Author: Dave Norwood
1. Roaming Desktops
Roaming desktops are the idea of being able to connect to your desktop from any device, from anywhere. So, in a VDI (Virtual desktop Infrastructure) environment, the desktop is running as a virtual machine in the data center. When a user accesses that desktop, they’re using any mobile device with a screen and a keyboard, whether it’s a hard keyboard or virtual keyboard, to remote control that desktop in the data center. Now, a user can access their windows applications, their full windows desktop, from an iPad, a Slate, or even a mobile phone, you can access that desktop from any device that you like.
Since the desktop is in the data center, all the data stays in the data center. The only information moving out of the data center, are what we call “screen scrapes”, basically a video stream of the desktop. No data is stored on the local machine that is in the user’s hands. They’re only getting the screen scrapes of what’s actually happening in the data center. The data never leaves the data center, which is significant in an environment like healthcare, or other industries where security is extremely important. Also, if you live under the requirements of HIPAA, for example, you can meet those requirements much easier when no data is leaving the data center, it’s secure in that data center.
3. Ease of Management
VDI equals centralized desktops. Because those desktops are centralized in the data center, it’s much easier to maintain them if there’s a problem, a virus, or the user screws it up. We don’t have to go out and visit their desktop, bring the machine back to the help desk, and work on it, etc. It’s a virtual machine running in your data center so it’s easy to access and set back to factory default, so to speak. If you have a base golden image, it’s literally a click of a button and that machine can roll back to its pristine state before the problem occurred. In addition, deploying additional software packages, patches, and things like that, is very easy. You can apply it to the master image and that is automatically incorporated into all of the child images that are spun off of that master or parent. Being able to manage many more desktops per help desk employee, is a huge benefit of VDI, in other words VDI can greatly reduce operational expense, or OP-EX.
4. Mobile Devices
The ability to use mobile devices to access data. This is very similar to the roaming desktop, where we can access that roaming desktop anywhere but, with this, we can also be anywhere in the world and access our data. Again, it’s very secure, because we’re not moving the data anywhere in the world, we’re simply streaming a video stream of the desktop. Now users can use phones and other mobile devices anywhere in the world, greatly increasing mobility.
5. Better Performance
The data and the desktop are both in the data center. Having both the desktop and the actual application data all in the same data center, creates extremely high performance between that desktop and the data. So, if you have very fat applications or a fat client on the desktop, for example, an x-ray application where you’ve got high resolution photographs or x-rays that you’re reviewing, you can see much better performance. Since that desktop and the application are both in the same data center, the application and data are local and only the “screen scrapes” are getting transmitted outside the data center in the video stream.
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Author: Dave Norwood
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