IT managers today are facing more viruses, security threats, security updates, and data protection issues than ever before. Maintaining a large amount of desktop machines one by one is time consuming and very expensive. Windows licensing is also expensive and upgrades can be a nightmare (Windows XP to Vista).
What if there was a solution that would remove the need for maintenance on physical desktop computers and placed them in a virtualized environment? Virtualized Desktop Infrastructures (VDI) deserve a real look for SMB’s in todays Software virtualizing desktop computers is becoming commonplace for most large companies. Virtual Desktops are housed in a data center on large servers utilizing NAS for backing up. Users connect through a dummy terminal or thin client loaded on to an already existing desktop computer. No expensive desktop is required as the server is doing all of the processing. The local dummy terminal or thin client can even be a linux computer reducing costs.
The experience is identical to having a physical computer sitting on their desktop. Employees would not even know their ‘computer’ was located in a data center miles away.
Virtualization has many benefits, but the most relevant are:
- Security Updates – Can be pushed out at once to all VDI’s
- Data Security – Housed in Data Centers and not physical machines in office
- Maintenance – Reduced man hours
- Same Desktop even when traveling
- Reduced Power Costs
- Fewer Software Licenses
- Management Efficiencies
VDI can also be accessed from the road, employee home, and from customer location. This provides a uniform platform that saves money on laptops and other expensive ‘Remote PC Connection’ type software that would still be physical. Employees can be more productive by having all of their files and information on an VDI no matter where they are in the World.
Reduced Deployment Time
Another time consuming issue with maintaining a physical desktop is provisioning of new equipment. VDI’s can be provisioned in minutes eliminating the need to order a customized employee desktop or laptop computer. No need to call Dell and wait a week and pay several thousand dollars. IT will then need to configure the computer for the new employee and secure it. In addition, a backup solution may be required adding even more time to the process. VDI’s can be configured in advance using a template. Based on the job role of the new employee, IT can deploy a VDI in minutes based on this specific function, all configured and ready to go.
Backing up desktop computers for critical systems can also be easily handled under a VDI solution. Backing up to an NAS can be automated and care free. VDI has another advantage over local backups – they are offsite in a secure environment. Most data centers now employ fire suppression, APC power, and diesel generators, and on duty security guards. This would cost a normal business hundreds of thousands of dollars to emulate.
If VDI sounds like something your company should explore, we have performed a bit of research on the matter and suggest…
Parallels Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Visit their web site and you will find resources such as a calculator to factor in your cost savings by employing a VDI solution.