October 3, 2013

What is VDI, and how can it improve your cloud solution?

In recent years, we have seen a rapid increase in the demand for cloud computing services in the business market. While initially cloud technology was often met with skepticism, over a short time it has earned credibility and attracted users at an overwhelming rate. As more companies continue to make the switch to hosted environments, they are introduced to the concept of VDI services. It seems that while many businesses searching for cloud computing providers have heard of VDI, they typically have only a vague understanding of it. Really, it’s not complicated at all. In fact, VDI was created in an effort to simplify cloud solutions.

What is VDI?

VDI, or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, is an accessory technology to cloud computing. Built for convenience, VDI setups allow users to access their hosted applications from one centralized location.  You can think of VDI as an alternative desktop that operates entirely in the cloud.

How is a VDI setup different from a traditional Cloud setup?

The IT design is fundamentally different for both setups on a structural level. Your IT application services, however, remain the same in both structures. In other words, you can access the same hosted applications working in either a VDI setup or a traditional cloud setup. The difference is in how these hosted applications are accessed in each infrastructure. Traditional Cloud Setup With a traditional cloud setup, clients log onto their computers and access their hosted applications via their regular, local desktop. Because this setup was designed to be familiar and user-friendly, it operates the same way local applications do (just as they did before migrating to the cloud). Each application has its own icon on the regular desktop and users must manually save all data in the cloud.  When data is not specifically saved to the hosted servers, it could instead save to the users’ local desktop (which is risky, because it can result in data loss). It is generally easier for users to save data in the “wrong” location when operating in a traditional cloud setup. VDI setup The VDI option is designed to do away with minor inconveniences associated with accessing hosted applications directly via a local desktop.  Instead of accessing each application individually via the local desktop, VDI users open an alternate desktop by clicking on a single icon located on their regular desktop. Once the virtual desktop is open, any application the user works in automatically saves data to the Cloud. VDI makes saving data to hosted servers simple, while still giving clients the option to manually save data to their local servers

What does VDI look like?

Each provider has their own ‘flavor’ VDI product with a unique IT design–no two setups are exactly alike. However, there are some general properties they all share. Picture the cloud-based desktop mentioned above, physically laying on top of your regular desktop and covering it to take its place. With the VDI desktop open, all of your hosted applications are easily accessible, while the local versions remain on the regular desktop.

Why are so many business opting for VDI services from their IT provider?

Since virtual desktops make saving data easier for users, there are fewer data related incidents during the workday. Facilitated data storage also makes data sharing and locating files easier, which can eliminate unnecessary hiccups during the workday and increase productivity. Additionally, utilizing a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure can expand the lifetime of onsite equipment. Using a virtual desktop helps ensure that most of the data created is stored on hosted servers, saving memory space in onsite equipment. We can’t speak for other IT providers, but Cetrom’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure also gives users additional IT application services. For example, Cetrom’s virtual desktop offers more flexibility of programs and plugins than a traditional Cloud setup. Our virtual desktop is fully customizable and can be tailored to individual users. To learn more about how Cetrom’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure can benefit your business, click here or contact us.

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