Virtualization sounds as if it’s something that makes the Holodeck on the Star Trek Enterprise happen. But this trending technology is actually about moving static technology resources into a fluid, internet-based environment.
Think of how you’ve always been tied to a specific desktop computer at the office. The advent of laptops and mobile devices have made it easier to take work with you anywhere, but when not at the office, you’d still be lacking your “main base” of operation, with all your software, files, and personal settings.
Virtual Desktops, which use virtualization techniques, mean that instead of your computer residing on your desk, it’s now “in the cloud” and accessible from any PC, Mac, or mobile device.
We’ve been providing server virtualization services for years to small businesses in New Jersey helping them lower energy costs and improve server performance. Technology Visionaries is a Citrix Partner and we utilize XenServer to deliver virtualization solutions that:
- Improve application performance
- Simplify data recovery
- Consolidate workload so less servers are needed
- Reduce energy and cooling demands
Now, virtualization is progressing past server provisioning to user desktops and the results are an exciting new trend in business technology and workflows.
How Does a Virtual Desktop Work?
When you first get a desktop computer, you start with an operating system (OS) needed to run everything, then you begin adding your favorite programs by downloading them and storing them on the computer’s local hard drive.
Then, over time you may adjust your background or other personal settings and of course add files to folders you set up as you work on it each day.
A virtual desktop takes all those things:
- Operating System
- Software Applications
- Personal Settings
- Files & Folders
… and houses them on a server instead of your computer disk drive.
Virtualization software allows a single remote server to house multiple operating systems and virtual desktop environments. Depending upon server capacity, 50 – 100 or more “computers” could be housed on a single server.
So, the physical computer you’re using doesn’t actually have your files or software on its drive, instead it’s just an access point to get to your actual desktop which is in the cloud.
How Is a Virtual Desktop Accessed?
Accessing your virtual desktop is similar to accessing a cloud-based application, like Salesforce or QuickBooks Online.
Instead of just logging into your PC or Mac and having all your programs show up, you’ll be using either an internet browser or app to access your virtual computer.
Once logged into the environment, the server that is housing your virtual desktop will serve up your computer environment, including the OS, programs, files, and personal settings.
What are the Monetary Benefits of Virtual Desktops?
The reason virtual desktops are becoming a hot trend in the way companies handle their technology needs is because it has a positive impact on their bottom line in a number of ways.
No matter how “cool” a technology looks, if it doesn’t make sense monetarily, then it won’t be around for long.
In a study of 400 virtual desktops being used in a hospital, it was confirmed that virtualization made a big positive economic impact. The ROI over a 5-year period was 122.6%. Additional important benefits included the ability of medical staff to access information where and when they needed it.
What are the benefits of this technology for your business?
Lower Hardware & Maintenance Costs
If you have a staff of 50, that’s 50 different computers that need to be maintained and upgraded regularly and the costs can add up fast. But by using virtual desktops you may not need as many physical computers, can purchase hardware with less hard drive space (since they won’t be housing all those files and programs), and will have less IT maintenance costs overall.
Productivity Boost Due to Mobility
Studies have shown that mobility, i.e. the ability to work from mobile devices, makes workers more productive. When you have a virtual desktop that can be accessed from anywhere, inclement weather that makes it hard to drive to the office doesn’t have to mean you miss a day of sales opportunities.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
If a natural disaster like, flood, fire, hurricane, or tornado causes damage at your office, you’ve got to replace multiple computers plus hope that everyone backed up their files correctly AND that the backup wasn’t stored at the same location.
Virtualization houses your entire office infrastructure safely on a cloud server, making it easy to ensure business continuity because all files and programs are backed up regularly and can be accessed from any location, so your business recovers quickly.
Only Pay for What You Need
It’s not always easy to judge how many technology assets you’ll need at any given time. One year, you may have 75 employees, and the next either fewer or more. Using a virtual desktop environment means you’re only paying for those resources that you need at any one time and scaling up or down is quick and easy.
Find Out What Your Virtual Desktop Would Look Like!
Would you like to take a test drive of a virtual desktop? Technology Visionaries can show you exactly how the technology works, how easy it is to access, and ways you can get to your virtual computer from multiple devices.
Schedule a virtual desktop demo today! Contact us online or call us at 732-587-5960.