Last updated on October 7th, 2022
Remote working has led to a huge demand for hosted desktops in the market. The demand arose due to the flexibility that this model offers to employees and companies.
Hosted desktops have changed the business functionality, and they are gradually replacing the legacy physical office workstations. The market is projected to grow more and more because many small and medium enterprises are switching to hosted desktops.
What Is A Hosted Desktop?
Hosted desktop is a virtualization product that provides an instance of your local desktop from a remote server via the Internet.
Hosted desktops generally use VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) for the purpose of virtualization. VDI is a methodology used to create a virtual environment where the hardware can be segmented with the help of software like a hypervisor.
VDI segments the server into various Virtual Machines (VMs), which act as hosted desktops for an end-user. End-users can operate these hosted desktops from their personal devices.
Let’s understand the advantages of hosted desktops.
Benefits of Hosted Desktops
Flexible Remote Working
Flexibility is one of the most important aspects which every working professional looks forward to. The reason is that everyone wants to balance their personal life with their professional life.
Hosted desktops allow you to work from anywhere and anytime. Also, you can work from personal devices and switch between devices like laptops, phones, or tablets.
Using traditional desktops is always an invitation to cyberattacks and thefts because of their inadequate data security.
Hosted desktops have made it easier to handle data security. VDI offers superior authentication features not to allow any unauthorized access to your data. You can install multiple layers of firewalls to prevent malicious activities. Moreover, you can easily set up different security policies like copy and paste restrictions or others according to your requirement.
Substantial Cost Reduction
While working from the office, owners need to maintain system hardware, regularly update hardware, and provide other utilities. All of these things have a cost involved which leads to an increase in the company’s expenditure.
With hosted desktops, you can reduce many of these expenses. As employees work on virtual desktops, you will be able to minimize workstation setup costs like LAN cabling, hardware maintenance, or computer setup. Moreover, you will have reduced electricity and other utility bills as most of your workforce can work remotely, further saving expenses.
Simplified IT Infrastructure
IT infra is complex to manage when it comes to physical desktops. It becomes challenging for the IT team to identify multiple glitches in different systems when there is no central panel.
Hosted desktops allow your IT team to manage all the desktops from a central location. They can even see active and inactive desktops. Additionally, applications can be installed at a central computer location instead of installing on each desktop separately.
How Hosted Desktops Work?
As discussed in the first section of the article, hosted desktops generally work on VDI technology. Desktops can either be hosted from on-premise VDI servers or cloud VDI servers of a third-party provider.
Third-party providers are cloud service providers who offer Desktop as a Service (DaaS), where they manage all IT infra, desktop installation, or deployment-related work. In DaaS, providers host your desktops on their cloud servers.
Whichever way hosted desktops are created, general working remains the same for both. Let’s understand in a few steps.
- After deploying virtual desktops from servers, you can access them via a browser and the Internet from any personal device.
- You need to open the browser and go to the particular URL that the cloud provider gave.
- Enter your credentials, user ID, and password offered to you by admins or providers.
- Most probably, if admins have set some security policies, you must undergo a multi-factor authentication process. Here, you may need to authenticate yourself through OTP (One Time Password) on your mobile number.
- Instead of OTP on the mobile, some also use authenticator applications (like Google authenticator), giving you security tokens.
- These OTP or security tokens have to be entered while you log in to the virtual desktop.
- All the resources like Windows OS, Linux, or any application installed for you will appear on your screen. Just click on the resource, and you will be able to access your hosted desktop.
Use Cases Of Hosted Desktops
Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) is a common use case of hosted desktops. Nowadays, companies allow their employees to use their personal devices. However, personal devices are vulnerable to threat and security risks. Hosted desktops play a vital role in this case.
Companies offer employees a secure application or web-based platform which you can log in from your device. This allows you to keep your company and personal system separate while working from the same machine.
Contractor and Partner Access
Companies have to give third-party access to their contractors or partners. They can either deliver them a company laptop or give them a hosted desktop which they can directly access from their own devices.
The latter is much easier to manage for the IT team as you can deploy it quickly, and it costs less as well.
Businesses like call centers have a huge workforce that works on the same set of applications or tools and often change their workstations. Hosted desktops play a vital role in this situation because all the tools and apps are kept in a central system.
Employees can change the workstations and still access the same desired tools. This allows employees to work efficiently.
Maybe you are a company where you have regular inflow and outflow of employees. In this case, deploying a physical workstation according to the tasks of each employee and making it ready to use on time becomes a challenge.
Hosted desktops resolve these challenges. Your IT team can deploy or discard quickly, saving a lot of time. Moreover, it allows you to have optimum resource utilization so that none of your resources are kept idle for long.
Limitations of Hosted Desktop
Undoubtedly, hosted desktops offer many benefits, but it comes with certain limitations when created on an on-premise VDI.
- You and your team have to manage all the IT complexities by themselves. Resolving glitches may waste your crucial time.
- Physical desktops and storage are more vulnerable to thefts and cruel practices.
- Servers and other hardware involved need huge upfront capital.
- You have to get involved in an endless cycle of purchasing and upgrading hardware.
- You may not have any technical support at night, which may hamper your productivity.
Many of these limitations can become your strength if you opt for hosted desktops created on cloud VDI servers, also known as Cloud Hosted Desktops.
Why Hosted Desktops on Cloud VDI?
Cloud-hosted desktops created by managed service providers have some additional benefits and help cope with the challenges of on-premise VDI. Let’s see how it resolves the above challenges:
- In cloud-hosted desktops, providers manage all your IT and remove the burden off your shoulders.
- Providers offer best security practices like multi-factor authentication to keep your data with utmost safety. Moreover, cloud data centers provide physical security of storage space as well.
- As virtual desktops are deployed from cloud data centers, you don’t need to purchase physical servers.
- Providers will manage all the software renewals and licensing. It will be all done in the backend without wasting your working hours.
- Providers offer continuous round-the-clock IT support.
Hosted desktops have changed business functionalities. In the era of remote working, it has been a boon to employees and the company.
According to your business requirements, you need to opt for hosted desktops, either on-premise or the cloud.
Companies around the world are moving towards hosted desktops on a cloud infra due to its immense benefits.
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