Advantages & Disadvantages of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
Gone are those days when you need to be present in the office to access your data/desktop. With virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), you can access your cloud desktop from anywhere securely without the “old-school” VPN approach. VDI was mostly used by large organizations a few years ago. But today, a more diverse range of organizations are considering it. This trend has been accelerated by the Covid pandemic and the generalization of remote work. If you are thinking of implementing VDI in your infrastructure but are somehow worried about the consequences and how to implement it, you have come to the right place. The aim of this blog is to help you understand the pros and cons of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) before moving forward on a VDI project.
Advantages of VDI:
1. User has access to data from anywhere:
Regardless of where you work, you can access all your data from anywhere through your virtual desktop. Thus, you can work at home, at a coffee shop…within a framework that is secure for the data of your organization.
Access to your VDI infrastructure does not depend on a specific kind of endpoint. As a result, you gain the flexibility to use the device that suits you best (mobile, PC, thin client…) & have access to all your data with the same user experience no matter which device you use.
3. Control your infrastructure remotely:
With local desktops, you need to manage every device physically to update/ troubleshoot/ manage configurations, etc. By going virtual, you can manage all the devices remotely from anywhere.
4. VDI is highly secure/ difficult to hack:
The desktop displayed on your screen in a VDI environment is read-only & the end user doesn’t have the ability to install/update any applications or change any configurations. Hence, in standard scenarios, the admin has exclusive control over everything (installing new applications, updating patches, etc).
5. Optimized & predictable management costs:
Management costs are optimized and predictable compared with managing local desktops since management is now centralized.
With VDI, the IT team can deploy new virtual desktops within minutes with the required configurations. Admins can also manage groups of users and apply an image or a patch in a few minutes.
7. Enhanced disaster recovery:
With your data stored in a secure central place, disaster recovery is made easier and faster. You can also implement multi-tenancy and automatic data backups much more easily.
8. Enabling the future of work:
With the pandemic, companies have shifted their work to either fully remote or hybrid. Employees also have strong expectations regarding flexible work. There is no doubt that remote work is going to be the future of the workplace. Whether you want to provide secure remote work for your employees or attract new talent by showing your flexible work policies, VDI is a way to create this flexible work environment.
Disadvantages of VDI:
1. Requires skilled people to manage the infrastructure:
To implement and maintain such a complex environment, you will need trained and experienced people, with rare and sought-after skills.
2. High deployment costs:
The deployment costs are high, both in terms of technologies and human resources. A VDI project runs for several months, implying drastic changes both for the IT team and for the users. But you also need to consider exploitation costs in the long term and compare it to the exploitation costs of a decentralized desktop infrastructure.
3. Entirely relies on an internet connection:
It seems obvious, but we need to remind you that access to VDI entirely depends on the network. Either to access it or to have a good user experience, the user needs to have a good & stable internet connection.
4. Driver instability for some peripherals:
Centralizing the whole desktop infrastructure may create flow issues between endpoints and some specific peripherals such as printers or scanners. Therefore, VDI users often experience printing or scanning issues, because of driver instability of printing or scanning devices. However, this can be eliminated by solutions like ZeePrint.
Running resource-intensive applications such as graphic tools or videoconference tools can generate latency, impacting the user experience.
6. Endpoint security concerns:
Hacking of data stored in the data center in case of a VDI infrastructure is possible but remains rare. But despite centrally reinforced data security, the local workstation can be the target of attacks. A thin client workstation may be an option to consider for securing data access through the local workstation.
Although it is becoming more and more widespread, implementing a VDI environment involves human and financial resources that not all companies can afford. DaaS solutions such as AVD can be a good option for smaller organizations. But whether you are choosing VDI or DaaS, one important thing to consider is the endpoint used to access the virtual desktop. Even if VDI enables the use of any device, some are more secure than others. Security relies heavily on the endpoint too, especially on its operating system. A thin client endpoint is a good option to access virtual desktops as the attack surface is extremely small, making it almost impossible to hack.
You can choose either to invest in specific thin client hardware or to repurpose your existing hardware.
Click here to see how you can convert your PC into a thin client in just 15 mins.
Want to see what our thin client solution looks like? Book a demo with us, we will be happy to show you.
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