COVID-19 has forced businesses to allow many more workers than they ever anticipated to work from home. This increased remote work has strained existing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). As companies adapt to ongoing shutdowns and authorize continued remote work situations, strengthening company VDI capabilities has become a focus of effort for many IT teams.

There are two main approaches businesses can take to implementing VDI. The first keeps the VDI infrastructure in the data center, leveraging hyperconverged infrastructure to make it agile and affordable. The second relies on Desktop as a Service (DaaS), taking advantage of the benefits of cloud.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure for VDI

Hyperconverged infrastructure integrates compute, storage, network, and virtualization services onto commodity hardware. Their design leverages compression and deduplication to use storage efficiently; the design of HCI also provides high availability. These systems are designed to be easily expandable, and because of the commodity hardware, the expansions are low cost. In addition, because all the elements of HCI are provided by a single vendor, maintenance and problem resolution is simplified. Separate support teams for storage and other resources can be integrated, further reducing costs.

These features make HCI an ideal platform for VDI; the scalability, in particular, ensures the system can easily grow to meet the demand as more users work remotely. The built-in compression and deduplication reduce space demands, allowing more desktops to be supported and reducing cost of the VDI infrastructure. Even if a node fails, the built-in redundancy and automatic recovery capabilities minimize the impact on end users.

Cloud for VDI

The DaaS solution for VDI doesn’t require infrastructure in the company’s data center. Instead, users’ desktops are delivered as a cloud service. There are multiple options for cloud-based VDI, including those offered by cloud providers and cloud-based solutions from HCI vendors.

One example of DaaS supported by a cloud provider is Windows Virtual Desktop, available on Microsoft Azure. It includes support for Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) as well as security. Your IT team manages the users and policies, while Microsoft manages the desktop service and the underlying infrastructure.

An example of cloud-based DaaS from an HCI vendor is Nutanix Xi. Xi Frame can be deployed on premises or on any of the major cloud services (Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services). Xi Frame relies on Nutanix AHV virtualization capabilities and integrates with cloud storage, authentication services, and the desktop applications users need.

Making sure business IT continues to function in these challenging times is stressing IT teams and IT resources like never before. VAST IT Services supports a wide range of options to deliver virtual desktop infrastructure, freeing IT teams from routine maintenance and empowering employee productivity outside the workplace. Contact us to talk about the best VDI solution for your business.

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