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The perks of VDI: a primer for decision-makers

Short on time? Read the key takeaways:

  • VDI not only offers unprecedented flexibility in remote work setups but also elevates cybersecurity, making it a dual-purpose solution for modern organizations. 
  • VDI extends beyond remote work capabilities, offering device flexibility, cloud scalability, cost-efficiency, and simplified backup and restore options. These benefits create a compelling case for adoption across a range of industries. 
  • While VDI inherently fortifies digital spaces, the technology still necessitates a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. This includes enforcing multi-factor authentication, identity governance and administration reviews, rapid intrusion detection and containment measures to safeguard both the network and data. 
  • Implementing VDI isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. A thorough evaluation of an organization’s IT landscape, including persona development, network stability, scalability projections, and security audits, is essential for identifying the suitability and potential bottlenecks of integrating VDI into the workflow.  

Part one in our VDI blog series. Read parts two and three.

As the landscape of work becomes increasingly fluid and cybersecurity threats escalate, organizations are constantly seeking innovative solutions that not only empower their workforces but also bolster their cybersecurity defenses. Enter virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). 

This transformative technology is redefining how organizations operate in a digitally connected world, transcending conventional boundaries of flexibility and significantly bolstering digital security. To adopt VDI effectively, explore the following sections that detail its mechanics, highlight its substantial benefits, and illuminate its potential through a real-world success story.

What is virtual desktop infrastructure?

VDI centralizes and virtualizes desktop environments by running them on a physical server(s) and utilizing virtual machines to provide these environments to users over a network. This technology falls under the category of desktop virtualization and greatly enhances user mobility and remote accessibility, resulting in significant cost savings for IT and strengthening cybersecurity measures. 

Elevating work practices

VDI holds the exceptional ability to enable dispersed employees to work from any location as if seamlessly integrated into their organization's internal network. This approach to workforce mobility ensures operational coherence, even when team members are distributed. Complementing this central advantage are additional organizational perks of VDI, which encompass: 

  • Device flexibility: Most internet-connected devices can be used for VDI, reducing the need for costly equipment purchases or upgrades. 
  • Cloud scalability: Embracing virtual desktops in the cloud allows for quick expansion from on-premises capacity to the cloud when demand for computing capacity surges. 
  • Cost efficiency: VDI typically incurs lower administrative and support costs since users only access operating systems and application images on a central VDI server. 
  • Backup and restore ease: Backup and restore capabilities are simplified with core software, apps and files stored on remote servers. 

Securing your VDI environment

Securing the VDI environment remains a top priority. While fully securing every company-owned device and bring-your-own-device scenario may be challenging, it's entirely feasible to protect the core VDI infrastructure. An effective cybersecurity strategy should quickly detect intrusions, segregate them from the broader network, and prevent both data breaches and the spread of malware.

Utilizing specialized cybersecurity solutions across all endpoints that interact with the VDI can provide an unyielding line of defense. This approach ensures rapid containment of security threats, halting any unauthorized access and data leaks. 

Redefining remote work with virtual desktops

At the heart of the VDI transformation lie virtual desktops. By shifting the elements of physical desktops into a private or public cloud, organizations grant their teams the ability to engage with their virtual workspaces from virtually any location. This capability proves invaluable when working remotely. Coupled with the inherent scalability of cloud solutions, this facilitates a smooth transition from local resources to cloud-based assets as computational needs intensify.

Demonstrating VDI's real-world efficacy

Faced with the logistical constraints of shifting to an entirely remote operational model, a government agency found itself at a crossroads. Traditional under-the-desk workstations and large monitor setups in the office posed significant barriers to remote work. Supply chain disruptions further complicated the situation, making it impractical to acquire thousands of laptops for remote deployment. 

In a strategic maneuver, the agency migrated the contents of its physical desktops to cloud-based platforms. This enabled staff to interact with their virtual workspaces from the comfort of their homes, using their own devices. Such an agile response not only preserved operational flow but also served as a testament to VDI's resilience and adaptability in navigating unforeseen challenges. 

Navigating the future with informed choices

VDI has significantly redefined the workspace, merging heightened productivity with a secure digital environment. It acts as a catalyst for modernization, setting organizations on a path to succeed in an increasingly remote work culture. However, this transformative technology comes with specific requirements. A stable and fast network connection is essential, and the solution may not be suitable for every use case and its operational context. 

To make the most of what VDI has to offer and determine its appropriateness for your specific needs, consider a comprehensive evaluation of your existing IT ecosystem. This should include network reliability tests, scalability assessments, application assessment, persona development and an exhaustive security review. By pinpointing both potential hurdles and opportunities, you're better positioned to decide if VDI aligns with your organizational objectives, granting you access to a new realm of flexibility, scalability and enhanced security. 

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