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How to choose the right VDI architecture for your storage needs

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Focus: Desktop virtualisation and mobility

As enterprises look to tap into the productivity benefits that come from enabling their employees to use smartphones and tablets to get their day-to-day work done, interest in the use of desktop virtualisation technologies has risen accordingly. Desktop virtualisation, after all, allows organisations to run virtual machines on their PCs, smartphones and tablets to provide their employees with access to a wide range of work applications wherever and whenever they need them. Applications deployed in an environment such as this are often considered to be easier to update, while making the process of managing and storing corporate date on employee devices easier to do. In this guide, we take a close look at how a number of CIO from a wide range of industries have sought to address the demand for mobile working within their organisations, and the technologies they have deployed to ensure data security and access is maintained at all times.

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    Desktop virtualisation, or virtual desktop infrastructure, has come of age, partly thanks to shifts in workplace practices. Employees are increasingly working remotely and need full access to corporate systems. It is often inconvenient to use the corporate laptop but the user still needs access to the systems offsite.

    This has been the traditional use case, but as devices such as the iPad and Android tablets have grown in popularity, IT leaders have faced the dilemma of providing continued access to corporate applications, many of which still require a Windows client.

    Modern desktop virtualisation enables the user to “run” applications on whatever device they use, so long as there is a suitable VDI client.

    Over time, VDI companies have provided a richer multimedia experience on the remote device, such as graphics acceleration and sound, giving the user a better overall experience.

    In the Forrester Wave report for server-based virtual desktops in 2015, the analyst noted: “The more latency there is between the client device and the datacentre, the more lag the user will experience with common activities. Additionally, common use cases such as watching a video or using graphics-rich applications, can consume 10 to 20 times more bandwidth than when using typical word processing or enterprise client/server applications in a VDI session.”

    Therefore, fast bandwidth is essential, which renders the effectiveness of VDI over mobile networks – such as 4G – somewhat limited.

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