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Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI): What it is and why today it is one of the vital platforms to give continuity and adaptation to Digital Workplace companies.
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What is Virtual desktop Infrastructure (VDI)?
Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is a word that is ringing more and more frequently, especially since the beginning of the pandemic. What more or less all of us have grasped is that VDI can somehow guarantee Smart Working and the operation of workers and companies in this extremely complex phase and beyond. But how does VDI work? What sets it apart from other technologies? What can be the benefits for companies and what are the possible obstacles to overcome?
Let’s try to go in order with a definition that can help us understand what exactly we are talking about. An important explanation of what VDI is is given by VMware, a vendor at the forefront of the Digital Workspace and VDI market.
The VDI infrastructure hosts the desktop environments on a centralized server and distributes them to end-users on-demand ”.
How does VDI Digital Workplace works?
In other words, VDI refers to a virtualization technique that allows access to a virtualized desktop interface. A Digital workspace is a platform that provides securely secure access to mobile workforces while managing the growing diversity of applications, data, and devices. With a digital workspace, end-users gain the freedom to use any desktop or device, BYO or corporate-owned at any time. IT administrators can automate app distribution and updates on the fly.
This interface is hosted on a remote server located within a Data Center and the user accesses it via the Internet. From a strictly operational point of view, the VDI ensures the availability of a virtual copy of what could be found in a classic physical desktop PC present in the company.
We are therefore talking about the operating system (OS), usually Windows or Linux, but also and above all about business applications, documents, and other data, which are stored and executed directly from the remote server.
Thanks to VDI, in short, the user experience is in all respects similar to that which could be had using a physical computer.
Yet the operation of the VDI is neither simple nor automatic but presupposes the operation of different technologies capable of working in a coordinated way to successfully present a virtual desktop to a user.
In particular, a key component for the functioning of the VDI is the hypervisor, which is software capable of segmenting the servers into virtual machines which, in turn, host the virtual desktops that users access remotely from their devices.
This is made technically possible by a connection broker – a software-based gateway that acts as an intermediary, allowing end-users to access and work with virtual desktops.
The difference between persistent and non-persistent VDI
Still from a technological point of view, an important division can be made between persistent and non-persistent VDI.
In persistent VDI, a user always connects to the same virtual desktop, with a 1: 1 ratio, therefore there is the possibility to customize it according to your needs, Above all, the real advantage is to be able to save the changes made (stored passwords, links, and screensaver), which makes virtual desktops look like a physical desktop in every way.
In non-persistent VDI, on the other hand, users connect to generic desktops without having the ability to save changes. This mode is generally considered simpler and cheaper than persistent VDI since custom desktops do not need to be made available all the time.
In both cases, however, the VDI can ensure a series of concrete benefits to the companies that adopt it. As we have seen in recent months, VDI systems are ideal for providing remote access to corporate IT systems from anywhere, even from home. And not only from a desktop PC or laptop, but also from mobile devices, a factor that enables the work of a whole series of professionals, such as sales networks.
SilverTouch Technologies offers two different VDI offerings. Microsoft VDI offers access to virtualized infrastructures through three different methods. Session-based desktops, formerly known as Terminal Servers, allow multiple user sessions to run on a single copy of Windows. Sessions are isolated from each other, and access to data can be restricted.
The second method is personal virtual machines. The third is virtual machine pools. Microsoft VDIs run on Windows Server 2012.
In addition to centralization, Microsoft VDI enables unified management of virtual PCs through Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager.
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