Companies always face different types of challenges in working from office premises. VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is a modern solution that fulfills the remote working requirements of a business. VDI creates a virtualized environment where the desktops are created on a central server setup kept at a particular location. Then, it is delivered to the end-user who may be operating from a different location.
Many companies deploy a VDI environment on the servers kept at office premises or an in-house location. This means that you own the server and are responsible for the maintenance, upgrading, and any IT glitches related to the virtual desktops.
Managing massive hardware and bulky servers on-premise requires a lot of time and substantial upfront investment. Hence, it was a challenge for any company to work on this type of model.
To overcome these challenges, companies worldwide have set their eyes upon the cloud-hosted virtual desktop in which third-party providers offer entirely managed services. These cloud-hosted virtual desktops are also called hosted VDI, in which the servers are kept at the provider’s cloud network.
The hosted VDI market is expanding rapidly due to the plethora of benefits it offers. The latest reports reflect that the desktop virtualization market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 10.6% over the forecast period (2021-2026).
Before proceeding to the challenges of traditional VDI and how hosted VDI has overcome them, let’s see few similarities between them.
Few Similarities Between Traditional VDI and Hosted VDI
In both of them, the employees can work from remote locations such as from their home’s comfort. This flexibility allows them to choose the desired time to work. It is the most appropriate in times of pandemic as you can work without compromising your safety.
In the case of VDI, virtual desktops are provisioned instantly. As the desktops are virtual, it can be created and configured on the management portal. Moreover, you can create separate groups according to different departments and create identical desktops with ease.
Even after making a VDI environment or taking services from a provider, a particular team has to deliver work from the office. In that case, companies can adopt BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) where employees can bring their own devices like laptops, phones, or tablets to the office and work on them.
Even if your workforce increases or decreases, it is easier to add or remove the number of desktops in no time. This enhanced scalability saves your expense as none of your virtual desktops are idle when not being used. However, it is a bit easy to do so in hosted VDI, but you can still do it in your on-premise VDI if you have a good IT team.
Now, let’s look deep inside the major benefits that hosted VDI offers over traditional VDI.
Hosted VDI vs. Traditional VDI
1. Reduced Infrastructure
Companies face a lot of challenges in setting up on-premise servers and maintaining dozens of desktops. It takes a lot of energy, time, and expense to set up, upgrade, and repair these servers regularly. Companies have to keep an in-house team of IT experts for resolving the technical glitches.
In setting up in-house VDI, companies need dedicated space to keep bulky servers for desktop deployment. Companies have to do intensive cabling and maintain an air-conditioned environment to avoid overheating to set this vast infra.
Hosted VDI services from the providers help you reduce on-premise hardware and make your work hassle-free. This is because virtual desktops are created on the remote servers of the hosted VDI provider.
Hence, you do not have to maintain an endless cycle of purchasing, maintaining, upgrading, and ultimately replacing old PCs. Moreover, as VDI on the cloud enables remote working, you don’t even need to create and handle LAN cabling in your office premises.
2. High Security
Physical security of your IT infra that may comprise your desktop, hardware device like thin clients, and storage devices like pen drives or hard disks, is of utmost importance. Desktops and hard drive storage devices could become a victim of theft.
In the case of traditional VDI, the physical servers kept at the office premises could also be hacked, and confidential data could be leaked amongst the employees. According to the data, companies have faced cyber threats and data breach problems many times due to which their crucial customer and client’s information gets leaked.
With hosted VDI, you get multiple options to secure your data, and as there is no on-premise data storage, you can sit free without worrying. There are various access control features like Single Sign-on (SSO), 2-factor authentication, biometric access, digital locks, and many more to share files securely.
Moreover, hosted VDI providers keep your data in multiple safeguards like OS patching, antivirus management, TLS 1.3 and 256-bit data encryption, along with DDoS protection and ransomware best practices.
3. High Uptime
One thing a business cannot afford to lose is time. However, many times companies have to waste their crucial hours due to server downtime or an IT glitch. There may be chances that the issue is complex for the company’s internal IT team, and hence they may have to wait for the team to troubleshoot the issue.
With traditional VDI, as the servers are set on-premise, there could also be a significant crash in the motherboard of the server, and it takes a very long time to resolve the issue altogether. There is no solution for the employees in these situations but to sit idle and wait until things are sorted.
Taking hosted VDI services from a reputable provider may save a lot of your billable hours. The right provider offers you an uptime of 99.999% so that you can work round the clock without any hassles. Even in downtime cases, a highly qualified IT team is always ready to help you out 24×7 via phone, chat, or emails.
As the virtual desktops are created on the provider’s cloud network itself, the IT team does not have to reach your office and waste their time traveling. Hence, it takes significantly less time to bring the server back in place.
4. Significant Cost Reduction
To set up a virtual desktop infrastructure on-premise, the companies have to spend a substantial initial investment in purchasing servers and other hardware devices involved. The cost of maintenance and handling these bulky devices is even more in the long run.
Not only for startups or SMBs, but it is a significant expense for large enterprises as well. The cost of purchasing, upgrading servers, and updating software may vary according to the size of the workforce.
Though the on-premise VDI setup cost is more, you can always opt for hosted VDI at less cost for your enterprises by taking the provider’s pay-as-you-go model. This model means that you don’t have to make a huge upfront investment, and you can pay on a monthly or yearly subscription basis. This allows you to shift your expenses from Capex to Opex.
Your pricing will depend on the desktop configuration, number of desktops in use, storage capacity you need, and the provider you opt for.
5. Business Continuity
In traditional VDI, it was never possible to continue working even when there is a mishap or disaster like earthquakes or floods at your server location.
Have you ever thought that you would be able to continue your work even if the servers or data gets damaged?
However, VDI on the cloud made that possible. Hosted virtual desktop providers offer you disaster recovery as a solution or DRaaS facility. In DRaaS, providers replicate your data in multiple data centers located at geographically distant locations.
Hence, even if damage occurs at one place during a disaster, your data is protected in another data center safely. You will be able to access the data within no time as there is an automatic shift between the data centers during a mishap.
6. Promoted Green IT
Companies have a colossal infrastructure- hardware storage devices, desktops, and cabling that have to be disposed of when they malfunction. Moreover, for a comfortable environment and to avoid heating up of servers, office interiors have to be well air-conditioned.
Continuous running of all the devices requires high power consumption. A lot of energy consumption occurs, which leads to increased carbon emissions and pollution.
With virtual desktops, you can reduce the electronic indisposable waste as you have a less on-premise infrastructure. As most of your workforce is working from home, there is less power required to run the devices.
Moreover, providers have started using green data centers to store your data. These centers run on renewable energy and hence creates a pollution-free environment.
As you looked at all the similarities and differences that hosted VDI offers over traditional VDI, you must have understood why businesses prefer hosted desktops. Though companies are adopting VDI on the cloud, there are many companies that still work on the traditional VDI mechanism only because they have a substantial initial capital to invest.
There is a lot of inconsistency regarding the pricing of hosted VDI that revolves around the globe. This is only due to the plethora of cloud VDI providers that offer different plans in the market. You should be very aware of which provider to choose for your business else your things will become more complicated than it seems to be.
Keeping these all the pointers in mind, if you plan to go for hosted VDI services, then opt for the right provider to work hassle-free and have an inclination in business growth.
Sharad Acharya is a technical content writer at Ace Cloud Hosting, a renowned application hosting provider to the accounting industry. When not writing about the latest developments in cloud accounting, VDI solutions, and cybersecurity, he loves to watch movies and ride bikes.