What is Desktop Virtualization Technology & its types

Desktop virtualization is a technology that enables users to emulate a virtualized workspace environment from any connected device by separating desktop environment from client device. 

The global desktop virtualization market is growing rapidly. Majorly, every industry is adopting virtualization models for having on-demand access to business resources. The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 24.74% to reach $43.897 billion by 2025. 

Virtualization eliminates the investment required for bulky physical desktops, resulting in reduced IT expenses. It’s a fast way to give on-demand access to the workforce while simplifying the workload for IT. 

Desktop virtualization is a technology that caters to distinct business needs differently. Some firms require a customized approach to fulfill their virtualization requirements, and hence they need to choose amongst the diverse deployment models available. 

Desktop virtualization is a software-based technology that enables the creation of a virtualized desktop environment on on-premise or remote servers. Virtualization eliminates the use of bulky physical desktops in the local premises, resulting in reduced IT hassles and expenses.

There are two types of virtualization technologies that constitute Server Virtualization, which houses an organization’s servers on-premises. The other is Client Virtualization, also known as desktop virtualization, which leverages a business’s network to host all company data and apps in the cloud. We’ll discuss the types of client/desktop virtualization in cloud computing further in the blog. 

Cyber Safe your Intra Organizational Activities with Desktop Virtualization


Types of Virtualization Models 

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

VDI or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is a technology that creates a virtualized environment by segmenting the servers into different virtual machines (VMs). In Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), the client operating system (OS) runs on a virtual machine with a dedicated set of applications. The user can access the desktops with the underlying apps, just like a physical system.  

VDI gives each user dedicated storage on the VM with specific vCPU, RAM, and memory— to operate from Hypervisor, a software layer that runs the virtual machine.  

Also read: What is VDI, and how does it work? 

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Remote Desktop Services (RDS) 

In Remote Desktop Services (RDS), each user can remotely access the Windows desktop sessions through a shared virtual machine. Here, the users are not isolated, and multiple users are working on a shared VM that decreases the hardware or infra utilization. Earlier known as Microsoft terminal services, RDS helps you in hassle-free remote working.  

Though RDS looks more simple and less expensive than VDI or DaaS, it’s not scalable. Moreover, it’s not the best fit for high-performance app operations. As users are working on a shared VM residing on remote desktop servers, they might not get a user-friendly experience. 

It is always recommended to opt for a manager RDS service from a provider who can give the proper idea according to your business requirement. 

Also read: What Is RDS And What Are The Benefits Of RDS? 

Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

Desktop as a service (DaaS) is a service that hosts virtual desktops on a third-party provider’s cloud. Basically, DaaS is a managed version of VDI where you get all the benefits of virtual desktops by hosting it on the cloud. 

Unlike on-premise VDI, DaaS offers cloud-hosted virtual desktops with pre-installed applications and tools operated by the end-users from their device. A third-party cloud hosting provider manages virtual desktops and apps for you, from deployment to updates. 

With DaaS, your applications and information are stored in providers’ data centers with high-end security measures. It also offers on-demand scalability at a nominal cost and helps you reduce your on-premise infra. Providers offer you a pay-as-you-go model, and hence you can shift your expense from CapEx to OpEx. 

What is Desktop Virtualization Technology & What Are The Types of Virtualization?

How To Choose: VDI Vs. RDS Vs. DaaS 

VDI is a solid option for businesses that can invest big in setting up infrastructure and associated servers and hardware. Moreover, it needs IT expertise to manage all infrastructure components. No doubt, VDI performance is the best; it lets you function on highly computer-intensive applications without any lag. But its cost is what makes it a bit of a demanding option. 

RDS is ideal for those where multiple employees need to access some specific applications that are less graphic intensive. It delivers managed remote desktops; thus, you don’t require a team to administer the infrastructure. 

DaaS is a cost-effective model for SMBs as it offers a virtualized environment with a flexible pricing option where you don’t need an in-house setup of infrastructure. It tends to be a fully managed solution offering scalability, security, and high performance to the users. 

Businesses are moving towards DaaS more as it delivers highly managed desktops that don’t require huge investment, and the firm can pay on a subscription basis. 

Citrix Gartner: 2021 Market Guide for Desktop as a Service states’ 72% of surveyed organizations have invested or will invest in DaaS within two years.’ 

Companies that adopt desktops as a service get a secure workplace where the DaaS providers ensure security and upgrades are done efficiently. Additionally, it works best for firms with a distributed workforce so that the employees can access all data from any location at any time. Remote workers can access virtual desktops from any connected device (laptop, PC, smartphone, or thin clients) 

InfrastructureVirtual desktops are hosted on an off-site physical server.Remote desktops are hosted on Windows Servers.DaaS hosts virtual desktops in third-party service providers’ cloud
ComplexityRequires IT team to set up servers and handle critical computationsRequires windows server desktop environmentDoesn’t require critical management tasks and upgrades
CostExpensive; it needs deploying up massive supporting infrastructureLess costly as compared to VDIWorks on a pay-as-you-go model, and you pay only for the number of desktops you use as a subscription
ScalabilityScaling resources is challenging as it involves hardware upgrades.Some scope of scalability in remote desktopsYou can quickly scale up and scale-down resources.
PerformanceIdeal for those who need to work on computer-intensive tasksIdeal for those where multiple employees work on similar applicationIdeal for those who need to work on high graphics-intensive apps to work in remote areas
IntegrationIntegrating applications into a VDI model can sometimes become difficult.Integrating is difficult.You can integrate other applications easily into a DaaS model.

Benefits Of Desktop Virtualization 

Enhances Productivity 

Desktop virtualization offers elevated flexibility to the employees in terms of location and time. With remote working in place, desktop virtualization in cloud computing enables employees to contribute and deliver better performance, irrespective of geographical location. 

Supports Multi-devices and Gives High Performance

Virtual desktops can support various devices. Whether your employees are working on laptops, mobiles, or tablets, they can get a workstation-like experience across a variety of devices. Moreover, you can support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) so that they can sometimes work from the office and sometimes from home with enhanced flexibility and comfort. You can work on graphic intensive applications without facing a performance lag, even on an old device. 

Centralizes Management 

Virtualization technology allows IT to manage infra to their best by consolidating their data in a centralized server. Moreover, virtual solutions make it feasible for them to control a vast workforce from a central IT infra and provide centralized desktops, which means you get the same interface on any device you use. 

By minimizing the need to manage multiple physical endpoints, you can have more control over the admin and security. The IT manager can do all the upgrading and updating on the central servers without hampering the end user’s time. Therefore, with desktop virtualization, companies require fewer IT resources to manage the infra, reducing the cost of purchasing heavy equipment. 

Know more: Remote Desktop Services (RDS) vs. Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)  

Robust Security

The most critical aspect for any business is customer data security. However, data can be lost due to user negligence or malfunction when the data is stored on end-user physical desktops. 

Desktop virtualization in cloud computing centralizes the level of security by which users can access the application remotely. Keeping security in mind, virtualization stores the data in a data center instead of an end-user device. Therefore, you get a centralized storage space for the data. Moreover, the admin can control the desktops from a central server and set passwords to protect files.  

If you opt for managed desktop virtualization solutions, the cloud provider stores your data in high-security data centers under 24/7 surveillance and infrastructure redundancy. Also, you get data stored under multiple safeguards like OS patching and hardening, Intrusion Detection and Mechanism, multi-factor authentication, and end-to-end data encryption. These features will help keep your data safe from hackers and resolve data breach and cyber threat problems.  

Simplifies Management 

Virtualization helps you reduce your on-premise servers and hardware. However, it depends on the model you choose. Like, if you are selecting on-premise models such as VDI, you may not be able to reduce your servers, but you may also reduce your physical desktops and cabling. 

However, if you choose managed DaaS model, you don’t need to keep bulky servers in your premises. You also don’t need to maintain and manage an endless cycle of purchasing, upgrading, and updating the desktops. Your firm can maintain a single virtual machine template for all employees rather than reconfiguring individual computers for different employees. 

Saves Front-end Costs 

Desktop virtualization enables you to shift your initial desktop investment capital expenses to operating expenses. As the processing power of any task performed is delivered via VMs, you can utilize the older end-user devices for work operations. Therefore, it extends the end-user device lifecycle. 

Initially, VDI and RDS require investment in hypervisor software and other front-end infrastructure. On the other end, DaaS offers you a pay-as-you-go model, and you don’t need upfront capital for servers. Furthermore, you can quickly minimize infra and hardware maintenance expenses as providers do all the work. Moreover, in all the virtualization models, fewer hardware devices and desktops are running on your office premises, helping you cut your office power expense. 

Know how DaaS proves to be a cost-effective solution for businesses 


What Type Of Virtualization Should You Deploy To Provide A Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?   

Several types of desktop virtualization technologies can be used to provide a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Some standard options include:  

  1. Server-based virtualization: This type of virtualization involves creating virtual machines on a physical server, which users can then access remotely.  
  2. Client-based virtualization: This type of virtualization involves installing virtualization software on the client device, such as a laptop or desktop, and creating virtual machines that run on that device.  
  3. Hosted virtualization: This type of virtualization involves hosting virtual machines on a remote server, which users over the internet can access.  
  4. Remote desktop services: This virtualization involves installing remote desktop software on a server, allowing users to access a remote desktop from their own device.  

Ultimately, the type of virtualization technology that is best for a given organization will depend on its specific needs and resources. It is essential to carefully consider the requirements and objectives of the VDI and the available resources to select the most appropriate solution. 

Desktop Virtualization Vs. App Virtualization 

Application virtualization is a process to insulate the specific application to the operating system to give you a user experience similar to a physical device. It basically abstracts the individual application and provides its access to the user. In contrast, desktop virtualization insulates the entire virtual desktop with a set of OS and applications and makes them accessible to users via any device. 

App virtualization has a single virtual app. Therefore, the maintenance is simplified; whereas desktop virtualization has multiple apps, the management must be vast. Desktop virtualization demands configuration, setup, patching, and management. 

Desktop virtualization is done with high computing servers. The user can efficiently operate compute-intensive applications from any location. On the other hand, application virtualization might not work this way. Graphic-intensive applications demand storage and a solid network connection. Compute-intensive applications can suffer slowdowns causing visible lag that will give you a worse user experience than a physical device. 

Also Read: VDI vs. DaaS: Which is better for your business? 

Desktop Virtualization vs. Server Virtualization

Server virtualization abstracts the operating system into a VM from the underlying infrastructure. Here, multiple virtual machines run on a single server and give access from different devices. It improves server utilization and reduces the number of servers needed by a company to run the VM.  

Desktop virtualization creates a new virtual desktop separate from a physical client device. This connects the application with the cloud, thus giving remote access to different devices. Desktop virtualization technology has been proven to increase employee productivity as it frees them from restricted to office confinements. 

Ace Managed Desktop Virtualization Solutions to Empower Your Workplace

Ace Cloud Hosting offers some of the industry’s most comprehensive desktop virtualization solutions on the Citrix platform. With Citrix-managed virtual desktops, users get secured access to all the apps and data they need from any device and location—all while streamlining IT.  

With us, you get fully managed Virtual Desktops alongside scalability, taking advantage of the pay-as-you-go model while maximizing the existing device lifecycle. Complete security and backup tools allow data access across your hybrid environment, no matter where the staff is working. And if you’re new to desktop virtualization, you can get a hands-on experience with our free trial. Also, our experts can guide you through — in a matter of minutes. 

About Julie Watson

Julie is a dynamic professional with over 16 years of rich experience as a VDI and Application Hosting expert. At Ace Cloud Hosting, she humanizes disruptive and emerging remote working trends to help leaders discover new and better possibilities for digital transformation and innovation by using cloud solutions with an enterprise-class security approach. Beyond work, Julie is a passionate surfer.
On the weekend, you will find her hanging out with her family or surfing around the North Shore of Oahu.

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