Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Desktop computing is a core technology in IT infrastructures offering enormous flexibility and mobility but at high operational costs in IT support, help desk, maintenance and software licensing. Enterprises today are seeking economic sensible solutions without creating new learning curves for the end user.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) brings virtualization to the desktop environment delivering enterprise-class control and manageability while maintaining the familiar end-user environment. VDI virtualizes desktop images that can be deployed from a centralized hosting server. This provides the reduction of operational costs and improved security while maintaining the current end user experience — no learning curve.

VDI provides the end user with a virtual PC that looks and behaves exactly like their current PC whether working at the office, while traveling or at home. The user’s profile and files are stored centrally so there is no need to carry around files.

For IT, VDI provides the ability to consolidate the number of servers supporting desktops resulting in cost savings. Additional cost savings come from central management and deployment of applications and updates, eliminating mundane trips to the user’s desk for break/fix improving the work experience for IT and HelpDesk personnel.

Desktop virtualization involves encapsulating and delivering either access to an entire information system environment or the environment itself to a remote client device. The client device may use an entirely different hardware architecture than that used by the projected desktop environment, and may also be based upon an entirely different operating system.

The desktop virtualization model allows the use of virtual machines to let multiple network subscribers maintain individualized desktops on a single, centrally located computer or server. The central machine may operate at a residence, business, or data center. Users may be geographically scattered, but all may be connected to the central machine by a local area network, a wide area network, or the public Internet.

Uses A simple use for desktop virtualization involves remote administration where the controlling computer will work almost the same as on a duplicate desktop, except that the actions of the controlling computer may be almost unnoticeable on the remote computer display. This differs from simple remote desktop software in that several people can use the same controlling computer at once, without disturbing each others' work. This could be useful for several administrators doing different tasks on the same server. It can also be used for using hardware attached to the controlled computer, without disturbing a person who may already be using the computer.

However, a major use spreads the resources of one machine to several users. In some cases one can buy one large computer (or server) and several thin clients or dumb terminals, rather than purchasing a complete computer for each physical workstation. The controlling thin-client computers need only enough resources to run the remote controlling software, therefore virtualization can provide a very simple and cheap computing system. Users of such a "thin client" or "dumb terminal" may not even know that "their" software actually runs on another computer. If one already has enough computers, but they are not powerful enough, only one new computer may be needed, with the old ones re-usable as thin clients.