What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)?

John Savill

April 23, 2008

1 Min Read
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A. VDI is a combination of remote desktop connections and virtualization. Virtual servers run multiple virtual machines (VMs), which operate the client OSs, such as Windows Vista or Windows XP.

Users then remotely connect to VMs for their desktop environments. The users' local PCs can run thin clients, older hardware with Microsoft Windows Fundamentals, or a Linux distribution as the remote desktop client.

VDI completely isolates users' virtual environments from other virtual environments because every user is connected to a separate VM. Some environments use static VDI in which a user always connects to the same VM. Other environments use dynamic VDI, in which users dynamically connect to different VMs, and VMs are created as needed. No matter what model you use, it’s vital that users' data be stored away from the VMs and that applications be provisioned quickly.

In addition to providing centralized management and easy computer provisioning, VDI offers users anywhere-access to their desktop environments as long as they can remotely connect to the server.

Imagine a problem on a client computer today. You might have to troubleshoot the computer and possibly reinstall it. With VDI, if there's a problem environment, you just delete the VM and use a template virtual hard disk to create a new environment in seconds. VDI also offers increased security because the data isn’t sitting locally on a desktop computer or laptop.

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