Employee Experience

Need More VDI? Look to the Cloud.

If yours is one of many companies with virtual desktop deployments, I probably don’t have to sing its praises. You already know how easy it is to manage virtual desktops from a central location, and the money that can be saved by extending the life of aging PCs by using them to access corporate apps and data stored in data centers. And how much more secure your environment is because sensitive information is no longer on workers’ physical desktops.

The question I continually hear from VDI users—most of whom deployed VDI the traditional on-premises way— is, what’s the best way to go about expanding existing deployments for new use cases?

These days, more and more businesses are considering DaaS, or cloud-hosted virtual desktops and apps. DaaS enables you to quickly and very cost-effectively extend the flexibility, efficiency and security benefits of on-prem VDI to more scenarios and workers.

Traditional VDI and Cloud Hosted VDI

Here are a few scenarios that make perfect sense for a DaaS extension:

Temporary Use Cases

Virtually every business has temporary use cases. Think retail companies, where influxes of seasonal workers need to be armed with secure corporate desktops and applications to handle holiday gift-buying crunches. Or education institutions, where additional dedicated Windows desktops are needed during mid-terms and finals for online testing apps. Or dev/test teams in any organization, which spin up servers and desktops when evaluating technologies and simulating how apps will run in various environments, and then spin them down.

When desktops aren’t used frequently or for long stretches of time, it doesn’t make sense to invest the up-front capital required to expand on-premises VDI capacity. Nor does it make sense to dedicate time and staff to maintaining limited-use environments.

With DaaS, you get all the benefits of VDI on a temporary basis, without the financial or time investments. You subscribe to cloud-hosted virtual desktops and apps on a monthly basis and, when they’re no longer needed, stop paying for them.

Disaster Recovery

No business is exempt from disaster, whether storms, earthquakes, power outages or cybersecurity attacks. If your desktops go down or employees can’t get to your office, your business could suffer devastating productivity and financial losses.

On-premises VDI can help mitigate these effects. However, most VDI deployments are designed for specific use cases and limited numbers of people. In the event of a disaster, that won’t suffice. Yet, implementing a large on-prem VDI solution capable of supporting your entire workforce—but only used for DR emergencies—would be overkill. A waste of resources.

Instead, use cloud-hosted desktops for DR alongside your use-case-specific on-prem VDI. You just reserve desktop capacity, design the recovery gold image, configure desktops and integrate with your network. Then, when you want to activate desktops, notify your provider and take as many – or as few—of the desktops you have on standby, as you need.

Testing New Use Cases

DaaS also provides a great way to test new VDI use cases before committing to them. For instance, one of our customers, was considering a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program so that employees could use their personal Chromebooks, Macs, PCs and more, to work from the office, job sites or at home. But first, they wanted to evaluate the impact BYOD would have on IT operations and the uptake they could expect from end-users.

DaaS enabled this company to test the BYOD waters before jumping in. Using VMware Horizon Air, they quickly rolled out a small BYOD program, incrementally adding users without having to buy, configure and deploy the servers, storage and networking needed for on-premises VDI.

Of course, you don’t have to be testing new use cases, or implementing temporary or DR scenarios, in order to benefit from cloud-based virtual desktops and apps. If you need to scale out a sizeable on-prem VDI implementation but don’t have the capital for infrastructure, DaaS is a great option. You can easily expand your existing use case to hundreds of additional users and, because cloud-based virtual desktop performance is just as good as on-prem virtual desktop infrastructure, no one will know the difference.

Which is just as it should be.

If you want to see how easy it is to augment your on-prem VDI implementation with a cloud-based solution, check out Horizon Air Desktops and Apps. Click here for more info.

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