Many CIOs have begun thinking about virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). In fact, it is probably one of the top three initiatives on their list. If they have not yet dipped their toes into the VDI pool, they are probably exploring ways to look into it. VDI is still young in terms of maturation, but it will undoubtedly explode over the next few years, especially given the expected adoption rate of Windows 7.
One of the reasons for the buzz around desktop virtualization is that it is garnering positive results for most companies across the board. According to a recent report by Zona Research, the total cost of ownership for organizations with VDI is greatly reduced. Not only did these companies realize an 80% savings in maintenance, but they also realized lower capital and operational expenses, and significant increases in productivity.
With so much information swirling around VDI today, it can be challenging to sort through all the reports and figure out what your business needs. To help simplify this daunting task, consider thinking about VDI in three parts: what it is; how it should be viewed; and how companies can implement it.
What is VDI?
In terms of overall benefits, VDI enables technology staff to manage the company’s desktop environment as a dynamic service offering. This allows the IT organization to move the components of the desktop environment inside the data center and deliver the applications, the user personality and even the OS itself on demand.
The technology itself is a server-hosted virtual desktop computing platform that centralizes endpoint images as virtual machines, rendering the endpoint device irrelevant. When needed, IT staff can quickly add or patch applications from the data center, and the next time the client accesses their image the applications and operating systems are in full corporate compliance without the need to push an update. Upgrading to Windows 7 is easier in combination with application virtualization. Disaster recovery, which has historically been aligned with server- based applications and data, can now be more easily aligned with end-user data historically stranded on the endpoint. Aside from giving the tech staff a “central control setup,” users access the same customized desktop setup from their desk or a remote location.
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