To understand VDI, you have to be able to wrap your head around virtualization first. Virtualization is the process of provisioning virtual desktops running an operating system of your choice and on suitable virtual hardware configurations, all within your own work environment ( which by the way is another operating system ). Now, what is a virtual desktop? Virtual desktops are pre-configured operating system images(desktop workstation or server operating system), along with bundled application software that is abstracted from the physical device it is run on, typically a thin client which these virtual desktops are run. Maybe a graphic would put things into perspective.
To get a deeper understanding lets look at what is virtualization. Virtualization is creating a virtual version of a computer, complete with a virtual CPU, virtual memory, virtual hard drive, virtual graphics card, even a virtual NIC. Where this is created and hosted makes the difference.
You could create your own virtual machine for your own use in the latest operating systems like Windows 10 and any of the Linux flavours. The idea is to distribute your existing hardware between 2 or more machines, one of them being your physical machine. The virtual machines you create can be running any operating system(desktop workstation or server operating systems) and application software, independent of your physical machine.
Based on the persistence property, the VDIs can be categorized into Persistent VDI and Non-Persistent VDI.
The use of a public or private cloud to provision a VDI is referred to as VDI Cloud working on the same lines as Software as a Service. VDI Cloud can be further categorized as Managed VDI Cloud and Desktop as a Service.
Managed VDI Cloud : In this solution, an outsourced fully managed service is leveraged for your VDI infrastructure.
Desktop as a Service(DaaS) :This is a multi tenant offering mostly on a public cloud, although private cloud offering is available. The cloud service provider typically takes total responsibility of hosting and maintaining the VDI.
VDI cloud seems to alleviate most of these concerns with fully managed services taking care of the nitty-gritty stuff. Also with pay, as you go models, the cost of maintaining an on-premise VDI is virtually nullified. But this brings its own perils. Security on a cloud, be it public or private isn’t really up to the levels you would have on a privately owned VDI. So if you are baking something that the world wants to know but you want to keep it a secret, you better have your own kitchen.
Lets look at the software and hardware components that help in setting up your VDI.
First up you have the hardware, the huge pool of hardware that you should carefully plan for making available to your workforce. This part gets simpler on the cloud. You can provision more hardware as you go, basis your consumption and use case, so you don’t need to purchase all the hardware upfront.
Sitting on top of this hardware is the server operating system to which the client computers will connect.
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