Posted by: Alan Perlman
VDI, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Windows 7
Since the beginning of time, or at least since the advent of the PC, there has been a constant struggle between IT control and user choice/freedom. The pendulum has swung in both directions. When IT can get control, they tend to seize it. Not necessarily control for control’s sake, but in the best interests of the organization. And so it is now with VDI and the potential for IT to seize more control of a client environment that in some ways has gone crazy with freedom of choice, what with smart phones, tablets, iPads and other personal devices connecting to and possibly infecting/effecting corporate networks everywhere. So what are the reasons IT may be looking at gaining more control through VDI? Here are five to consider:
1. Security: This is a big one, right? If you can keep all of the information in centralized storage and restrict access to authorized users, it makes managing endpoints quite a bit easier. If a laptop is stolen or lost there’s no corporate data on the hard drive to lose. If users can’t upload data to a USB drive then that’s one less thing to worry about. Also, IT can centralize and control virus protection, so the chances of getting infected are reduced while the ability to deal with and address incidences are enhanced.
2. Patch Management: There’s a lot of stuff on most PCs: Operating systems, dozens of applications, browsers, anti-virus software, instant messaging and more. Keeping users current on everything can be a pain, and ensuring compatibility and currency are time-consuming, labor-intensive tasks without the right tools. VDI is a tool that simplifies this process, speeds it up significantly and eases a lot of the potential headaches for the IT department.
3. Software Management: This is one that organizations are dealing with big-time with the shift to Windows 7, as we mentioned the other day. With VDI, however, you have the opportunity to isolate the operating system from the application, so the idea of software migration takes on a whole different meaning.
4. Hardware Repairs: Companies that have deployed VDI solutions report dramatic decreases in the number of desk-side visits to fix or update devices. If a device breaks, tell the user to ship it to IT and just go to another device and hook up to the corporate network and his virtual desktop will be there. Also, with thin clients, if that is one of your VDI models, the chances of something going wrong with the hardware are diminished because there is no local storage to worry about.
5. Speed: With VDI, everything can go faster: From provisioning new devices to migrating software to deploying patches to getting users back up and running after a disaster or some other incident that causes downtime. Increased speed generally means less downtime, which generally means more productivity. More productivity means happier executives, which means happier IT departments. And that alone can make the case for why IT likes control. At least that’s what I think. What about you? Care to comment on the issue of IT control and VDI?