On the surface, VDI may seem to solve the same issues as application virtualization technology. However, VDI isn't a substitute for virtualized applications. In this article, we break down VDI and application virtualization. Keep reading to learn more and discover whether you should use both together or not.
What is VDI?
VDI or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is a solution that runs virtual desktops on Virtual Machines (VMs) hosted on dedicated bare-metal servers or in the cloud. It offers an isolated setting for each user and provides the same user experience as a physical desktop.
In this setting, users have their own dedicated VM that runs separate operating systems. Users can log into a virtual machine from any device anywhere through a secure network. A VDI environment offers an end-user experience through virtualized backend hosting virtual machines.
What is VDI used for?
There are several reasons why many companies use VDI, such as for remote work, device flexibility**, and shift/task work. Let's dive into the details.:
● Remote work: Many complex companies have shifted to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. VDI offers a smoother transition from the traditional office to the home. This technology allows running virtual desktops on home devices from a centralized location. So, employees can access and change their work files effortlessly. VDI technology enables everyone to do their job while protecting any classified data.
● Device flexibility: VDI allows users to access their desktop from any device, including laptops, phones, and tablets. Regardless of the device, the user can enjoy the full performance potential of the centralized hardware. That is useful because of the ensured accessibility and reduced hardware investment expenses.
● Shift/Task work: Employees who do task-specific or shift work often don't need a personal computer. Usually, they can use any device to log on to a virtual desktop. The IT Team typically chooses non-persistent VDIs for them. The virtual desktops are managed from a centralized location and have the same applications and tools.
How does VDI work?
Users connect to a virtual desktop through the connection broker. It verifies each user and directs it to a virtual desktop instance. Then, users interact with a personalized copy of the master desktop. The master desktop stores all specific software and applications each group of users needs.
VMs host virtual desktop instances. Virtual machines are created and managed by the connection broker and deployed on the hypervisor - the main element providing virtualization of the entire system. Virtual desktops can be grouped into desktop pools, allowing easier management and organization.
The advantages of VDI
Many companies and top cloud consulting services in the US, may benefit from using VDI technology. Below are the most significant advantages of using this technology:
● Accessibility: Setting up VDI offers easier accessibility for users. Regardless of where your employees are, they will have all the necessary data and applications when they need to access them.
● End-user device flexibility: VDI enables flexibility of end-user devices, meaning they can use laptops, phones, tablets, or other devices to work inside their virtual desktop instead of special hardware.
● Heightened security: Data storage and centralized management offer increased security inside the VDI. All data is stored inside the data center hosting the server where the VMs are running, so there's no threat of data loss if a piece of hardware is stolen from the end-user or he loses it.
● Reduced expense: If employees use and work on VDI from their devices, the company doesn't have to buy physical hardware for each person. In addition, all the resources come from the remote server, so they don't have to worry about outdated hardware impacting performance.
● Enhanced user experience: The users have the resources required to complete their tasks without noticing they are working inside a virtual setting. They can work from any device and any place without the cost of performance. Moreover, they have the power of the physical resources hosting the VDI without having to buy their hardware.
What is Application Virtualization?
Application virtualization is a technology that lets users access and use a specific application from any device, anytime and anywhere. IT administrators can set up a remote application on a server and provide the applications to an end user's computer using application virtualization software. The experience of the virtualized application is the same as using the installed application on a physical device, whether that's a laptop, computer, tablet, or smartphone.
What is Application Virtualization used for?
There are several reasons why companies might decide to start using application virtualization. We explain some of the most common ones below:
● Your operating system doesn't support an app: Application virtualization allows bypassing the limitations of your operating system to enable all employees to access an app via a browser-based workspace.
● The app version doesn't have the features you need: Some apps may be more feature-rich for your users in older versions. You might want your employees to access the older app because of these features. Application virtualization offers another alternative to enable employees to access a particular version.
● Your legacy solution is unavailable in the browser: Most companies are transitioning to the cloud. However, some applications can be pretty hard to replace. Many complex companies often rely on at least one customized solution. In this case, application virtualization can help by offering a better employee experience, allowing anywhere and anytime access via the browser with a suitable digital workspace that brings multiple sources and applications together.
● You're managing the change to the cloud for an application: Sometimes, launching cloud apps can be pretty challenging and demands substantial transition management. Application virtualization can enable a smooth deployment of a tool already being used on-premises in one part of an organization but changing to a cloud version in another.
● Your distributed crew can't access the apps they need: Some apps may have to remain on-premises because of security and compliance requirements. That can be challenging if you have a distributed workforce who need remote access to your tools, but you want to bypass the problems of virtual desktops. Again, application virtualization can enable all your apps to be available remotely.
● You're building a single contemporary workspace: Successful digital employee experience often has one place where employees can access everything they need in one optimized environment. Digital agency services can help you create such a workspace by integrating application virtualization technology.
How does Application Virtualization work?
Application virtualization is typically done by an IT administrator implementing remote apps on a server inside a company's data center or through a hosting device. Then, he uses application virtualization software to bring the apps to an employee's device. The employee can then access and utilize the app as if it was locally installed on their device.
The advantages of Application Virtualization
There are many advantages associated with using application virtualization. Some of the most common ones are:
● The capability to run multiple applications and operating systems on a single piece of hardware.
● A considerable decrease in the physical resources you need to manage your digital workspace.
● The capability to provide remote access to the working tools, supporting the hybrid workplace.
● More satisfactory levels of uptime.
● More efficient performance.
● Reduced expenses.
Should you use VDI and Application Virtualization together?
It depends on the needs of your organization. Without a doubt, the best option is to use software that allows you to combine both technologies in order to offer the best experience to each group of users.
Virtual Cable is one such company that provides application and desktop virtualization services with its UDS Enterprise solution. When the ITs of the University of Salamanca decided to incorporate UDS Enterprise's desktop and application virtualization solution, users started enjoying the possibilities of 24/7 access from any location and device, working remotely, flexibility, and optimal performance of the software and apps regardless of the device.
José Manuel Agudo, Assistant IT Manager at the University of Salamanca, said: "UDS Enterprise has allowed us to make all the teaching tools available remotely to the university community, including licensed software and complex platforms"
Melissa Gray is a freelance writer and an organizational psychologist. Her focus is primarily on marketing and new digital trends across the world. She writes for Digital Strategy One.