Virtualized desktops can provide many tangible benefits to an enterprise, the most important being grouped into several high-level categories which include:
Enabling crossover of professional and personal devices – Increasing numbers of enterprise users work on PCs in their professional and personal life. The line between work computer and home computer is becoming blurred, with personal apps and data finding their way onto enterprise PCs and vice versa. This creates an insecure and unmanageable paradigm which can easily be addressed by virtual desktops that separate personal material from corporate. Some enterprises have taken this scenario to the extreme with “employee-owned PCs,” whereby the user works on their home machine with a corporate environment provided via a virtual desktop. This paradigm reduces IT help desk costs by shifting the burden of PC support to the employee and the vendor of the PC.
Fostering mobility – By decoupling the workspace and associated applications, data and resources from the hardware, virtual desktops provide an enterprise with a true “work anywhere, anytime” solution for employees, increasing productivity. A mobile virtual desktop solution can allow employees to use their enterprise desktop anywhere there is a PC.
Lowering TCO – By separating the desktop from the lower layers, administrative costs are reduced, while functionality is increased. Applications deployed at a workspace level, without regard for the underlying host operating system, reducing application provisioning and compatibility issues.
Enabling Disaster Recovery – A robust disaster recovery solution can be architected using virtual desktops. Best used in conjunction with mobile virtual desktops, an employee’s entire workspace can be encapsulated on a portable storage device, laptop or stored on the network for use off-site or off-campus if the need arises due to unforeseen outages in business continuity.
Providing security – A key value proposition of any virtual desktop solution, security is directly related to a vital technology feature of virtualization – isolation. Isolation as a technical underpinning of virtualized desktops will be detailed in a subsequent section.
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