What is a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), and Does Your Business Need One?

What is virtualization? Virtualization allows you to dedicate a larger section of your server resources to specific tasks.

This is done by partitioning the server’s resources into virtual “machines.” A single computer can manage several separate operating systems at the same time, and each operating system treats the other as if it was a completely different machine. This method is called virtualization (or sometimes “virtual machines”), and it greatly expands what a server can do for your business.

Let’s say you want to set up a new machine for an employee who needs exclusive access to software that would interfere with others’ work on the same server if run simultaneously on one system. Rather than buying an entirely separate computer specifically for this individual, all you need to do is create a new virtual machine on the same server.

For example, you could run Windows XP on one virtual machine and Windows 7 Professional on another. As long as those two operating systems don’t conflict with each other, they can coexist without issue. Virtualization makes this possible by partitioning the server’s resources between them.

But what if we wanted to add Linux to that mix? Now we’re talking about three separate operating systems running simultaneously on one computer – which would be problematic in a single-user environment like an office where it’s impossible to keep users from accessing each other’s files and causing conflicts. However, since all of these operations are being handled virtually within the server, they can take place on the same machine without running into one another.

Virtual desktop infrastructure is an extension of this concept. Many companies still perform their computing tasks with physical workstations; but to address these problems and cut down on maintenance costs, many are now turning to virtual desktops for their employees instead. There are several benefits to using a virtual desktop network rather than other forms of computing:

  • It allows employees to access their work from anywhere they have an internet connection, without the need for any physical hardware.
  • It centralizes data and applications in one location, making it easier to manage and back up.
  • It can be easier to scale up or down as your business needs change.
  • It improves security by keeping all sensitive data in one place.

If you’re considering making the switch to virtual desktops for your business, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • The upfront costs may be higher than traditional desktop computing, since you’ll need to purchase new hardware and software.
  • You’ll need a reliable internet connection; if your employees work remotely or travel often, make sure they’ll be able to access the virtual desktop from wherever they are.
  • There may be a transition period as your employees learn to use the new system, so make sure you’re prepared for any potential issues during the transition.
  • Virtual desktops require ongoing maintenance and support from IT professionals, so factor those costs into your budget.

So does your business need a virtual desktop infrastructure? The answer is likely “yes” but only if you have a number of remote employees who could benefit from access to company resources without the need for dedicated hardware at their home offices. If this sounds like the kind of system that you would find useful, then speak to your IT professional today about how implementing VDI might benefit your company.