Virtual Desktop Infrastructure uses server hardware to run desktop operating systems and software programs on a virtual machine.
Running from a centralized server, the virtual machine's desktop program can be accessed from existing devices -- including desktop computers, laptop computers and even mobile devices. There is a wide range of advantages to employing a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) software in a business setting, including optimizing call centers, allowing for bring-your-own-device, accommodating remote and branch workers, providing contractor and partner access, and supporting graphics-intensive applications.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Use Cases
Below, we'll feature some of the most common use cases for a VDI.
Call center environments are somewhat of a traditional use case for VDI, but they do emphasize its benefits. The unique characteristics of call centers -- many workers using the same tools, frequent changes in user stations and limited documentation -- make it the perfect setting for improvement with a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. VDI allows all call center agents to access just the information and tools they need, making the call center's computing system more efficient and cost-effective. The structure of a virtualized platform also makes it possible to scale the call center much more quickly.
A Bring-Your-Own-Device Workplace
This is likely the most popular real-use case for a VDI. In today's tech-obsessed work environment, most employees, from interns to the CEO, will have specific devices that they prefer to use, both for personal and business purposes. Allowing for a bring-your-own-device policy can bring with it a whole host of headaches for an IT department, from installing the appropriate programs on these devices to ensuring the security of these devices. The lack of control over personal devices makes securing the business network a near impossibility. VDI offers the solution: The business desktop can be deployed as a separate app, allowing employees to access it on any device while making it simple to control the integrity of the virtual machine.
Remote and Branch Workers
The modern workforce is far from limited to one location. In fact, one in five Americans work from home at least one day a week. On top of that, larger organizations may have teams in locations around the country or even in various regional offices across the globe. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure paves the way for all team members to stay connected and have access to the same company network and resources -- and it can be easily deployed and updated from a central location.
Contractor and Partner Access
Similar to the problems with technology and security problems involved in BYOD policies, contractors and partners pose a challenge for businesses. When outsourcing projects, these businesses must either supply contractors with company-owned devices or deal with multiple environments presented by the contractors' devices. A VDI allows for the perfect compromise: Contractors receive secure access to the company platform on their own devices.
From graphic designers to engineers, graphic-intensive applications made for design can be a serious weight on business systems. Advancements in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure technology make it the perfect solution for both 2D and 3D design applications. Virtualization allows for data sharing and low overhead while still providing the performance power necessary for sizable tools like the Adobe Creative Suite and AutoCAD.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructures are generally promoted for their advantages for the IT department in simplifying protection and maintenance of business systems and networks. But VDIs have wide ranging practical use cases that can benefit just about any type of business and user.