Table of Contents
- VDI & Its Business Value
- Basics: VDI Main Components
- VDI Examples: What Solution Is Suitable for My IT Company
- How to Set Up VDI?
- VDI Enhancements: Optimizing Tips
- Benefits of VDI for Building Dedicated Tech Teams
The overall turnover in the VDI market has already reached 1.6 billion and may increase by 17.6% till 2029. It indicates that VDI implementation is a powerful concept for assembling remote teams.
Plan to build or extend your project team and wonder how to use VDI? We will sort it all out now.
VDI & Its Business Value
First, take migration to the virtual space as a strategic decision. VDI performance depends on the quality of planning. We have listed the main reasons for implementing a VDI to keep you inspired by the game-changing outcome.
Reason #1. Flexibility
The idea is especially relevant to tech companies, as they hire international teams to fill high-demand roles and need to launch new specialists on the projects without inviting them to the company office or allocating sophisticated personal devices.
Reason #2. Time
After implementing VDI, companies spend less time, serving each team member’s workspace and adding new remote desktops. That reduces the workload for system administrators and people who need their support quickly to continue their current tasks on the project with minimum delay. So, building an agile software development team goes smoothly.
Reason #3. Security
Companies accumulate all their data on a highly secure central server, and the endpoints don't store sensitive data or critical applications. Plus, you can integrate your VDI with data loss prevention tools and employ advanced security measures like encryption and two-factor authentication to enhance the safeguarding of your data.
Reason #4. Compliance
Organizations can more easily meet regulatory standards by ensuring consistent security configurations and data handling practices.
Basics: VDI Main Components
As far as you know why you need VDI, the time has come to figure out how it works. A VDI infrastructure consists of several components.
The powerful data center houses the servers, storage, and networking components necessary to host and manage the virtual desktop environment.
A network infrastructure connects users' devices to virtual desktops. High-speed and low-latency connections are essential to provide a seamless user experience.
Robust and responsive Storage systems contain virtual desktop images, user data, and applications.
Hypervisor or Virtualization Platform is the software layer that enables the creation and management of virtual machines (VMs) together with virtual desktops.
Virtual desktops are virtual instances of operating systems running on centralized servers.
The connection broker helps ensure that users are connected to the appropriate virtual desktop based on factors like user preferences, load balancing, and resource availability.
Thin or zero clients are lightweight devices used to access virtual desktops. Your team can also access virtual desktops from PCs, laptops, tablets, or smartphones.
VDI Examples: What Solution Is Suitable for My IT Company
To get the VDI implementation plan for your tech team, you need to answer 3 questions.
Do I need to virtualize all the apps used by my team?
Start by assessing your team's needs. What remote apps and resources do they require? You can always add the software products to the existing VDI. But checking all the compliance in advance saves your time. For instance, you may run any of the most popular IDEs for seamless development on the virtual machine. While studying the experiences of your colleagues can help you choose the most reliable option and avoid issues.
Where all the application data will be stored?
Determine whether you'll use on-premises hardware or a cloud-based solution, which is called Desktop as a Service (DaaS). With DaaS, you can shorten the implementation process and don’t have to update your virtual machines and maintain neither an office team nor office equipment to arrange remote access.
Ensure your VDI solution can scale seamlessly. VDI in the cloud is more flexible, as you can engage more resources only in high-demand periods.
When DaaS is perfect for startups, on-premises VDI can be a better option for companies that have already heavily invested in their data centers.
Which vendor offers a more suitable solution?
There are various VDI solutions available, such as VMware Horizon, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, VDI on AWS for making AWS workspace, and open-source options like QEMU and VirtualBox. Pick the one that best fits your requirements.
How to Set Up VDI?
When you have a VDI implementation plan, you can stick to the guide on how to set up virtual desktops for your VDI use cases.
Setting up Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) involves creating a virtualized environment where desktop operating systems are hosted and managed on a central server or cloud infrastructure.
Below are the general steps* to set up an on-premises or cloud VDI environment.
* 🏠 — only for on-prem VDI, ☁️ — only for cloud desktops
🏠 Set up the necessary server hardware, including CPUs, RAM, storage, and network resources. Choose a hypervisor (such as VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, or Citrix Hypervisor) to manage virtual machines (VMs).
🏠 Ensure you have adequate storage, as VDI can generate significant storage demands. Consider using SSDs for better performance.
☁️ Select a cloud provider for VDI. Some popular options include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure. This rating by Gartner might be helpful if you are looking for a ready-made DaaS.
Configure network infrastructure for efficient communication between users and VMs. Network latency and bandwidth are crucial considerations.
Operating System and Golden Image
Create a master virtual machine image (golden image) that includes the operating system, applications, updates, and configurations. This image will be a base for user desktops. You can use tools like AWS Image Builder, Azure Image Gallery, check the guide on how to use a VDI file (Virtual Disk Image file) for VM creation or follow custom scripts like migrating from your physical OS installation.
You can install applications directly on the master image or use application virtualization like Microsoft App-V or cloud-native solutions.
User Profiles & Security
Decide on a user profile management strategy. Options include roaming profiles, mandatory profiles, and profile management tools like Citrix Profile Management and FSLogix.
🏠 Determine how user data will be managed and stored. Consider using network drives, OneDrive, or other file sync and share solutions.
Protect your VDI environment with firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems.
Configure role-based access control (RBAC) and multifactor authentication to manage user permissions and safeguard sensitive resources.
Deploying Virtual Desktops
Clone or deploy VMs based on the golden image. Customize these VMs according to user needs.
Organize VMs into desktop pools based on user profiles or requirements (e.g., persistent or non-persistent pools).
Implement a connection broker solution (e.g. VMware Horizon Connection Server, Citrix Delivery Controller) to manage user connections, load balancing, and session persistence.
Testing and Pilot Phase
Before rolling out VDI to all users, conduct testing and run a pilot phase with a smaller group to identify any issues and gather feedback.
User Training and Deployment
Train users on how to access and use the virtual desktops. Provide clear instructions for connecting to the VDI environment.
Monitoring and Management
Implement monitoring tools to track system performance, user activity, and resource utilization.
🏠 Regularly update and patch your VDI infrastructure.
Scaling and Optimization
Monitor user load and performance over time. As user numbers grow, consider scaling the infrastructure by adding more resources.
VDI Enhancements: Optimizing Tips
Create standardized virtual desktop images to streamline deployment and updates.
Reduce hardware costs and extend the life of older devices by using thin or zero clients. They require fewer resources because most or all processing occurs on the server.
If your users require graphics-intensive applications, consider using vGPU technology to allocate dedicated GPU resources to virtual machines.
Store frequently accessed data locally on the user's device, reducing latency and enhancing performance.
Implement a robust backup and disaster recovery strategy to ensure business continuity in case of hardware failure or data loss.
Benefits of VDI for Building Dedicated Tech Teams
What do we, responsible onboarding services providers, like about VDI? It is a possibility to conduct quick onboarding. With VDI, you can provide newcomers with unified virtual desktops that are pre-configured with the necessary applications, settings, and security policies.
While VDI offers consistency, that standardized image can be customized to some extent, as specialists might have different software preferences or needs. As a result, VDI covers 2 of the key onboarding success factors: clear roadmap and personalization. Did you think of providing a comfortable working environment from the start as a base for talent retention? If you are curious about how to build a dedicated tech team and not to increase costs due to turnover, explore even more lifehacks with Outstaff Your Team talent management services.
How does VDI differ from traditional desktop computing?
In traditional desktop computing, operating systems and applications run directly on employees' physical desktops. In contrast, VDI centralizes the processing power and desktop management on servers in data centers. Users connect to these virtual desktops through a network connection. This approach improves security due to centralized data storage, simplifies software deployment, updates, and scaling. Also, it is the ability to access desktops from a wider range of devices.
How does VDI differ from Remote Desktop Services (RDS)?
VDI and Remote Desktop Services (RDS) both enable remote access to computing resources, but they differ in their architecture and use cases. VDI offers individual, isolated virtual desktop instances for each user, providing a personalized environment with greater application compatibility and independence. RDS involves sharing a single server-based desktop environment among multiple users. VDI is ideal for scenarios where users require customization and isolation, while RDS is more suitable for delivering standardized applications to a larger number of users.
Can you provide my new hires with virtual desktops?
Outstaff Your Team can provide your tech team with VDI on AWS on your demand. Thus, you control all the data shared with your remote specialists and created by them. As VDI on AWS is a cloud-based solution, you don’t have to maintain VDI. Also, it’s easy to launch new desktops and remove irrelevant ones whenever you need to.