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Cutting IT Costs With a Virtual Desktop

One of the most common problems that occur as the IT aspect of a business grows is that the newer hardware isn’t always compatible with the old software. Upgrading hardware every time that Microsoft releases a new Windows operating system is expensive, and individually updating the software that is used on your company’s computers can be time consuming, and is not always a straightforward process. At the same time, it is important that computer applications like your office software are consistent across all of the devices in your organization. A solution to these difficulties is to make the same application, or even operating system, available to all of those devices using a virtual desktop.

A virtual desktop separates the desktop environment from the physical machine it is on by accessing one that is stored on a remote server. This means that any computer device that can access the Internet can access the virtual desktops. There are several levels of desktop virtualization, from simply making applications available remotely via the Internet to operating a virtual desktop on the local disk of the PC that allows users to have an alternate operating system installed on the same machine. Most commonly, the term is used to signify a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), which allows users to remotely log onto a desktop and access all of the applications on a central server. There are many advantages to using virtual desktop technology like data security, in-house compatibility and efficiency, easier maintenance and cost effectiveness.

Perhaps the most attractive aspect of VDI is that it makes it possible to run new software on older devices because all of the operational parts of the applications run on the central server. Even at the most basic level of application virtualization (App-V), this allows users to access software that otherwise wouldn’t operate on their device, as is often the case with tablets or smartphones that use apps, rather than software like Windows. The ability to operate software remotely in this way, on older hardware with lowers specifications, can represent quite a savings on the cost of upgrading your software by extending the usable life of your equipment.

Manually upgrading applications can be a long and involved process of installing the new software on every machine that will need to use it. The advantage of using a central server is that all of the software in your system will only have to be updated once for every user to be able to access the new version. This also means that there is no time lag between the first and last user being upgraded as it happens simultaneously across the entire network.

One aspect of using a virtual desktop is that it is compatible with a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy that encourages employees to use their own computer equipment, and often subsidizes them for doing so. This can result in savings on the cost of IT hardware, and individual employees often bring state of the art equipment into a business long before it would have made a similar investment across the entire staff.

The cost effectiveness of using a virtual desktop has seen as many as 41% of small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) experimenting with VDI1, and there are now a number of companies offering desktop as a service (DaaS), such as Desktone and WebDesktop, offer reliable VDI services tailored to SMBs at a reasonable rate. For many businesses this will be the best way to deliver their IT services to their staff, and the easiest way to always have access to the best software that is available. To take advantage of the benefits of VDI, contact Infintech Designs to find out how we can help you move your business’s applications into a virtual environment.

References:
1. http://www.forbes.com/2010/01/12/desktop-virtualization-software-business-intelligence-hochmuth.html


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