Virtual Desktop Infrastructure: Facilitating Desktops
The conventional PC as the corporate 'thick client' has long been at the prima of the desktop computing. It has represented a positive compromise between performance, functionality and cost. Although, a number of challenges continue:
Desktop Management: Centralizing the desktop management is an incredibly difficult task in the face of a widely distributed computing environment and the corporate personnel, who gradually need secure on-demand access to their desktop environment from anyplace. Moreover, desktops are infamously hard to standardize because of the assortment of the PC hardware and users' requirements to modify the desktop environments.
Total Cost of Ownership: The moderately low cost of PC hardware is generally more than offset by the high cost of PC management and support. Ongoing PC management including deployment of software updates and the patches can be labor intensive and time consuming because of the requirement to test and validate the deployments for a wide variety of the PC configurations. Likewise, the need for support personnel and the lack of standardization to troubleshoot the issues in person and on-site raise the support costs noticeably.
Data Security: Ensuring that the information on the PCs is effectively backed up and can be restored when the PCs fail or files are lost is an important challenge. Even when the data is effectively backed up, the risk of the PC theft threatens the security of the significant data.
Low Resource consumption: The distributed nature of PCs makes it pretty complicated to pool resources to improve the utilization and reduce overhead. As a result, PCs are generally less than five percent used, remote offices need duplicate desktop infrastructures, and remote desktop solutions might be needed for the mobile personnel.
VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is a server-centric computing model that makes use of the conventional thin-client model but is intended to offer the end users and system administrators the best of both worlds: the capability to host and centrally manage the desktop virtual machines in the data center while facilitating end users with a full PC desktop experience.
This kind of desktop virtualization is useful in offering a number of advantages, including:
- Robust desktop image management capabilities
- Desktop computing power on demand
- Multiple desktops on demand
- Instant provisioning of new desktops
- Near-zero downtime in the event of hardware failures
- Significant reduction in the cost of new application deployment
- Self provisioning of desktops (controlled by policies)
- Normal 2-3 year PC refresh cycle extended to 5-6 years or more
- Existing desktop-like performance including multiple monitors, bi-directional audio/video, streaming video, USB support etc.
- Ability to access the users' enterprise desktop environment from any PC, (including the employee's home PC)
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