The Virtual Desktop – VDI at a Glance

June 12th, 2015 Posted by Hosted Services, Networks, Services 0 thoughts on “The Virtual Desktop – VDI at a Glance”

By: Alicia Hernandez, Think Technical Writer

The concept of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been around for years, yet adoption and deployment rates have missed the predictions-mark year after year. As Tom Rose pointed out in his post The History of VDI “…the running joke is that 20XX will be ‘The Year of VDI’…” But virtual desktops aren’t going anywhere, and maybe 2015 is YOUR year of VDI.

What is VDI?

VDI is a solution similar to its more common big brother, virtual servers, where multiple desktops are hosted on a single piece of hardware and then accessed by the end user on a smaller, more mobile system. Desktop virtualization splits out the applications and operating system from that big box that you rest your feet on in your office and layers them within a single physical server usually housed in a data center.

virtual desktop infrastructure

Virtual desktops

These virtualized desktops can then be accessed from any system at any location, provided the right security, permissions, and credentials are set up. The end user powers up whatever device they are using (thin client, laptop, mobile phone, etc.) and accesses their virtual desktop through the provided software icon or link. While there are many VDI software solutions out there, Citrix and VMware are the two most common options.

So why VDI?

The key to this solution is to save time and money on necessary hardware and desktop management. Technology changes rapidly and software applications are requiring more and more resources (RAM, Storage, CPU, etc.), therefore desktops need to be replaced often – usually every three to five years – and beefed up to meet the resource needs of the software it is running. This can be very costly.

A VDI solution, though costly up front, will hopefully save you time and money in the long run by reducing your desktop hardware sprawl and the manpower it takes to maintain those numerous desktops.

So where do you start? Write down your VDI goals, calculate your ROI for VDI, research your options, and plan your VDI pilot project. TechTarget has a great series of Guides linked within Beginner’s guide to VDI project planning to help walk you through this stuff. It is daunting at first, but some simple planning and research can really go a long ways when it comes to determining your VDI plan. If you’re still confused or just don’t want to do the work for you, Think is always just a phone call away!

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