Virtual Desktop is a buzz word that has been floating around the IT community for a little while now. A Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a cloud application that replaces a physical desktop with a web-based application interface. It allows a user to log into their desktop (virtual desktop that is) via a web browser or smart-device app and be able to access their files, documents, music, and whatever else is stored in their cloud based desktop.
Virtual desktops can also come fully stocked with the essential applications that a user would need on a daily basis. For example, RapidScale’s virtual desktop SMB solution, CloudOffice, includes Microsoft Office, Exchange, and includes Citrix ShareFile as an add on. Plus, you can “virtualize” about 97% of the applications available in the entire world, so there’s a good chance you can add just about every application you use in your business. Essentially, working via a virtual desktop becomes your all in one place for everything.
So What Makes Virtual Desktops Worth Moving To?
Imagine all of those times that you’ve relied on a flash drive to get your files from one place to another. Or, all the times that you’ve emailed something to yourself so you had it at the next place you logged into. What about all those times that you’ve had your computer crash and you’ve lost all of that precious data that you have? We’re just scratching the surface here, but having a virtual desktop can eliminate those issues and simplify your business. The beauty of it is that no matter where you are, what device you’re using, or what time of day it is, you always have access to your one, singular desktop environment that looks just the same as how you left it.
What Are The Business Implications For This?
As a business, you more than likely have a computer at work and a computer at home and probably a smart phone and maybe even a tablet, too. That’s a lot of different devices to have lots of different data on. So, what if your work computer has a special application on it that your home computer doesn’t? It makes it really difficult to jump between multiple devices in a business environment. Moving to a virtual environment makes an enormous difference because you can access your work desktop on any device, at work, at home, on an airplane, or in any country in the world without having to try and move your files with you. According to Forbes, “2014 is the first year the majority of workloads will be on the cloud as 51% will be processed in the cloud versus 49% in the traditional IT space.” Plus, you’re hosting everything virtually, which means that you don’t EVER have to deal with physical servers, hardware, software, updates, upgrades, refreshes, and the list goes on. Everything is managed for you.
So, here comes the real benefit: BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device. Many companies today have remote workers and it’s difficult to manage company assigned devices. Tons of organizations are now requiring employees to provide their own hardware, like cell phones, laptops, or even tablets to work with. The major and best benefit of the VDI revolution is that now, BYOD is a complete reality without sacrificing the security issues that come along with utilizing personal devices. As an employer, the ability to give an employee a virtual desktop just makes sense. You eliminate the cost of refreshing employee devices, paying to manage it, giving allowances, and much more. Plus, you can control the applications that are available to that employee while controlling the security of your corporate data. If an employee loses their device, you can wipe the device clean of all crucial information.
What About Security?
The cloud is actually more secure than using your laptop. Think about downloading a virus, if you get one on your work laptop then there is a good chance it will corrupt all your important files. Your computer starts running slowly and all of your confidential data is now compromised. Now, say you download a virus on your virtual desktop; the same thing should happen, right? Well, actually that is wrong. As soon as you know you have a virus, you can have your administrator roll your desktop back in time to before you got that virus. Literally, you can revert back in time to the previous “image” of your desktop. There’s no longer a virus and your data is no longer being compromised. Not to mention that all of RapidScale’s data centers are Tier 3, Class 1 with our servers being backed-up constantly and protected with full redundancy. This means that if California has that giant imminent earthquake and our Irvine data center goes into the water, then our data centers in Dallas, TX, and Sterling, VA, continue running like normal and you experience absolutely no downtime.
In A Nut Shell
Ultimately, virtual desktops (and the cloud) will be the preferred method of business in the future. There are just too many benefits to ignore. This will save businesses money, time, effort, and resources. The beauty of it is that it will also help to make IT teams more effective. They won’t have to deal with installing new software, making updates, fixing email issues, and so much more. They can then focus on what really matters, making your business more money with less time and effort. Imagine no more headaches from desktop issues, physical hardware updates and refreshes, maintenance, and more. The cloud is revolutionary and moving to it will make your life about 1,000 times easier, although we can’t guarantee that… legally.
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