What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)?

By September 8, 2022 IT Insight
Woman working from home on her laptop.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, or VDI, is a technology that has existed for some time. Historically, VDI has been attainable only by enterprise businesses with teams dedicated to building, managing, and maintaining a complex system. Over the last several years, the concept of VDI as a Service (VDIaaS) has extended the capabilities, security, and effectiveness of VDI to small and mid-size businesses.

VDIaaS allows businesses without the in-house skillset or capacity to realize the benefits and advantages of VDI. Quality VDIaaS providers allow for rapid adoption of this technology without heavy upfront capital investment in hardware, licensing, and resources that will require re-purchase and maintenance to run effectively.

By leveraging VDIaaS, workloads shift from local PCs and laptops to a system hosted on a server. A consistent and familiar experience is available while enabling deep control over performance, security, and data management. Taking the advantages of a data center or cloud-based server infrastructure (check out our article here for the difference) and extending it to the end-user experience can take a business to the next level.

How does VDI work?*

  • Virtual desktops live within virtual machines on a centralized server infrastructure (in a data center or the cloud).
  • Each virtual desktop is built from an image, which includes the Operating System that users interact with, like Windows 10.
  • Virtual desktops are host-based, which means that many instances can be run on the same server systems.
  • Users connect to virtual desktops from their devices (PCs, laptops, thin clients, etc.) over a local network, WAN, or the internet.
  • Software called a connection broker manages the interaction between users and their VDI instance, building and maintaining connectivity.

Many challenges that hinder productivity and create headaches when it comes to IT, especially for end users, can be reduced by using VDI. A provider with knowledge and experience implementing VDIaaS will deliver a well-performing, highly secure, and easily accessible experience.

What are the benefits of VDIaaS?

  • Consistency of experience, regardless of location. The same apps, data, and desktop are available to users no matter where they log in.
  • Cost savings by shifting compute from local systems to host servers. Devices like PCs, laptops, and thin clients used to access VDIaaS can be low-powered and generally have a longer, useful lifespan.
  • Enhanced security with all data and app access is happening on a server inside a data center or cloud. No data is stored on the local system that could be potentially lost, damaged, or compromised.
  • Centralized management and deployment of software mean that upgrades no longer have to be done by touching each user’s computer. An update or change to an image is pushed to all users simultaneously, making training and user adoption easier.

Calyx’s Virtual Desktop, Framework, brings teams together in a fully managed, cloud-based environment where they can work with less risk, hassle, and disruption.  This all adds up to a new level of business agility—and a serious competitive edge.

*Citrix: What is VDI?