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February 22, 2019

VDI Solutions – Finding The Right VDI Solution For Your Organization

VDI Solutions

VDI solutions, or rather Virtual Desktop Infrastructure solutions, continue to gain momentum in the world of computing environments. It only makes sense that every day, more and more IT professionals are turning to a VDI solution for their computing environment of choice. Whether HealthCare, Government, Business, Education, or another industry sector, VDI solutions are ever-expanding and are probably right for your company as well. If you’re interested in strong data security, efficient patch management, information recovery, on-demand storage, speed, performance, saving money, and much more – it may just be time to research which VDI solution could be right for you.

VDI solutions – on-premise or in Cloud?

Let’s talk about what VDI is for just a second… as a reminder, or maybe you’re “hearing” it for the first time, a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is an environment where desktop operating systems are located and managed on a centralized, remote server. End users’ data and applications also reside on the server and are centrally managed, troubleshooted, and deployed. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure endpoints and endpoint management software allow end users to access their desktop operating systems and applications, etc., just as if they were on their computers. The experience is the same in that it allows end users to access, present, and communicate data over a local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN), with “things” looking pretty much the same, with the exception of a few login screens.

There are two environmental computing approaches to VDI solutions – a traditional VDI on-premise set-up or a Cloud-platform desktop virtualization set-up. A traditional VDI solution on-premise set-up means on-site with physical hardware/server (i.e. “infrastructure”). Related expenses to number of desktops, although virtualized, are considered capital expenditure. Although still a thriving and growing approach, another set-up is also rapidly growing… as mentioned, the Cloud-platform virtual desktop approach. Due to the Cloud revolution, customers can now choose a Cloud platform and take the required number of desktops purchased as a subscription service as operational expenses.

Determining the right provider and protocol for your VDI solution

A very important part of a VDI solution is finding the right provider who will supply your desktop platform and protocol for remote connection and display. Features within virtual desktop platforms and protocols do vary and are also continually being updated, so it is essential that they be just the right fit. Getting started with the right provider all depends on your devices, operating systems, end user requirements, future plans, and more. VMware and Citrix are two of today’s leading providers of virtual desktop platforms that can be part of a successful VDI solution.

  • VMware VDI Solution: The VMware Horizon 7 platform simplifies desktop and application management. End users have access to everything they need in one single digital workspace. It provisions virtual, remote desktop protocols, and applications through a single VDI and app virtualization. Their Blast Extreme protocol is optimized for the mobile cloud and supports a broad range of endpoints, whereas PCoIP is more desktop-optimized for published apps or an entire remote desktop environment.
  • Citrix VDI solution: Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops (formerly Citrix XenApp & XenDesktop) provides a complete virtual app and desktop platform for Windows, Linux, web business applications, or full virtual desktops. Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops offer universal access to virtual apps and server-based desktops from any device, with the option to implement a VDI solution. Citrix Ready protocols include HDX for entry-level devices, HDX Premium for high-end devices including needs like Skype for Business, and HDX 3D Pro for 3D graphic-intensive performance devices.
  • Other VDI Solution Provider Options: Additionally, the Remote Desktop Protocol by Microsoft (Microsoft = platform, RDP = protocol) as part of a virtual desktop solution provides an end user with a graphical interface to connect to another computer over a network connection, enabling a viable VDI environment. As well as Parallels Desktop for Mac, (also known as Parallels RAS, Remote Application Server), a hardware virtualization software that maps the host computer's hardware resources server directly to the virtual machine's resources.
  • In Cloud VDI Solutions: Cloud-based platforms are also available, like Amazon Workspaces – a managed, secure cloud desktop service. Amazon WorkSpaces provisions either Windows or Linux desktops in just a few minutes and quickly scales to provide thousands of desktops to workers across the globe. End users get a fast, responsive desktop of their choice that they can access anywhere, anytime, from any supported device, which can make for a successful virtual desktop solution. For other Cloud-based VDI solutions, platforms like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform are also competitive options.

VDI Solutions

How to determine the right endpoint for my VDI solution?

Another very important part of a VDI solution is finding the endpoint device, and there are several. Due to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), the workforce mobility movement, and the advancement of technology in general, the range of endpoint devices for VDI solutions is more far-reaching than ever, from good old-fashion standard fat PCs – to laptops, tablets, or mobile phones – to Thin Clients & Zero Clients – basically, any hardware device that is internet-capable and granted security rights to connect to a related network qualifies. Even printers, POS terminals, and smart meters qualify as endpoint devices.

Once you’ve analyzed your existing computing set-up, number of devices required, end users’ needs and wants, and VDI transition budget – it’s time to start matching up the right VDI solution endpoint to meet all of these qualifications. Some things to consider are…

VDI Solution Endpoint Considerations:

  • Operating System Support:
    • Linux, WES7, WE8S, Windows 10 IoT
  • Platform, Protocol & Codec Support:
    • VMware Horizon PCoIP/Blast Extreme, RDP, PCoIP, Citrix HDX, Microsoft VDI/RDSH, RDP, Parallels, Amazon Workspaces, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform
  • Applications/Graphics Support:
    • Web Browser, 5250 Emulation, PDF Viewer, Power Term, Office Viewers, Flash Support
  • Display Resolution/Number of Monitors:
    • Single, Dual, Triple, Quad Screen Support, DVI-Ds, DVI-Is, VGAs (with Converters), DisplayPorts
  • Type & Quantity of Connections:
    • USB 2.0 Ports, USB 3.0 Ports, Serial Ports, Parallel Port, Internal Smart Card (CAC)
  • Networking Capability:
    • 10/100/1000 Base-T Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 a/b/g/n, ac, Power over Ethernet (PoE), Fiber
  • Mountings:
    • Vertical Stand, VESA & Arm Mounting Bracket
  • Wireless Optional:
    • Internal or External Antenna

How can I get started on a VDI Solution for my organization?

A VDI solution begins with planning for your company's wants and needs for transitioning into a virtual desktop infrastructure environment. There are many things to consider, for example – frequency of application updates may be critical to your group, or perhaps organizational growth may cause potential scalability, etc. Below is a simple starter checklist to get you going in the right direction.

VDI Solution Starter Checklist:

  • Check VDI compatibility with existing hardware
  • Work closely with provider for VDI software installation and use
  • Identify a qualified individual for managing all licensing
  • Review both visual and graphic display end user needs, as well as audio
  • Plan for end users to print from their virtual desktops to local network printers
  • Keep virtual desktop images limited for minimal storage requirements
  • Consider future desktop additions to environment

Other initial areas of concern or thought:Users will only have access to applications that are assigned to them

  • Users will not need to log off and on again in order to utilize USB devices from their virtual desktops
  • Users can logon to any computer in the network and use their virtual desktops
  • Users can modify configurations via user preferences and settings to personalize their virtual desktops
  • Users can remotely access their virtual desktops securely without dependence on a VPN client at the remote location
  • Users can utilize multiple monitors without special configurations to enable use of their virtual desktops for additional monitors

VDI Solutions 1

VDI Solutions with 10ZiG are a cut above the rest of the competition

For 15+ years, 10ZiG Technology has been a world-market leader in Thin Client & Zero Client endpoint devices for VDI solutions. Recognized as One of the 10 Most Promising Virtualization Solution Providers by CIO Review, 10ZiG is busier than ever with our ever-expanding product line. A few of our recent hardware introductions include a high-security Thin & Zero Client with a rare fiber/SFP ready option with dual monitor 4K UHD support, along with a Quad Core Thin Client & Zero Client featuring 4K triple-monitor support, touch technology, and a PoE option.

10ZiG provides leading Intel and AMD based Dual and Quad Core Thin Clients and Zero Clients for VMware Blast Extreme & PCoIP, Citrix HDX and Microsoft environments, in addition to the widest range of Teradici PCoIP Zero Clients on the market. 10ZiG offers free, no-obligation demo devices, Technical Support teams based in the U.S. and Europe, and provides The 10ZiG Manager™ – its endpoint management software solution with Cloud capabilities completely free with unlimited user licenses supported.