Before the days of cloud computing, virtual desktops were deployed by running VDI pods, which is a set of connection server instances, application servers, shared storage and a database server that end users connect to and share the resources to run the desktop operating system and business applications. This method of VDI often resulted in a poor experience for the end users due to the performance impact of sharing resources, and a costly endeavour for companies having to update the pod’s architecture as applications became more resource intensive. The move to cloud computing has vastly improved the VDI experience for end users and businesses alike, as there is no need for expensive, outdated on-premises hardware.
Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), formally Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is deployed through Azure and allows end users to access Windows 10 desktop and apps from anywhere, on any device. Regardless of the size of a business, AVD has a host of benefits and provides a comprehensive solution, especially as businesses are planning a hybrid workplace model.
Below are some of these benefits:
Flexibility and Mobility
One of the key benefits of AVD is that it allows users to access everything they need to work from anywhere on any device. This opens the possibility of companies implementing Bring You Own Device (BYOD) programs as employees can have a Windows, Mac, iOS or Android device and still have the same experience as if they were using a company issued Windows PC. This is especially beneficial when considering a hybrid workplace model, employees are able to work from anywhere with no loss to productivity or computing power.
It can be difficult to manage IT hardware and devices in a company, as it needs to stay up to date and there needs to be more devices than employees in case a device fails to ensure all employees are able to keep working. This results in most companies having multiple devices not in use that still need to be replaced when the technology becomes outdated. With AVD the device cost can be much lower as each device does not need to have high specifications, as long as it is able to run HTML, it will be an effective work device. When implementing a BYOD process, you can further reduce costs as there is no initial device cost for the business. AVD also reduces costs as there are no additional license costs as it is included in your existing Microsoft 365 license.
AVD has built-in security features that keeps data safe no matter where an employee is working. As AVD is hosted on Azure, all employee and company data is stored in the cloud instead of the local desktop. Multifactor authentication is easy to deploy within Azure to have an added layer of security to prevent a security incident. Defender ATP also provides in-depth threat and vulnerability management to ensure the virtual desktop stays secure and identifies threats before they become a problem.
Azure Virtual Desktops can be managed from a single point, making it significantly easier for IT administrators to patch and update all machines at the same time. This is an added benefit for hybrid working as devices can be updated and fixed without needing to be physically with the device. The benefit of centralized management allows for disaster recover, as all data is stored on the cloud so if something does go wrong, your IT provider can restore to a clean desktop image to ensure business continuity.
Business needs change over time, both in relation to the number of devices in use and the level of computing power needed per device. If a company were to hire multiple temporary workers during a busy period, this would traditionally mean buying a new device and license for each employee. AVD makes it simple to deploy new virtual machines in minutes without needing to invest in new hardware. Session hosts can also be scaled automatically to balance loads to give a better user experience for those using more computing power while optimizing their session host costs.
Virtual desktop technology has evolved extremely rapidly and the modern AVD is worlds apart from the original VDI pods of a decade ago. AVD is now an integral part of many businesses, both large and small as it reduces expenses, provides flexibility, and simplifies management. This technology is becoming even more prevalent with hybrid working becoming the new normal.
If you want to find out how Windows Virtual Desktop can benefit your business and save you money, talk to us today. Feel free to contact us for a free demo. You can also take advantage of our Cloud Offer and save on implementation costs.
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