Transforming IT Infrastructure: How VDI Can Help

Introduction

Today, businesses demand versatile IT solutions capable of performing several functions and outdated technologies no longer fulfill this requirement. Take the example of the best PCs which provide solid performance but create clutter and demand through maintenance. This indicates that what they lack in one area, they make up for in another. Such resources demonstrate unpredictability and inconsistency, and it makes sense for businesses to re-evaluate their IT infrastructure. Left unresolved, this could lead to operational bottlenecks that have the potential to greatly hinder operations. Some common challenges related to PCs include high energy bills, lack of remote accessibility, and the inability to facilitate a safe infrastructure for data security.

Here is the million dollar question. How can organizations enhance IT systems to keep up with evolving work trends, boost performance, and improve their bottom line?

A Solid Candidate

Companies are embracing Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) as a simple, flexible, and affordable way to manage computers. The technology hosts desktop operating systems and data on a centralized server and deploy them to end clients on demand. Primarily, it involves the process of segmenting servers into virtual desktops which users can access remotely through VDI client software. Virtual machines (VMs), which are controlled through management software, host these desktops. This consolidates IT infrastructure into a technological model that streamlines management, secures data, enables mobile access, and reduces TCO.

Two key factors guide the decision-making process of organizations when it comes to choosing IT solutions. Firstly, in case of VDI systems, experts discuss the ways in which they revamp backend processes and eliminate administrative load. The second builds on the first in terms of how these improvements support niche elements of business. For instance, an architectural design firm using virtual workstations makes it easier to accommodate power users in graphics-intensive applications involving CAD/CAM innovation. Similarly, VDI deployments in schools and colleges support virtual labs to provide students realistic training environments for on-premise applications.

A systematic and strategic approach to virtualization delivers transformative impact that allows businesses to stay ahead of the competition. Think along the lines of a dynamic and easy to use solution which connects application and data repositories. It cuts red tape and allows staff to perform tasks such as using timecards, sending emails, and accessing shortcuts. The good part is that all this can be done in one place from any device.

Businesses also receive a whole range of other benefits that reduce TCO and guarantee long-term ROI. Realistically, the first step is to conduct a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure assessment. This will give a better idea of the feasibility of an implementation strategy. Work with a trusted partner who can design and implement a customized plan that boosts productivity and mitigates computing risks.

Let’s analyze how Virtual Desktop Infrastructure benefits contribute to a successful IT infrastructure.

Security

In this digital era, hacking is a key security threat which SMBs are particularly susceptible to. Failing to follow security best practices increases chances of unsuspecting users contributing to cyber breach attempts. Sometimes, even vigilant employees may fall prey to phishing or manipulation scams. Hence, the question: what is the use of having impenetrable firewalls and flawlessly patched systems if the problem concerns users? Similarly, why have dynamic access policies and perfectly trained staff if companies are running vulnerable or unsupported software?

Virtual desktop environments help businesses focus on customers and operations minus the pain of dealing with potential malware and virus attacks. Here is how it works. The data center, a major component that comes with virtualization, is well-protected with advanced measures and perimeter technology. This makes it inherently the most secure place where critical information is stored, and nothing resides on endpoints which support the infrastructure. Using ClearCube Thin Clients further adds to endpoint protection, especially with our Cloud Desktop OS which IT can install locally or network boot for Zero Client-like security.

There are some key points to know when we refer to VDI architecture. Essentially, information never leaves the virtualization platform because it eliminates local data storage. Instead, data is stored in remote locations such as cloud servers if one works with a hosted desktop provider. Companies can ensure data security and integrity even if a device is damaged as it only facilitates access to the remote server. An employee simply needs to know their username and password to access their information from any device. Also, businesses need not worry in the event a device is stolen. This is because unwelcome intruders cannot access any information without the necessary login credentials.

Administrators can customize permissions and rules on the basis of individual virtual desktops. This is a valued feature especially in sensitive industries where privacy is a top concern. By assigning specific permissions, workers can only view material relevant to work on their systems.

Pro Tip

Consider virtualization for sales representatives, field technicians, and offsite users. They are often on the road and need a reliable means of accessing their work tools and applications. VDI solutions provide secure access to a consistent and robust desktop experience with time, location, and device independence.

Flexibility

The modern workplace has undergone many changes over the years. Today, users can work from practically anywhere, be it their homes, coffee shops, or thousands of miles away from their offices. While this trend considerably improves productivity, it also brings some challenges. For example, how does one make sure that users are not utilizing a compromised network connection? Is every employee using the same apps for the sake of uniformity and flawless collaboration? This is where virtualization comes in. It goes beyond safeguarding companies from the security risks and threats associated with staff working remotely. The platform guarantees that they have all the required applications and IT can even roll out key upgrades straight from the datacenter.

Employees having extensive technology options such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones brings us to yet another point. It goes without saying that users do not wish to be limited in how they choose to engage with their companies’ computing assets. With virtualization, the mobile workforce gets to enjoy the same experience as if they were sitting in front of regular PCs. Hence, those who travel frequently or undertake remote assignments can maximize efficiency and deliver consistent results. Basically, employees can use Thin Clients, PCs, Linux, and Apple devices-practically anything of their choice as they are connecting to a central desktop image. This enhances the remote desktop experience because an image of the primary desktop is displayed, rather than an alternate and blank image.

Did You Know?

Companies do face problems in offsite scenarios where users take paperwork home, store office emails on a personal server, or neglect regulatory laws. Centralizing information in a secure cloud and delivering it through a virtualized setup takes the backend data out of employees’ reach. This ensures that intellectual property cannot be damaged, stolen, or shared with unauthorized parties.

Pro Tip

IT rules and processes are crucial for all this to be realized effectively. Focus on building or buying a single, quality data center which every user connects to. Ultimately, elements such as high-performance storage, end-to-end security, powerful servers, and networking matter. Concentrate on delivering a centralized, OS, and device-agnostic platform that can be customized to meet unique and specific demands. You can always contact the ClearCube team for further details on this.

Simplicity

Preparing user workstations is often a tedious and stressful process especially in large companies. It involves time wasting tasks like allocating physical space, installing software and operating systems, and setting permissions. Imagine bringing twenty new hires on board at the same time and having to provision their desktops. This can potentially lead to extra labor expenses, maintenance, and downtime in the worst-case scenarios. Also, what if one is scaling down and would like to decrease the number of desktops? What will they do with the physical machines?

Virtual technology solves this by greatly reducing the time and support costs of setting up user computers. Firstly, every update is performed on the host computer and then pushed out to employee workstations. Companies can even use low-cost Thin Clients and Zero Clients as workstations since the host PC is responsible for all the heavy lifting. Moreover, computing staff can quickly view, add, delete, and control virtual desktops through a management portal.

Did You Know?

Deploying new equipment is fairly easy because the end user’s desktop and apps are already configured in the VDI solution.

Moving on, what happens if a physical desktop in a local setup crashes or faces an issue related to processor or storage? IT is left with no choice but to replace it or the corrupted hardware. On the other hand, any problems with VMs can be taken care of by simply migrating the desktops to a spare VM.

Another added benefit of VDI is that IT can repurpose old machines to serve as Thin Client terminals. This is suitable for businesses that do not have the resources for a full-fledged virtualized setup or are not prepared for a complete transition. It also helps non-tech savvy companies which do not want to get caught up in any deployment complexities.

Keeping this in mind, computers are expensive to buy and maintain, and they break the bank. Our PC repurposing solution transforms outdated hardware into secure and centrally managed Thin Clients. IT can then connect these endpoints to backend systems or any remote computers. This allows businesses of all sizes to instantly realize the benefits of VDI client computing. Examples include having a single OS for every hardware and the ability to build, configure, and control an entire Thin Client network from the enterprise browser.

Cost Savings

Setting up a physical office infrastructure is not exactly the best idea if we bring budget into the picture. Consider a software startup with about 10-15 employees. The first step is to purchase software and hardware utilities to commence operations. For everyone to perform at their best, they would need quality applications and devices which typically cost a bundle. Next, the computing staff has to set up and frequently update this equipment, and troubleshoot issues when needed. Such costs, especially those related to hardware, are generally recurring and all the more so once the technology becomes obsolete.

Did You Know?

With less equipment to buy and maintain, companies can reduce hardware and operating expenses by as much as 50%.

Virtualization limits hardware usage by creating multiple virtual desktops on one server which also introduces a more compact workplace. Rather than buying multiple copies of the same applications, all the startup needs is a single copy of each app. Moreover, why get a device for every user when the datacenter only needs one dynamic device? In this case, employees will be able to access the required apps once they have been installed on the device.

Pro Tip

Another option for reducing CapEX is to choose DaaS where cloud service providers host the servers.

Let’s talk about VDI products. Ultimately, making an informed choice is only possible if one conducts prior research. For instance, a low-cost Thin Client is easily available between $120-$200. Now, compare this to a $1000 desktop. We can see that the $800-$880 in savings can be used to purchase backend servers, storages, and licenses for a complete setup. Zero Clients, although a step ahead of their thin counterparts, also offer similar cost savings opportunities. These endpoints slash costs by scoring high on security, performance, energy efficiency, and ease of management.

That is not all. Big dollars are lost every second a system is down and users remain idle while IT gets things up and running again. A virtualized setup paves the way for quicker resolutions as computing staff can troubleshoot and maintain the desktop user experience in a centralized system. This also results in better uptime and high availability.

Final Thoughts

Everything we have discussed so far does not completely cover the true potential of virtualization. It is capable of doing a lot more for organizations, and cannot be called a ‘one size fits all’ solution. We advise you to get in touch with an expert today on how VDI can benefit your business in 2019 and onwards.

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