A VDI, or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, is a great way to give your team access to the technical resources they need no matter where they are working from. Virtual desktops have been growing in popularity for years now, but the COVID-19 pandemic has really pushed their adoption forward very quickly. This is because with a VDI environment, companies can set up virtual desktops that their employees can access from home or other remote locations.
Companies love this because it creates a secure environment that they can have full control over just like a traditional desktop computer sitting in their office. Employees appreciate the fact that they can access their systems from any location with an Internet connection.
Why Implement a VDI Solution?
A good VDI system will provide many advantages to your business and your employees. Understanding the benefits that you will get will make it easier to decide if moving in this direction makes sense for your organization. The following are some of the most significant advantages to using a VDI solution rather than attempting to have dedicated computers with locally installed applications for every employee.
- Easier Management – Managing virtual desktops is far easier than physical equipment. You can make system wide changes to the VDI environment that will immediately be rolled out to everyone. With local PCs, making system changes is much more difficult in most cases.
- Improved Security – Good VDI solutions have security built right in. Even if your employees are accessing their virtual desktop from a compromised personal computer, your company network and systems will remain protected.
- Data Backup and Recovery – You can set it up so all the data used on VDIs is saved to a cloud based system and properly backed up. This helps to minimize the risk of data loss and other problems that are common with local desktops and laptops.
- Reduced Costs – The costs associated with a VDI environment are much lower than having to purchase hardware, install local apps, and perform other actions on every piece of equipment.
- Ideal for Remote Access – Perhaps the biggest reason why VDI environments are becoming so popular is because they are an ideal option for employees who work fully remote, or some type of hybrid schedule.
Of course, the specific benefits that apply to your business would depend largely on the type of business you run and other factors. In most cases, you will find that every company is going to appreciate the above benefits to some extent or another if they decide to move forward with implementing a VDI solution.
How to Choose the Best VDI for Your Business
Once you decide that setting up a virtual desktop infrastructure system is the right option for your company, you need to make sure that you choose the right one. There are quite a few different options out there, and lots of different configurations that you can consider. Some things you will want to think about when shopping for the best VDI system include:
- Features – Looking at the features available with each option will likely be the most important consideration. This will include what applications can be installed natively, what backup and restoration options there are, security settings, and much more.
- Management Tools – Related to the features is going to be the desktop management tools that come with the software you choose. Having a good set of virtual desktop management options will allow you to help your employees to get the best experience possible.
- Cost – Of course, you will want to consider the costs of each virtual desktop infrastructure option. You can choose from options that are entirely free to use, or those that can be quite expensive, depending on your specific needs.
- Cloud Support – Virtual environments often rely on cloud applications for getting things done. Some VDI solutions set up what is essentially a private cloud for all the apps. Others will rely on systems like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and other cloud infrastructure options.
- Local Hardware Requirements – Some VDI environments can be accessed from a local system that is extremely basic. Others will require some more modern hardware to use properly. Make sure you know what local hardware requirements a system has, and that your employees will have them available.
- Server Requirements – In addition to the local hardware requirements, look into what, if any, server-side requirements you will need to have. If you are setting up a private VDI, you will need to purchase the server hardware that will run everything, and make sure you have sufficient network connectivity. You can also opt for a fully managed cloud environment where the hardware side of things is included with the costs. AMD EPYC-powered servers from SuperMicro are designed specifically for VDI.
Taking the time to look closely at all the VDI software options available will help ensure you get exactly what you need, without paying more than is necessary. While this can take a lot of time and effort to research properly, it is often worth it in the end.
Make Sure Your Employees are Ready
Once you have selected the right VDI solution for your business, you need to make sure it is set up and accessible. While the VDI technology will create virtual environments for your employees to connect to, the employees need to be able to reach that system. This means they will need a computer or laptop either at their desk or in their home.
Fortunately, since the bulk of the storage and processing needs will be handled by the VDI system, you do not need to provide them with high-end machines. Instead, either have your employees use their personal computers or purchase reasonable desktops or laptops that can be used for this type of connection. Employees will also have to have reliable internet connections and a good web browser that they can use to connect to the VDI environment.