Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is a desktop virtualisation technology that runs and manages a desktop operating system, typically Microsoft Windows, in a data center. The virtual desktop image is delivered to an endpoint device over a network, and users can interact with the operating system and its software as if they were running locally. The endpoint could be a standard PC, a thin client device, or a mobile device.
A virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployment enables organisations to remotely supply resources, such as entire desktops and applications, to their employees from a central server.
This is commonly used in the financial services sector, for additional security. It allows for close monitoring of all users.
Desktop virtualisation can be deployed in three ways:
- VDI deployments run the operating system (OS) on a virtual machine (VM), which is hosted on a server in the data center, in a VDI deployment. An operating system and applications can then be remotely delivered to end users by administrators.
- It is possible to connect to a Windows Server-based desktop and use Windows applications from a remote location by using Remote Desktop Services (RDS) or a Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH). Applications and desktops are served by the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Microsoft Terminal Server was the previous name for this service.
- It is also possible to host virtualised desktops on the scalable cloud infrastructure of desktops as an additional service, known as Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS). DaaS allows for a wide range of configurations and can be quickly put into place. As part of the cloud service, the provider handles the infrastructure and provides administrative tools for desktop deployment. There are a few configuration options, but the vast majority aren’t.
Using VDI has a number of benefits, including increased user mobility, accessibility, adaptability, and security. Because of its high-performance requirements, it was difficult and expensive to implement on legacy systems in the past, preventing many companies from taking advantage of it today.