Desktop in The Cloud
Desktop virtualization might sound like truly futuristic technology, but it’s available and thriving right now. If you aren’t familiar with what this technology entails, it’s more straightforward than you might expect. A virtual desktop service or Desktop as a Service (DaaS) relates to where all the data behind a desktop is being stored. In many cases, if you can log onto your work computer from other computers, whether you’re on the work network or not, you’re likely using a virtual desktop service. That’s because the data and software, or at least some of it, is stored on a dedicated or cloud-based server, rather than being uniquely stored in your work computer itself. This is the main benefit of desktop virtualization for business.
Common Types of Hosted Virtual Desktop Services
There are various types of hosted virtual desktop solutions, and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Your entire desktop may be available, or you might have access to only specific features and applications. We’ll break down the hosted virtual desktop services below.
Remote Hosted Virtual Desktop
With this type of desktop virtualization for business, a server holds applications or an entire operating system, which numerous employees may log onto using special software. Your specific computer shows the application you are using, and anything you do via mouse or keyboard is transmitted back to the server.
This type of hosted virtual desktop service is among the least expensive. It also provides a large level of control over the applications and data seen on employee’s computers. However, you can run into issues when applications aren’t configured for shared mode. It also can be tricky for workers to use as storing data on a local machine is impossible, and most peripherals will not work with it. It also prevents login if the network itself is down.
Remote Hosted Dedicated Virtual Desktops
Unlike the option above, a dedicated virtual desktop takes things a step further. Instead of sharing an operating system or applications, the server instead serves up applications or an operating system for one specific user. This virtual machine can run on a server with other machines for other unique users. It can also be streamed or hosted remotely.
One of the advantages of this type of desktop virtualization for business is that applications will run that wouldn’t on a shared system. It also allows management to see what each user is doing and how it affects the company. The negatives are similar to those of remote hosted desktops. However, with the streamed version, users can expect better performance since graphics are running on the specific machine being used.
Remote Virtual Applications
This is pretty similar to a remotely hosted desktop, except that only applications are shared. A browser and web protocols (HTTP, SSL, etc.) are the only main requirements. These are used to ensure a shared connection to transfer data and images. The user’s machine or the server might process the graphics and information. If it is the server, the machine may send clicks and data processing to the server.
The biggest advantage of this desktop virtualization for business is that the IT team doesn’t have control over the software or hardware environment of a user. However, this can also be a disadvantage, as users can do things that affect performance. It also still will not work when in disconnected mode.
Local Virtual Applications
With this type of virtual desktop as a service, applications are stored on a server, but users can download them to their machine and run them using their computer processing power. What makes this option unique is that the applications or programs run virtually and in a sandbox. That means there are certain restrictions and rules regarding whether a machine can connect and what a user can do within the application.
With this desktop virtualization service, the applications can be run offline. Also, the performance is better than using applications which are remotely hosted. The small disadvantage, in this case, is that your IT team will not have as much control over the security of data in the application.
Local Virtual Operating System
This hosted virtual desktop service option comes in two different flavors. The first allows a supervisor on the client-side to create a virtual machine within a desktop or laptop. It can function on a standalone basis where it is separate from other software and hardware on the machine. The second option involves running on the machine’s BIOS. This means that many operating systems can be used, without one being present on the machine.
The disadvantage of a local virtual operating system is that there can be a conflict with regard to resources. However, advantages include having many operating systems on one system and being able to run on unique clients like smartphones and tablets.
Advantages of Desktop Virtualization for Business
Now that you understand the different options you have for virtual desktop as a service, it’s also critical to know why desktop virtualization services are so popular. Here are the top benefits of desktop virtualization for your business.
Simplification of Management
With everything stored, secured, and managed centrally, a hosted virtual desktop service alleviates the need for users to update, install and patch applications on single devices. Another way desktop management is simplified is through the support of older computers or thin clients. This streamlines applications and software assets needed for the company.
With hosted virtual desktop services, less money is needed for software costs and managing desktops. This can allow a company to cut IT labor since patching applications, scanning for viruses, and installing programs needs only be done once, not per machine.
With desktop virtualization for business, employees can reach documents and applications from many devices. This includes computers, as well as phones and tablets. No matter where someone is located, productivity is possible. If a device goes down or has problems, it’s simple to log into another device to continue work.
Every business is looking for ways to cut costs and increase productivity and desktop virtualization services allow for that. While there are some disadvantages to certain types of desktop virtualization for businesses, the advantages make up for it by far. Choosing the right virtual desktop service provider can lead to a workforce that is poised to handle whatever is thrown at them, without stress over security and management.