Every employee desires a level of flexibility in the working hours and the freedom to leave the office anytime without leaving the work behind. The most exciting feature of VDI is that it gives employees the ability to work from a remote location. For businesses, it can be highly beneficial as the work never gets neglected even if the employee is commuting or at home.
2. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
The VDI makes your process independent of hardware restrictions as well as hassles. As the desktops are virtual, you are liberated from the local desktops and can conveniently access your virtual desktop from portable devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. You can even use a thin client to access your desktop. Hence, the employees can bring their own device to work sparing the cost of hardware for business owners and improved flexibility for them.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure helps the businesses to keep their data secure by eliminating the local storage of data whatsoever. As the data is stored in a remote location, presumably in remote cloud servers if you opt for a hosted desktop provider, any damage to your device do not affect the security or integrity of the data. The portable device you use is just to access the remote server. Hence, you can access your data from any device as long as you know the username and password. Even if the device gets stolen, you do not need to worry as no one will be able to access the data without the login credentials.
4. Desktop Pools
With the implementation of VDI, virtual desktops can be divided into different domains, sometimes referred to as Desktop Pools. Let us assume that your office can be segmented into three departments – HR, Accounts, and Sales. Each of these departments requires desktops to carry out their daily tasks. However, each department has diverse roles and responsibilities. Consequently, each department requires a desktop with a different set of system specifications, software, and operating system. You can create a desktop pool for each department with each virtual desktop possessing the same specification in a particular pool.
5. No Hardware Issues
Consider the scenario of local desktop setup, where the desktops are physical in nature. If a desktop crashes or has an issue concerning storage or processor, there is no other alternative other than replacing the corrupted hardware or the desktop itself. However, in the case of VDI, virtual desktops can be provisioned very easily. As the Virtual Machine (VM) on which the desktops are hosted is virtual, any issues with the VM can be resolved by migrating your desktop to another VM.
6. Easy Provisioning of Desktops
Provisioning of new desktops for your office is a nuisance as it involves assigning physical space, installation of operating system, and software, setting permissions, etc. Imagine 20 employees joining your office at the same time and provisioning the desktop for each. Moreover, if you want to reduce the number of desktops, what will you do with the physical machines? The solution is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. You can provision virtual desktops in a matter of seconds. The virtual nature of desktops enables you to add or delete the desktop with the help of a management portal where you can view and manage all the desktops.
7. Scalable Desktops
The physical desktops come with a specific set of specification like processor, RAM, storage, etc. Although you can upgrade the desktops, it involves the tedious task of hardware replacement detested by the IT department. Moreover, the changing hardware requirement with each software upgrade, it is not feasible to keep replacing the hardware. The VDI technology enables the desktops to scale almost instantaneously. When the VDI is implemented in the cloud environment, the flexibility of cloud enables the virtual desktops to upgrade or downgrade the specifications of the virtual desktops.
8. Power Utilization
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure helps in minimizing power consumption by optimizing the resources. An office with physical desktops will consume loads of electricity with each component of the desktops such as CPU, monitor, etc. requiring power to function. However, in the case of VDI, multiple virtual desktops can be created on a single server, with the power consumed by the server only. However, the server requires power for processing and cooling. An even better option is virtual desktops hosted on the cloud that enables the businesses to avail the virtual desktops from cloud providers and minimizing the power consumption in their office premises.
9. Resource overallocation
Resource overallocation is a process that is associated with virtualization, and therefore, with VDI. With the implementation of VDI, the businesses can optimize resource utilization, and the costs related to it. With VDI, a virtual desktop can utilize the server resources of other desktops if some of them are in idle state or not using the total resources allocated to them. Imagine a server with 128 GB RAM hosting 8 virtual desktops, each desktop allotted with 16 GB RAM. Once a desktop utilizes its 16 GB of RAM, it can utilize the RAM from other desktops, given that the other desktops are not utilizing their RAM fully. Resource Overallocation enhances the flexibility of your desktops ensuring that no desktop degrades in performance.
Lastly, the factor that every business takes into consideration while setting up an office infrastructure is the associated budget. The costs associated with desktops are recurring as every hardware becomes obsolete after a certain period of time and needs to be upgraded. VDI ensures the use of less hardware by creating multiple virtual desktops on a single server. The reduces the physical space required for the desktop, and you can use a more compact setting for your office. Moreover, the cost related to desktop replacement and upgrade is also reduced. Another alternative is DaaS, where even the servers are hosted by cloud service providers reducing the Capital Expenditure even more.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (FAQS)
What is VMware Horizon?
VMware Horizon is a family of desktop and application
virtualization solutions designed to deliver Windows and
online services from any cloud. With Horizon, VMware
extends the power of virtualization—from data centers to
devices—to deliver desktops and applications with great
user experience, closed-loop manageability, and hybridcloud flexibility.
What is Horizon 7?
Horizon 7 allows IT to deliver virtual or RDSH published
desktops and applications through a single platform to
end users. These desktop and application services—
including RDS hosted apps, packaged apps with VMware
ThinApp, SaaS apps, and even virtualized apps from
Citrix—can all be accessed from one unified workspace
to provide end users with all of the resources they want,
at the speed they expect, with the efficiency business
What is User Environment Manager (UEM)?
VMware User Environment Manager offers personalization
and dynamic policy configuration across any virtual,
physical, or cloud-based environment. User Environment
Manager can simplify end-user profile management by
providing organizations with a single and scalable solution
that leverages existing infrastructure. IT can simply map
infrastructure (including networks and printer mappings)
and dynamically set policies for end users to securely
support more use cases. With this solution, end users can
also enjoy quick access to their Windows workspace and
applications, with a personalized and consistent
experience across devices and locations.
How is Horizon 7 licensed?
The Horizon Advanced and Horizon Enterprise editions
and Horizon Apps are available in two perpetual
• Per named user (NU) – For virtual environments with
staff that require dedicated access to a virtual machine
throughout the day.
• Concurrent connection (CCU) – For virtual environments
with a high number of users who share machines
throughout the day, such as students and shift workers.
A concurrent connection is defined as a powered-on VM
and connected virtual desktop session.
What is VMware App Volumes?
VMware App Volumes supports real-time application
delivery to virtualized desktop environments. With Horizon
7 and App Volumes, IT can build a real-time application
delivery system that ensures all applications are centrally
managed. Applications are delivered to virtual desktops
through VMDK virtual disks, without modifying the VM or
applications themselves, and can be scaled out to virtual
desktops with superior performance, at lower costs and
without compromising end-user experience.
What is the difference between Horizon Enterprise
and VMware Horizon Suite?
Horizon Enterprise has all the features and functionality
included in VMware Horizon Suite, with the exception of
support for file sharing. However, Horizon Enterprise
includes features not bundled with Horizon Suite, such as
support for hosted RDS applications and desktops, App
Volumes for just-in-time application delivery, and vSAN
How do I get a Horizon Client for my devices, and how
much does it cost?
Horizon clients for different devices are included as part of
the Horizon solution at no additional cost and are available
in the product download portal.
• Horizon Client for iOS is available from the Apple
• Horizon Client for Android is available from the
Google Play store.
Which products can be purchased standalone?
You can purchase Mirage, ThinApp, App Volumes, User
Environment Manager, vRealize Operations for Horizon,
vSphere for Desktop, Horizon for Linux Desktops, and
vSAN as standalone products.
How can I access a virtual desktop using my own computer?
You can access and use virtual desktops from personally owned computers and some mobile devices. Using your personal equipment, you can install a free application - VMWare View Client or use VMware Horizon HTML access.
What is Blast Performance?
Blast Performance is a comprehensive set of technologies
available with Horizon 7 that are designed to ensure that
end users have a consistently great experience across
devices, locations, media, and connections. Blast
Performance extends across the following:
Blast Adaptive UX –
Optimized access across the WAN
and LAN through an HTML browser or Horizon Clients
with PCoIP or Blast Extreme protocols. Blast Extreme
offers a new protocol purpose-built and optimized for
the mobile cloud, built on industry standard H.264.
Blast Extreme Adaptive Transport –
BEAT maintains a
great user experience across a wide variety of network
types, ranging from corporate LAN to public Wi-Fi and
Blast Multimedia –
streaming for rich user experience.
Blast 3D –
Rich virtualized graphics delivering
Blast Live Communications –
Fully optimized unified
communications and real-time audio-video (RTAV)
support. Horizon 7 now includes support for Microsoft
Lync with Windows 10.
Blast Unity Touch –
Intuitive and contextual user
experience across devices, making it easy to run
Windows on mobile.
Blast Local Access –
Access to local devices, USB,
and device peripherals.
Horizon Clients with Blast –
Unified client for consistently
great experience across devices and locations.
What is image management for physical machines?
Image management for physical and virtual machines
leverages Mirage to ensure that IT can easily deploy
images to end users across all physical endpoints.
This capability is included in Horizon Advanced
and Enterprise editions.
Does Horizon also support Linux operating systems in
addition to Windows operating systems?
Yes, Horizon Enterprise supports both Windows and
Linux (RHEL, Ubuntu, CentOS, and NeoKylin).
What is VMware workspace environment management?
Workspace environment management encompasses a
core set of management and automation capabilities that
customers can take advantage of with Horizon. These
capabilities consolidate, control, orchestrate, and protect
user compute resources and leverage VMware App
Volumes, VMware Mirage, VMware User Environment
Manager, and vRealize Operations for Horizon. With
Horizon products, customers can now access these core
capabilities through a single pane of glass to streamline
desktop, application, and infrastructure management.
What is cloud pod architecture?
The cloud pod architecture allows customers to
dynamically move and locate Horizon VDI and RDSH
pods across multiple data centers for efficient
management of end users across distributed locations.
This feature is available with all Horizon editions.
Instant Clone technology is available through Horizon
Enterprise Edition and in Horizon Cloud Service™ with
What is VMware vSAN?
VMware vSAN, a software-defined storage tier, pools
compute and direct-attached storage resources and
clusters server disks and flash to create resilient shared
storage. vSAN provides customers with a low-cost
storage alternative that eliminates the need to
overprovision storage to ensure that end users have
enough IOPS per desktop. Customers can additionally
simplify storage provisioning by managing this through
Horizon. VMware vSAN Advanced for Desktop is
included in Horizon Advanced and Enterprise editions.
What is NSX for Horizon, and is it included with
NSX for Horizon is a standalone offering available to
customers who are looking for a fast and easy way to set
networking security policy for end users that follows them
across devices and locations—regardless of changes in the
underlying physical infrastructure. NSX for Horizon does
not come with any of the Horizon editions.
What is Instant Clone technology?
Instant Clone technology provides a new, dramatically
accelerated means to provision virtual machines in vSphere.
With Instant Clone technology, a booted-up parent VM can
be quiesced and “hot-cloned” to produce derivative (child)
VMs rapidly, leveraging the same disk and memory of
the parent VM, with the clone starting in an already
“booted-up” state. This process bypasses the cycle time
incurred with traditional cloning, where several power
cycle and reconfiguration calls are usually made. When
administrators combine Instant Clone technology with App
Volumes and User Environment Manager, they can rapidly
spin up desktops for users that retain user customization
and persona from session to session, even though the
desktop itself is destroyed when the user logs out.
What is the difference between fat clones, linked
clones, and instant clones?
Fat clones, or “full clones,” are those virtual machines
(desktops) that will persist across sessions. Each user is
allocated a virtual desktop that uses a system image
dedicated only to that user with no dependencies on a
parent VM/clone. Virtual desktops deployed as “linked
clones” share a common system image across all users,
made from the snapshot of a parent virtual machine.
If the central image is recomposed, user changes to
a virtual desktop are not retained. These desktops are
considered nonpersistent. This dramatically reduces the
total required storage space, because there is no need
to copy the same system image repeatedly for each new
virtual desktop user. Instant clones, like linked clones, are
derived from a parent virtual machine. However, the
provisioning process is much faster, because the parent
VM is captured in a booted-up state such that the creation
of each child VM does not require power cycle and
reconfiguration steps required of linked clones.
What is True SSO?
True SSO streamlines the user login experience by
leveraging a Horizon certificate to authenticate users
accessing their Horizon desktop via Identity Manager, all
the way through to their Windows desktop. Prior to True
SSO, users would be presented with the usual Microsoft
Active Directory login prompt before they could access
their desktop, incurring a secondary login step after
authenticating through Identity Manager.
What is the difference between Blast Extreme
Blast Extreme is a new display technology built on the
H.264 protocol. It offers customers an additional means
by which their Horizon workspace can be remoted to their
client device. Horizon 7 continues to support devices that
leverage PCoIP, and with the addition of Blast Extreme,
customers can choose the display technology that best
fits their use cases.
Which VMware vSphere edition does the VMware
Horizon 100-pack contain? How many licenses
All Horizon editions include VMware vSphere® Desktop,
which has the same functionality and features as vSphere
Enterprise Plus Edition™. vSphere Desktop is licensed on
a per concurrent connection basis, so you can deploy
as many hosts as needed to support the number of
concurrent connections for which you are licensed.
When would I choose among Horizon 7, Horizon
Cloud Service with Hosted Infrastructure, and Horizon
Cloud Service with On-Premises Infrastructure?
Customers can choose the Horizon offering that best fits
their preferred IT consumption model and maturity
stage of cloud services adoption. For those who are
aligned with private cloud on-premises deployments
and are not interested in hybridized deployments or
subscription pricing, Horizon 7 is an ideal fit. For those
who are embracing hybridized deployments with the
ability to unify management across pools of desktop
capacity residing in both on-premises and cloud-hosted
deployments, Horizon Cloud Service with On-Premises
Infrastructure may be preferred. For those who seek a
completely cloud-hosted approach with all desktop
capacity residing in the cloud, Horizon Cloud Service
with Hosted Infrastructure is an ideal solution.
What is Horizon FLEX?
Horizon FLEX is a complementary solution to the Horizon
portfolio. Its key feature is that the data is stored locally,
allowing end users to work offline or on the road. It is a
bundled offering that includes a FLEX policy server, FLEX
clients (Fusion Pro for Macs and Player Pro for PCs), and
image management capabilities. Common use cases for
Horizon FLEX include BYO PCs, disconnected workers
where VDI is not a viable option, temporary workers or
contractors, development and training environments,
and regional offices.