Driven by the increasing numbers of mobile workers during the pandemic, VDI implementation has rapidly grown as a secure solution that provides flexibility and cost savings. While it’s a good fit with today’s steadily growing remote workforce, VDI must be implemented properly to avoid pitfalls. Read on to learn the challenges and benefits of implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure.
Workplace infrastructure is quickly evolving. While Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) transformation has been in the industry for some time, COVID-19 has spurred its increased use to manage IT consumerization and control costs.
The benefits of implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure for enterprises can be remarkable and include easier accessibility for users, device flexibility, increased security, and lower costs. However, if not implemented correctly, VDI can bring organizational challenges. Many projects fail due to improper design leading to performance issues.
Based on our experiences helping organizations understand and optimize VDI implementation to achieve the right model for their budgets and timelines, we identified the following seven best practices:
- Understand end-user requirements – Boot storms can be avoided by being cognizant of such details as the number of VDI users, end-user applications, and the times of day users will log in and access their virtual desktops
- Consider end-user location – VDI architecture and resources may vary for users at different locations. Bandwidth and latency also have a big impact on the end-user experience
- Choose the ratio of persistent or non-persistent desktops – The virtual desktop type can sometimes be determined by the user type, such as task workers, power users, kiosk workers, etc. Persistent desktops retain a user’s personal settings when they log off, while non-persistent virtual desktops do not
- Consider client device options – A desktop virtualization benefit is that nearly any device can have a virtual desktop client. Deciding the best mix of thin client devices, converting old personal computers into thin clients, and having bring your own device (BYOD) clients are key factors in VDI deployment. Maintenance requirements and ownership will differ for each case
- Design for high availability – While a problem with one physical desktop affects just a single user, an overall VDI failure has the potential to impact all employees. Design the underlying architecture to be highly available to avoid this
- Craft a BYOD policy – VDI lets organizations deliver a desktop experience to many types of endpoints and devices – even those owned by end users. Carefully design and distribute a BYOD policy indicating what users can and cannot do on their personal devices
- Factor in security – Do not overlook infrastructure security. All security best practices that apply to physical desktops/laptops also pertain to virtual desktops. Administrators should make sure to extend patch management operations to cover virtual desktops