Virtualization revolutionized the delivery of IT services by abstracting the computing resources of a server and allowing many “virtual machines” to run on a single box. It is now commonplace and a foundational piece of cloud computing.
One outgrowth of virtualization was virtual desktops, which use a virtualization platform to run instances of desktop operating systems, complete with applications, that are accessed remotely. This means that the end client accessing those virtual desktops doesn’t need to be very powerful, because all the processing happens in the data center. It also means there is less hardware for IT staff to manage and updates are simple to process.
Virtualizing applications — and to an even greater extent, virtualizing desktops — has another hidden benefit, however: stronger data security. But how does remote access and processing add security? Shouldn’t there be more chances for an attacker to intercept data when it is traversing from office or remote work locations to a central data center?
Both virtual desktop infrastructure and Desktop as a Service (DaaS) products operate on the same or similar technology and deliver many of the same benefits to administrators and users, including simple updates for desktop groups, remote access to applications and data, and less (or no) hardware to manage. Both VDI and DaaS take the processing load away from the local client, allowing a wide variety of user endpoints.
There are some huge differences in how you purchase and administrate VDI compared to DaaS, however. Depending on your expertise, staff, and existing infrastructure, one may be a better fit for your business.
It's been nearly a year since we've done a blog roundup, but if you follow Green House Data on Twitter or LinkedIn, you know we stay tuned to the latest data center, networking, and green energy news. In case you missed it, last month brought out headlines on inefficient in-house enterprise data centers, security and shadow app use, tips for vSphere data center design, and a debate over Greenpeace's report on green data centers. According to our Twitter stats, readers found the following articles the most interesting last month.
In December of 2014, a new study, “Corporate Data: A Protected Asset or a Ticking Time Bomb?” from the Ponemon Institute found that employees have excessive access to company data, presenting a growing risk to these organizations.
Their findings led to the revelation that there is a significant lack of oversight and control over which employees have access to confidential, sensitive data and how that data is shared. They also found confusion among staff as to what their responsibilities are in protecting company data. Companies that do not make data protection a priority typically have a difficult time staying within compliance standards.
The answer depends on each individual deployment, but no matter the use case, admins will have to work with legacy hardware and consider new devices to support a virtual desktop initiative. From laptops to mobile to thin-client, there are plenty of end user platforms supported by VMware Horizon View.
Desktop as a Service (DaaS), which delivers virtual desktop infrastructure from a cloud provider, allows devices other than PCs to access fully featured desktops that are hosted in the data center. Because servers do all the heavy lifting, these client devices don’t need to be particularly powerful, enabling a new wave of BYOD confusion and excitement, as well as the opportunity for capital expense reduction through less expensive client devices.
There are several options for virtual desktop pools in Horizon View that will change how administrators manage desktops and how users interact with them. There are three main pool types and two assignment types to choose from.
Desktop Pool Types
Unless you’re working with Microsoft Terminal Services machines (in which case you’ll choose Terminal Services pools to allow terminal servers to be treated as Horizon desktops), either migrating or using them alongside Horizon desktops, you’ll select from automatic or manual desktop pools.
You’ve likely heard of “shadow IT” or BYOD (bring your own device). Both terms refer to employees using private devices or software at the workplace—think iPads for work, or Google Drive to share files in a department. These practices may not be sanctioned by the IT department, but they improve productivity and save provisioning costs. However, they come with the risk of security breaches or other issues, causing IT headaches. By implementing an official BYOD policy and deploying hybrid cloud tools, companies can eliminate shadow IT and empower employees at the same time.
Businesses large and small are looking for the most effective way to develop a safe and secure BYOD policy for their workers. This trend is sweeping not only tech workplaces, but across industries. BYOD stands for “Bring Your Own Device.” The general gist of it is that employees will bring personal devices, such as laptops, tablets, and smart phones, and use them for work. While BYOD is still very controversial, companies have found that there are some serious pros (and cons) when it comes to allowing employees to use their own devices.