Desktops have short lifespans, and in that short lifespan they require an enormous amount maintenance in the form of patches and other support. Every desktop is also a potential point of data loss. Virtualizing desktops, like virtualizing servers, can reduce the costs of purchasing hardware and the costs of maintaining the devices.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Benefits
Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) doesn’t completely eliminate the desktop device, but users can have a cheap, thin client rather than a fully loaded top-of-the-line machine. The thin client accesses a virtual machine that runs on a server in the data center; this virtual machine has all the applications and other resources the end user needs.
This set up creates several benefits for the business:
• Users aren’t tied to a specific work location. They can access their own virtual desktop from any workspace.
• The desktops can be centrally managed. Every user can have an identical virtual desktop, or different users can have desktops tailored to their specific work needs. Applying patches and solving problems doesn’t require walking around to every user’s computer.
• There’s no data stored on the desktop device, so there’s no risk of losing data via an unsecured desktop.
The main potential problem with virtual desktops is that they’re entirely dependent on a network connection to access the machine image. If the network is unavailable, nobody is able to access their computer or do any work.
Implementing Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with Hyperconverged Systems
One of the challenges with VDI is that it requires providing and managing a scalable server-side infrastructure that can meet the compute needs of all those desktop users. Hyperconverged infrastructure provides a good solution to this challenge.
With hyperconverged infrastructure, the compute, storage, and networking capacity are provided via standardized nodes that can easily be added to provide additional capacity. Managing hyperconverged infrastructure is straightforward as there’s only one vendor to work with to resolve any problems.
Creating an appropriate hyperconverged infrastructure for virtual desktops requires understanding the requirements of the desktop users, particularly the software they need and their typical work patterns. You’ll need an infrastructure that can handle the typical number of users logged on simultaneously and accommodate the needs of both power users and light users.
Some hyperconverged infrastructure vendors offer configurations pre-designed to support virtual desktop systems. If you choose that route, make sure their “generic” virtual desktop configuration will meet your users’ requirements.
dcVAST provides support and managed services for Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure. Contact us to learn more about how hyperconverged infrastructure from Nutanix can provide a virtual desktop solution and solve many of your other data center challenges.