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08

May, 20

What is a Virtual Desktop

Being able to access your work computer from any endpoint on a network is convenient for most and an absolute necessity for some. Some workers are required to move around the facility they are working in, between different facilities or even all around the world. For those users, there is a desktop virtualization technology that allows them to interact with a remote device’s operating system and its apps as if they were running locally. This technology is known as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, or VDI.

How does VDI work?

The hypervisor (i.e. the server that hosts virtual desktops) segments servers into virtual machines that then host the virtual desktops. These virtual desktops become accessible remotely by users from their devices. They are accessible from any location and all processing is done on the host server.

VDI visualized

In the diagram above, the hypervisor hosts the virtual desktop which is accessible from any access point

 

There are two types of this technology: persistent VDI and non-persistent VDI, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Persistent VDI allows the user to connect to the same virtual desktop every time. The user can make changes in this desktop which will be saved after the connection is reset, meaning the environment acts exactly like a physical personal desktop.

A non-persistent VDI, on the other hand, has users that connect to a generic desktop with no changes being saved. It is usually a cheaper and simpler option as there is no need to maintain customized desktops between sessions.

What are the benefits of using a VDI?

  • Remote access: a VDI allows its users to connect to the virtual desktop from anywhere in the world and almost from any device. This allows employees to access all their applications and files while working remotely.
  • Improved security: All the data is still physically stored on the VDI server, thus if a user misplaces his device or it gets compromised, the files will still be safe.
  • Financially beneficial: Since all the processing is done on the server, users can use older devices or even tablets & smartphones to connect to the virtual desktop, thus removing the need to have expensive hardware.