Apart from the cloud, one of today’s biggest IT trends is virtualization, and one of the most popular uses of virtualization is virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Depending on the underlying technologies and vendors, virtual desktops sometimes are also referred to as remote desktops, desktop as a service (DAAS), cloud desktops, hosted desktops, etc. But the main concept is the same: hosting multiple instances of desktop operating systems on remote physical hosts(servers) and making them available to almost any device with an Internet connection.
Below are some of the most effective use cases for virtual desktops:
Healthcare and law firms
In industries where every file is sensitive, the importance of confidentiality can’t be overstated. With VDI, rules and permissions can be customized based on each individual virtual desktop. As such, medical professional or lawyers can securely view patient or client records relevant to them. It also allows them to log into their virtualized desktop while working across a variety of locations and devices.
Accounting and finance firms
No more wasted trips or sending Quickbooks files back and forth, which can cause all kinds of issues and headaches. Accountants can now have their own virtual desktops with dedicated credentials and controlled access to appropriate company files. Accounting software can be launched directly from within the environment and works can be done remotely just as easy as locally.
By leveraging VDI, a school’s IT team can create a virtual desktop — with the necessary restrictions implemented — for each student. If each classroom has a set of workstations, students’ desktop experiences will be consistent throughout their day. Even though they’ll be using different hardware every hour or two, they’ll always see the same desktop.
Companies with shift workers
In most cases, shift employees don’t really need one designated computer to fulfill their task because one computer is shared by multiple users. VDI makes it easy for companies to manage several desktop accounts on fewer devices. Workers can log into any devices, access their own virtual desktop, work as they do every day, and log off at the end of their shift.
Users with multiple computers
Depending on the nature of work, some positions require working with several computers on a regular basis. With VDI, they can integrate desktops and maintain it across two or more devices.
Field or remote staff
Employees that work remotely or in the field need access to tools and applications when on the job. A secure and reliable way to do it is through VDI. A complete VDI solution makes access to a consistent desktop experience possible anytime, anywhere, and using any device. It allows your remote or field workforce to operate effectively, no matter the circumstances.
Of course, these are just a few situations where VDI is helpful. Any business can enjoy security and productivity enhancements with a team of virtualization experts on call. For example, all FelinePC IT clients already have virtualization and VDIs implemented as part of their IT infrastructures.
Not all virtual desktops are created equal
These days, many providers and vendors offer virtual desktop services, including major public cloud providers such as Amazon and Microsoft as well as many smaller private providers. However, just as physical computers can vary significantly on price, performance and reliability, all virtual desktops are absolutely not the same.
As a matter of fact, you can safely ignore the “virtual” part: think of them as being very “real” in terms of specifications. These desktops use real computing resources such as CPU cores, memory and disk I/O. Poorly implemented or oversold virtual desktops may have very limited hardware resources allocated to them and thus perform poorly. Some providers (especially big names such as Amazon/Azure) charge outrageously high fees for access to higher specifications with acceptable performances, making them unsuitable for most small businesses.
FelinePC believes that virtual desktops should perform just as well as fast physical desktops for pleasant user experience and increased productivity . In some cases they should perform even better depending on the server specs and load. Our implementation of virtual desktops for our clients use modern physical servers that are highly capable and optimized for the job, thanks to our extensive computer hardware expertise. Our users often report that our virtual desktops are so fast that they find it painful sometimes to use other computers that are not specified/managed by FelinePC. Talk about spoiling our customers!