Is VDI Really Worth the Investment?

VDI | Virtual Desktop InfrastructureMany companies are making the move to VDI, or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. This is used to help workers communicate remotely, allow branch office access to a main worksite, or provide remote IT support, among other things. This desktop-centric service can make remote access very easy, but is it definitely worth it? Consider the pros and cons of using these Managed IT Services before you take the plunge and make an investment you might wind up regretting.

What Does VDI Offer?

VDI allows a remote user to access a hosted desktop environment through a Managed IT Services Provider. The remote user logs on for a session and is connected to an assigned desktop through the provider. This makes it easy to access your business desktop without actually having to be on site, so it is commonly used by employees who are traveling or those who are working from home. The desktop resources are centralized, which means that you will be able to access the same resources from multiple locations if needed. This is especially useful to IT personnel, who can access an employee’s computer remotely and fix the problem faster than would be possible without remote access.

What are the Disadvantages of VDI?

Unfortunately, every advantage to using VDI can also be a disadvantage depending on what you need it to do. For example, having each desktop user utilize the same image means that you will need a unique desktop image for every user who wants to use a different set of applications than the default. To set up the system, you will need one large central server, which can be significantly more expensive than just using several smaller PCs. Additionally, because information is drawn from one central image, bugs can affect multiple users at once. When something goes wrong with the main image, your business can be crippled until that gets fixed, with nobody able to work effectively in the interim.

Is VDI Right for Me?

Is VDI worth the investment it requires? That depends on the nature of your business. The initial buy-in tends to be much higher than alternatives, so you will need capital up front in order to make the beginning investment. The actual structure of your business will determine the rest of your needs. For example, if you have a large number of employees who work remotely or travel often, having a centralized desktop might be extremely useful. Similarly, if you have off-site IT support or other remote offices, there are uses for this system. However, if you are in an area where connectivity and network reliability are a concern, this system can be more trouble than it is worth.

While there are benefits to VDI, you should be sure to weigh both the pros and cons before committing to the system. The use of this system involves a bit of extra training, a larger buy-in, and a strong reliance on good managed service providers. If you aren’t sure that the pros outweigh the cons, you might want to look at other systems.

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