Just about everyone I talk with about cloud computing is talking about Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI. The easy way of explaining this, it is the consolodation of end user desktop computers onto a centralized server. In todays world opertational costs for desktop computing along with a help desk and staff to support it are extremely high. IT leadership worldwide is looking at VDI and other virtualization strategies to potentially reduce desktop cost(s) by 40-50%.
The beauty of implementing destop virtualization is that little changes for the end user. Most can still access the applications they do today without any problems – the apps aren’t on their computer any longer, but are hosted in a datacenter somewhere. Somewhere can be in a back room at the same address, or in a datacenter 500+ miles away. It doesn’t matter today. In many cases, companies and local government want their information to be >500 miles away for security and redundancy reasons.
With VDI, the IT administrator captures what is called a “golden image” of how they want the desktop to appear, and then depending upon the user, they can customize which applications are available. The MAC (moves, adds, & changes) work required in supporting a traditional desktop arrangement by help desks and IT personnel having to work and support end users and remote users is nuts! One talented admin can do the work of many once this type of system is put into place. Additional reductions in cost come from consolidating and using less servers than were previously used.