Cloud-hosted desktop or Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD) or hosted VDI have many names, but what are its actual pros & cons while deploying this architecture to any business? To elaborate more on this topic, “Is Hosted VDI Good or Bad for Business,” the Ace Cloud Hosting team reached out to an industry expert Chuck Brady for his views.
Chuck Brady is a Vice President of the Americas at Liquit, the technology platform that delivers every application, running on every platform, to every user, on any device. His top skills include leadership, startups, and SaaS. He previously worked with a SaaS startup as a business transformation consultant, where he assisted in creating repeatable and scalable business strategies. Graduated from the College of DuPage, Chuck has diverse experience as a co-founder, vice president, sales leadership & many more positions.
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Let’s find out what he said.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) separates the desktop environment and its associated application software from the physical client device used to access it. VDI is typically used in conjunction with application virtualization to provide centralized management and delivery of both the desktop image and the applications.
For instance, having this to IT’s advantage, it is much simpler to control a more complete desktop disaster recovery strategy as most of the traditional desktop elements reside on the server or, in some cases, in the cloud. Having the data reside in a centralized location, the restore factors are much easier in the event of lost or stolen hardware. VDI is also an easy and straightforward infrastructure to manage as well since the image can be centrally managed by IT, isolating the user from any of the desktop complexity.
Now it’s obvious that a server or cloud-hosted desktop is an outstanding solution to deliver desktop images to users with fewer hardware requirements, more security, and remote access capabilities. However, out of the box, VDI requires a deeper skill-set and capabilities to deploy.
While the cost savings from an operational standpoint bring a lot of value, VDI can add its own set of costs in ancillary software, tools, time, and technologies required to deploy. The challenge is ensuring the balance between the investment and the value you receive. It’s always best to employ a service provider to assist with creating an effective strategy and one that can help in the execution phase as well.
Things to Consider when implementing VDI Security
Secure access to images, applications, and data are paramount in a virtual world. In most cases, simplifying the management of users, devices, and applications is much easier with VDI, however, not without its challenges.
In most cases, users are required to log in and out of multiple screens to access applications installed on their device, like SaaS, and virtualized. So, multiple browser tabs and screens with multiple logins and passwords are required to accomplish their day-to-day tasks. Although the best experience for the user is to implement a single sign-on (SSO), it’s best to have one image with all applications within that image for any given user to truly gain the advantage.
Otherwise, investing in a VPN is the next best avenue to take as there needs to be some checks and balances for users who want to access their virtual desktop from the Wi-Fi at the airport. Although bandwidth is always an issue, with a VPN, the bandwidth might be less of a concern because, without a VPN or secure access gateway, you are opening your organization to security implications that could be catastrophic.
Investing in a hosted VDI is an ideal situation as all elements are virtual and in the cloud, while the service provider manages all of the ancillary requirements such as security, access management, bandwidth, and endpoints.
Easier to Manage than a Typical Desktop Infrastructure
Although delivering software may be less arduous in a VDI environment, you need to invest in an application delivery platform to deliver applications to remote devices efficiently. Although these technologies are expensive, the advantage of delivering software by one-to-many as opposed to many-by- one is a huge advantage in a distributed environment. Another advantage of software delivery platforms is their ability to manage endpoints as well. These platforms provide a single-pane device management capability, as well as the ability to manage security across all devices, rather than just one device at a time. Nonetheless, a hosted VDI environment encompasses all aspects of management from the application to the endpoint, which is literally a hands-off operations solution.
To truly gain value from a VDI environment, you need to invest in additional tools and technologies. However, VDI is designed to support organizations for the modern age. Although most technologies were originally designed for on-prem and bare metal, then re-designed for VDI. Others have gaps in functionality that are crucial for efficiency. At the same time, others were designed strictly to manage a single OS or strictly mobile.
Nonetheless, there are very few platforms that encompass managing the entire life cycle from COTS application patch and release management, internally developed application management, packaging, user contextual application delivery, single sign-on, workspace, work with every device, open to integrate with almost every necessary platform, flexible, and cost-effective.
These technologies genuinely drive a high degree of value in a Hosted VDI environment as well. Any way you look at it, Hosted VDI is great for business, especially those seeking to modernize and manage a remote workforce. The value and advantages certainly outweigh any of the additional investments required in tools and technologies. It really boils down to tapping into the right expertise and executing an effective strategy.
Let’s have a look at the flexible cloud-hosted VDI pricing plans offered by Ace Cloud Hosting.