Virtual Desktop Infrastructure can provide many benefits for businesses – not just remote working. Assaad El Saadi, Regional Director – Middle East, Pure Storage, explains how it can help support new business models and improve both IT operations and user satisfaction.
As organisations across the Middle East look to quickly enable and scale remote working environments, there has been an uptick in the adoption of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). This is not surprising given the benefits of VDI for remote working. For one, integrating new users, user devices, businesses and even applications is made easier with VDI. Secondly, developers can respond faster, users can utilise a rich desktop environment and organisations can truly enable the business by incorporating a completely virtual desktop ecosystem. Last but not least, VDI scales from the data centre and into the cloud as well. This means users can access intelligent systems monitoring their performance, utilisation and even licensing while still pushing out a rich VDI environment.
However, the benefits of VDI extend far beyond just enabling a remote and mobile workforce. Here are eight more reasons why you should consider VDI.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Application virtualisation aside, delivering desktops via BYOD can be a great solution for end-users as well as IT. Whether they’re working from home, internally or even internationally, users can access a desktop with all of their settings intact. Increased demand for mobility and IT consumerisation has led to a rise in BYOD. This is where VDI can help. The endpoint never retains the data and both the desktops and applications are always secure and controlled at the data centre level.
Providing access to third parties
Some organisations have numerous contractors working within an organisation. A great way to control contractor access is through a private cloud VDI platform. This gives users access via controlled active directory (AD) policies and credentials and allows them to connect to a virtual desktop. From there, administrators can quickly provision and de-provision desktop resources as needed for a given contractor.
Testing and development
There is no better way to test out an application, service or new product than on an efficiently provisioned VDI image. Administrators can deploy and test out new platforms within “live” environments without having to provision hardware resources. Once the testing is complete, they can simply spin down the VDI instance and rollout the new update, application or desktop environment.
Application compatibility and delivery
Recent updates within organisations have forced some applications to adopt 64-bit technologies. Some apps, however, won’t run on these platforms, forcing administrators to get creative. This is where VDI can help. For those select, finicky applications, VDI within a private cloud environment can be a lifesaver. Virtual desktops can run within 32-bit or 64-bit instances and allow administrators to continue to support many older apps.
Accelerating heavy desktop compute workloads
New technologies are allowing for powerful resource sharing while still optimising the user experience. Solutions with 100% NVMe all-flash storage systems accelerate virtual desktops and applications with sub-millisecond latency, allowing the enterprise IT to deliver true performance from the data centre to any user on the network. Now organisations can place more heavy resource users on multi-tenant blades, network, compute and storage architecture. This opens up new possibilities for those users that historically needed a very expensive endpoint.
Centralising and securing the data centre
New delivery capabilities allow organisations to completely centralise management of the virtual desktops. This creates a new security paradigm where nothing is stored at the endpoint. More so, HTML5 allows for complete clientless delivery so that sessions are completely controlled within the data centre. This means organisations can isolate VDI sessions, geo-fence users and create a proactive VDI security ecosystem.
Creating new levels of data centre economics
VDI and virtualisation allow organisations to control their own cloud environment and how they provision resources. The ability to dynamically provision and de-provision resources gives organisations unparalleled flexibility when it comes to virtual desktop delivery. Data reduction technologies such as deduplication and compression enable IT to deliver all-flash solutions with increased performance at the same price or lower than traditional spinning disk or hybrid storage. Organisations no longer need to worry about big endpoints and lost resources. IT teams can create true data centre efficiency by controlling all resources connected into the virtual desktop delivery architecture.
Optimising resource controls
VDI allows organisations to dynamically shape the entire user experience. Is the application lagging? Is the user requiring more resources due to the workload type? How quickly can you adjust to user and market demands? VDI allows entire workloads to be re-provisioned with resources that allow the user to be productive wherever and whenever they choose to work. By moving from a spinning disk architecture to flash storage, IT can enable greater end-user performance, higher resiliency and powerful scalability at a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
In the past, technologies like VDI were seen as heavy, forklift projects that required long time frames, resources, dedicated infrastructure and big budgets. But that is a thing of the past, thanks to advancements within the network, compute and the storage layers. There can be great benefits to an organisation if there is a direct fit for VDI – reduced desktop IT costs, improved security, increased control and expanded connectivity. This allows organisations to support new business models and improve both IT operations and user satisfaction, critical success factors in today’s digital economy