What is a virtual desktop and how can it benefit my company?

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virtual desktopA virtual desktop is a system that allows a user to access computer services, where the operating system, all applications, and data are kept on a central server instead of a local desktop. In fact, desktop virtualization is defined as software technology that separates the desktop environment and associated application software from the physical client device that is used to access it.

Desktop virtualization can be used in conjunction with an application virtualization server and a user profile management system, typically encapsulated in an operating system, which is often termed “user virtualization,” to provide a comprehensive desktop environment management system. In a desktop environment management system, all the components of the desktop are virtualized, which allows for a highly flexible and much more secure desktop delivery model. In addition, this approach supports a more complete desktop disaster recovery strategy as all components are essentially saved in a centralized data center and backed up through redundant maintenance systems. If a user’s device or hardware is lost, the restore is much more straightforward and simple, because basically all the components will be present at login from another device. In addition, because no data is saved to the user’s device, if that device is lost, there is much less chance that any critical data will be compromised. A virtual desktop is therefore the ultimate expression of remote access and cloud computing, allowing users to access their work anywhere via the Internet in the cloud, as well as through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Cloud computing is a form of IT resource hosting in which the computing platform (hardware, storage, operating system) is hosted. In cloud computing applications, the company committing to cloud computing, such as Webhosting.net, supplies applications that run in the cloud. The largest benefit of cloud computing, in supporting the notion of a virtual desktop, is that cloud computing has no specific limitations on applications, number of users, or traffic volumes. The resources in the cloud are elastic, so demands can be instantly expanded and reduced as business activity dictates. Virtual desktops are also updated and backed up automatically, which saves energy usage and lowers IT administration costs for your company. Virtual desktops are therefore an excellent choice for companies as they allow businesses to benefit from economies of scale and reliability and availability provided by service providers such as Webhosting.net, which cannot be achieved in-house.

To recap, virtual desktops are beneficial to small and mid-sized businesses because they lower IT administration costs. Because a business can opt to use a service provider such as Webhosting.net for IT resource deployment, desktops can be set up in minutes, not hours, and any issues can largely be handled remotely, providing a more responsive and efficient technical support environment.  Webhosting.net estimates that businesses can reduce their total cost of ownership by up to 50 percent by taking advantage of desktop virtualization.  Further, businesses benefit as most of the processing power is centralized, thereby reducing the need to frequently replace computers.

Another important benefit is that by using desktop virtualization, all data is automatically and regularly backed up. Users can thus rollback changes by accessing multiple previous versions of files. With the use of desktop virtualization, users no longer need to worry about updating applications, system software or virus definitions. All important updates happen automatically, thereby improving stability and security. Most importantly, through state of the art system deployment, a virtual desktop is accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection, providing better telecommuting options than ever before.

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