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8 Min Read

VDI and VDI-as-a-Service: dos and don'ts for success in the digital workplace

novembro 9, 2023 / Unisys Corporation

Short on time? Read the key takeaways:

  • To take a strategic approach to adopting VDI and VDI-as-a-Service, start with a pilot to assess feasibility and performance. Then, you can scale up after carefully considering your organization's needs, ensuring a smooth transition to meet growing demands. 
  • When implementing VDI, prioritize security measures to protect sensitive data in the data center or cloud. Additionally, focus on the user experience, ensuring seamless access to applications and a smooth transition to virtualized environments.  
  • Explore the benefits of VDI-as-a-Service, which offers a pay-per-use model and eliminates the burden of managing infrastructure. You’ll enjoy predictable costs, scalability and streamlined operations while leveraging the advantages of VDI services using either a cloud-based or on-premises model.  

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

Organizations are on a continuous quest to improve productivity, agility and security. To create work environments that are efficient but also resilient and adaptable, many have turned to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and VDI-as-a-Service.  

These technologies offer a new paradigm, enabling centralized desktop management, enhanced security, and the freedom for users to access their virtual desktops from any device. However, successful adoption requires a thorough grasp of best practices and potential hurdles. This article will guide you through the crucial dos and don’ts of VDI and VDI-as-a-Service, providing clear strategies to achieve peak performance and digital robustness.  

The dos of VDI 

Know your users  

Take the time to understand the type of users for whom you are designing VDI solutions and which category each falls into.

  • Power worker: A heavy tech user who works with many apps and performs tasks related to compute storage and graphics processing units, with multiple browser tabs open or instances running. 
  • Knowledge worker: Communicates and collaborates with a larger audience, uses many tools to share knowledge and has few browser tabs open at once. 
  • Task worker: Focuses on specific tasks, some of which are repetitive. 

Understand your personas 

Beyond simply knowing who your end users are, invest additional time and effort to understand their personas, including anticipated expectations of the solution and potential implications if their expectations are unmet. Below are some example personas and their expectations for enterprise technology experiences. 

  • Traders: Tech can never be laggy and needs to be ultra-fast. 
  • Doctors: Lag means fewer patients seen per day. 
  • Knowledge workers: Use several apps at once; some lag is tolerable. 
  • Admins: Use just a couple of apps; some lag is tolerable. 
  • Designers: Don’t use many apps but cannot tolerate any lags with videos or graphics. 
  • Developers: Some lag is tolerable, but slow systems can result in longer compilation times. 
  • Interns: Will become disengaged if workplace tech is slower than their phones. 

Welcome centralized desktop management  

Embrace the centralization of desktop management that VDI solutions offer, which allows IT teams to efficiently manage, update and maintain multiple desktop images and applications from a centralized location. Streamlined operations empower you to optimize productivity and ease the burden on your IT staff. 

Scale strategically 

Plan your VDI implementation with scalability in mind. Start with a pilot project to assess feasibility and performance before scaling up. By taking a strategic approach to scaling, you can ensure a smoother transition and effectively meet growing demands. 

Embrace mobility and device flexibility 

Leverage the mobility and device flexibility that VDI solutions provide. Users can access their virtual desktops from any device, including laptops, smartphones and tablets. Additionally, bring-your-own-device and choose-your-own-device policies can empower employees while reducing hardware costs. 

Consider VDI-as-a-Service 

Explore service options offering a pay-per-use model that provides predictable costs and relieves the burden of infrastructure management. Reflect on your organization's needs and consider the advantages of cloud-based VDI services. 

Prioritize user experience 

Focus on the end-user experience when designing your VDI environment. Ensure that applications are virtualized effectively to provide seamless access and avoid disjointed user experiences. Conduct user training to facilitate a smooth transition to virtualized environments. 

Test and observe your systems 

Apply continuous observation and testing to help refine the VDI service to ensure it meets and exceeds end-user expectations, delivers a reliable and efficient virtual desktop experience, and mitigates potential risks. 

The don’ts of VDI 

Don’t overprovision 

Resist creating an excessive number of persistent or dedicated desktops. Overprovisioning can lead to higher costs and negate the benefits of moving to VDI. Instead, optimize desktop resources to match your enterprise’s actual demand and usage patterns. This approach is even more applicable to VDI-as-a-Service offerings, for which right-sizing and setting up auto-scale measures are vital.

Don’t neglect security measures 

Maintain an unwavering commitment to the security of every digital workplace element, including throughout a VDI deployment. Poorly implemented VDI may pose security risks if data is not adequately protected in the data center or cloud. Invest in robust security measures and follow best practices to safeguard sensitive information. Multi-factor authentication is key; even better, password-less options help increase efficiency. 

Don’t ignore application virtualization challenges

Face the challenges related to application virtualization head-on. Some applications may not effectively virtualize, leading to compatibility issues and potential disruptions in user workflows. The worst thing you can do is provide a disjointed workspace with heavy context switching. Carefully assess the compatibility of applications before implementation. If applications cannot be virtualized, seek ways to preserve the “single-pane-of-glass” view for end users by leveraging enterprise browsers and Zero Trust network-access technologies, which may exist within the VDI vendor of choice.

Don’t underestimate initial investment and licensing costs 

Recognize the initial investment required for server, storage and network infrastructure when adopting VDI. Additionally, consider the licensing costs associated with providing VDI-as-a-Service to your workforce. Proper forecasting and right-sizing are essential to avoid unexpected expenses and increase ROI. 

Realizing the full benefits of VDI 

VDI and VDI-as-a-Service offer compelling advantages for organizations seeking improved productivity, security and mobility. By adhering to the dos and avoiding the don’ts outlined above, embracing centralization, scalability and mobility, and prioritizing user experience and security, businesses can realize the full benefits of these technologies. With a well-thought-out strategy, VDI and VDI-as-a-Service can revolutionize your work environment, driving efficiency and growth for your organization. 

Learn how Unisys can help you strengthen enterprise mobility with tailored VDI solutions here.