Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) introduces a way to manage user desktop and application environments with fewer resources, increased manageability, performance, and security. Organizations no longer need an expensive physical workstation for each user. Workstations can be replaced with inexpensive zero or thin clients. VDI virtualizes the physical workstation that users access through a remote desktop protocol.
Management of physical desktops has always been expensive and time consuming due to the number of different models used, and the hardware components that have to be maintained. VMWare’s ESX server allows multiple desktops to run as separate desktops on a single physical server. The virtual desktops share the server’s resources such as CPU, memory, storage, and networking. This relieves hardware compatibility issues associated with using numerous physical workstations in your environment. Unlike Windows Terminal services that uses centralized computing, VDI use independent desktop computing for each virtual desktop.
Physical workstations are a nightmare to manage and administer. Each workstation contains its own operating system that must be installed and loaded with user applications. The operating system and applications must be constantly updated with security patches and program updates on a regular basis. Hardware drivers can cause issues on physical workstations, having multiple workstation models makes it extremely difficult and time consuming to trouble shot and fix. Management and administration of a handful of workstations this may not be an issue, but when you have hundreds even thousands of physical workstations this requires time, money and people to administer.
VMware Virtual Infrastructure, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) resolves these problems by adding centralized management capabilities. VDI allows the creation of one user desktop allowing each user receives the same desktop. With each user using the same desktop management and administration is cheaper, faster, and requires fewer resources. Security patches and operating systems updates only to be installed on the master VDI of the user’s desktop image. The new updated image is then deployed to all users. Updating physical desktops takes weeks to complete, often with less than 100 percent successful results. Utilizing VDIs allows 100 percent of the desktops to be updated within hours or even minutes. This greatly improves security against zero day attacks. Applications no longer need to be installed on each individual physical workstation. All common applications can be installed on the master VDI user image allowing all user to access the common applications in the organization. As with operating system update and patches, all applications only need to be patched or updated on the master VDI image.
VMWare Horizon View allows the organization to save time, money, and resources to manage and administer the organizations users computing environment.
Written by Ronald Schimdt, Domain Systems Administrator, Envistacom