VDI: Setting Up Virtual Workspaces for Your Business

Tim Fischer 9/21/2023

Here you will learn how you can set up a virtual workspace for your company with VDI.

Table of contents
  1. What does virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) mean?
  2. How does VDI work?
  3. What are the benefits of a virtual desktop infrastructure?
  4. 5 Use Cases of Virtual Desktop Infrastructures
  5. What needs to be considered when implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure?
  6. Which tools are suitable?
  7. VDI: The Workplace of the Future

With the increasing importance of hybrid and remote work, many companies are relying on a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). This technology provides secure and efficient virtual workspaces for employees both within and outside the company. But what characterises a VDI? What benefits does it offer your company? And what tools are there? We answer all these questions in this article.

What does virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) mean?

VDI stands for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. It is a virtualisation technique in which desktop environments are hosted on a central server. Virtual machines are used to run desktop images. These are then made available to the end customers via a network. This allows employees to access the virtual workspace from any device.

The virtual desktop infrastructure consists of several main components:

  • VDI Client:the user device that connects to the virtual machines (VM)
  • VDI Broker: It acts as an intermediary between the user device and the servers. The VDI broker also takes over the authentication and authorisation of users.
  • VDI Server:hosts the virtual machines
  • Virtual Machines: via this, employees can access the virtual VDI desktop to carry out the desired tasks.
  • Hypervisor:This software allows the host computer to support multiple virtual machines by managing and sharing the available resources.

How does VDI work?

In a VDI system, users connect to the virtual desktops via the VDI broker. The VDI broker authenticates all users and forwards them to a virtual desktop instance. This is hosted on virtual machines which are created and managed by the hypervisor.

Once the users are in a virtual desktop, they see a replica of the master PC. The Master Desktop stores all required applications and distributes them via application virtualisation.

What are the benefits of a virtual desktop infrastructure?

The main advantages of VDI solutions include:

Accessibility:The main reason for setting up a VDI environment is to improve accessibility for users. Regardless of where the employees are, they have the necessary applications and data available to carry out tasks such as participating in virtual meetings.

Flexibility:With a VDI, users do not need special hardware to access and use their virtual desktop. They can simply use smartphones, tablets, laptops or home computers for this.

Increased Security:The centralised administration and data storage provides more security within the virtual desktop infrastructure. There is no risk of data loss if, for example, a piece of hardware is stolen from the end user. All data is stored in the data centre hosting the server running the virtual machines.

Lower Costs: With a VDI, your employees work from their own devices. So you do not have to worry about buying physical hardware for all employees. Also, you do not have to worry about outdated hardware affecting performance, as all resources are pulled from the remote server.

Improved User Experience:The VDI environment ensures that users have all the resources they need to fulfill their tasks. They have the comfort of working from anywhere and on any device, without having to accept performance losses.

5 Use Cases of Virtual Desktop Infrastructures

Below you will find some use cases for virtual desktop infrastructures from various industries:

Healthcare: With a VDI, medical professionals can access patient records and important applications from any device at any time. This not only ensures seamless patient care. It also meets the industry's stringent data security requirements, as sensitive patient data is stored on a central server, not on individual devices.

Education: Schools and universities can use virtual desktop infrastructures to enable pupils and students to access educational resources and software from any location. This encourages a flexible learning environment, which was particularly beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance: Financial institutions handle highly sensitive data. Every breach can have serious consequences. To reduce the risk of data loss or theft, VDI systems centralize the data of these institutions. In addition, updates can be rolled out across the entire infrastructure at the same time - this simplifies the implementation and compliance with the various regulations.

Manufacturing: Manufacturing processes often involve complex software and applications. It can be difficult to manage these across multiple workstations. A VDI solution simplifies this process by centralizing the applications on a single server. This not only increases efficiency, but also reduces costs for software licenses and hardware maintenance.

IT:In the IT industry, virtual desktop infrastructures are used to enable Remote Work for all staff. This reduces the need for physical office spaces and enables a more flexible working environment. In addition, IT management is simplified as updates and patches can be deployed simultaneously for all virtual desktops. This not only saves time, but also ensures all systems are up-to-date and secure.

What needs to be considered when implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure?

Below you will find some factors that you should consider when implementing a VDI environment in your company:

User Requirements: As already mentioned, VDI solutions offer many advantages. However, for the end users, virtual desktops are no help if they do not meet their expectations and do not provide the necessary performance.

Memory:In a VDI environment, storage and performance of the virtual desktops are centralized. Therefore, the system must be able to meet the performance requirements of end users - even if everyone accesses the server at the same time. If the system does not have sufficient capacity, performance problems may occur, negatively affecting the user experience.

Costs: The implementation of a VDI solution is associated with various cost factors. These include the license costs, which result from the number of users who use the VDI solution. In addition. There are costs for the server infrastructure. This includes the administration of the virtual machines as well as the licensing and storage. There are also operating costs, as a dedicated IT team must manage and maintain the consolidation of services and hardware.

Self-Setup or Purchase: Depending on the size and nature of your company, you may consider setting up and managing your own virtual desktop solution. But before you start, you should consider a few things:

  • IT personnel:Does your staff have the expertise and qualifications to build and manage your own VDI system? Do they have the current capacities to handle this additional workload?
  • The Infrastructure:Are there already servers, the licensing, the memory and the network services needed to provide your own VDI solution? If not, what would it cost to do it yourself?

Features: Most VDI software come with the following features:

  • Desktop Virtualization Platform
  • Connection protocols (RDP, Blast, PCoIP, HDX, RDSH)
  • Management and security tools such as Cloud Security
  • Performance Management and Reporting

However, depending on the business requirements and user needs, you may need to customize the VDI solution and integrate additional tools. This of course costs more, especially if your business processes are complex. To avoid excessive expenses, you should therefore decide which features are mandatory and which are optional for your system.

Which tools are suitable?

The biggest VDI programs on the market currently include Microsoft VDI, , , Azure Virtual Desktop and Amazon WorkSpaces. Depending on your company size, you may need to invest a bit in these solutions.

For small and medium enterprises that want to test out virtual workspaces there are also the following tools:

VDI: The Workplace of the Future

VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) enables a virtual desktop setup so that employees can work from any device and location. It also uses central adoption so the system is always up-to-date. It also protects sensitive company data.

Even if an employee loses their device, no data will be lost, as it is not stored on the device. All in all, Virtual Desktop Infrastructures offer an innovative solution for companies wanting to offer their employees remote work options while also reducing the cost of physical hardware.

Tim Fischer
Author
Tim Fischer

Tim ist ein freiberuflicher Journalist / Content Writer, der OMR Reviews in den Bereichen Marketing und Softwares unterstützt. Seit seinem Onlinejournalismus-Studium schreibt er unter anderem für Computer Bild, XING und Finanzcheck.de. Wenn er nicht gerade am Texten ist, spielt er auf seiner Stratocaster die Klänge von Hendrix, Frusciante und Gilmour nach.

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