to a reduction in operational costs as well. Program and software installation and licensing will also be fairly more affordable, or at least less of an upfront. All this will ultimately translate into significant cost savings.

Enhanced security:
Data Security protection image

In a DaaS environment, the separate user devices are no longer a major security threat since all desktop to server communication occurs in the cloud service provider’s data center on a highly secured and protected network. Besides, all desktop data are stored inside the virtual computer which is equally located inside the data center. And bearing in mind that cloud data centers boast a far much superior security as compared to a traditional local desktop, moving to Desktop-as-a-service massively enhances data security. 

Improved employer/user flexibility:

As we previously mentioned, Today’s employees, interns as well as consultants are craving flexibility! When inside an office environment, they will strive to be the most productive. While traveling, they also would love to work from their personal computers. And during the evenings, these people would still want to get some work done through a tablet device at the comfort of their home. However, it has been cost-prohibitive and logistically challenging for most companies to offer this level of flexibility to their employees. Maintaining numerous computer devices including things such as backup, security and corporate apps on many devices per head is a luxury that can only be afforded by an elite few.

Thankfully, with DaaS at your disposal, you can provide all these luxuries to offer the type of flexibility desired by your employees at a fairly lower cost. Affordable or old laptops can be issued to offer mobile access to safe, secure and powerful desktops that run in the cloud.

Straightforward data backup and prompt disaster recovery:

You already know that with cloud computing, the end-users don’t have to store any critical data on their personal or local computers. Of course, the individual user desktops may still be backed up, but because they are running in a virtual machine and hosted in a cloud environment, the backup process is somewhat easier. And should any data get lost in the event of a disaster, your cloud service provider should be able to recover everything by retrieving the backup data from its backup datacenter.

Prompt and easy deployment:

All the upgrades on software and operating systems are done through the hosted server and this not only relieves you of the maintenance and operating costs but also results in fast and easy deployment. The next time your employees log into the system, they will instantly access and enjoy all the updates and upgrades.

Scalability:

This is another factor that makes DaaS a popular choice among small and medium-sized business owners. You can increase or reduce your DaaS subscriptions according to your current business needs, and this allows you to have control over estimated monthly per-user expenditure. This is especially useful when your firm uses temporary project teams or contract-based resources, as there is no hardware/software to procure, implying that you have the freedom to create a desktop as soon as you would want and remove when you no longer need it.

The use of DaaS has gained lots of popularity in the last few years thanks to a host of benefits it guarantees to business owners. DaaS is available in a broad range of configurations based on an organization’s requirements and needs, and your hosted virtual desktops can also be customized and tailored toward individual user preferences.

JAYCO Cloud Computing Solutions offer virtual desktop and desktop as a service solution. We provide secure, affordable, and top-notch desktop experience with 24/7 expert support and live monitoring. Don’t wait any longer! Kindly give us a call today and enjoy working with us.

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