Providing employees with a virtual desktop experience is a critical business decision. As more companies offer hybrid or remote work options, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) software is one of the most common ways to implement secure, efficient virtual desktops for both on and off-site team members. Deploying virtual desktops in your data center requires local infrastructure, including servers and storage, a VDI platform like VMware, and virtual desktop software, connection brokers and protocols from companies like VMware, Citrix, or Microsoft. As you investigate virtual desktop solutions for your team, here are the five things to consider when evaluating the virtual desktop infrastructures that will deliver your virtual desktop solution:
1. Define Use Cases
Deploying virtual desktop infrastructure to support your virtual desktop solution can greatly simplify end-user experience. However, it’s important to assess the use cases of your company as a whole. Here are some example use cases for VDI, which you can select from, then prioritize, based on your company’s needs:
● Supporting remote employees
● Facilitating bring-your-own-device policies
● Reducing overall business expenses
● Connecting a hybrid workforce (branch and remote workers)
● Operating a business with task or shift work
● Ensuring data security
● Operating a call center environment
● Supporting graphics-intensive or complex applications
● Providing contractor and partner access
It’s likely that more than one of these applies. It’s important to understand what you need your remote desktops for, because that will impact the VDI software you end up using and the size of the infrastructure you’ll need to support it.
2. Oversight and Accountability
Going remote loosens the tether, so to speak, and both employers and employees face a few inherent risks. A big question mark for managers overseeing a remote workforce is how to exercise accountability measures.
An advanced virtual desktop solution integrates management and oversight through a web-based dashboard, detailed reports and alerts, and integrations with company-owned software. This centralizes oversight, ensuring that employers have insight into employee activity, keeping
everyone on track, connected, and on the same page. Not every VDI system is going to have the same methods in place for providing this, so it is a key point of consideration as you are investigating your options.
3. Build It or Buy It?
Depending on the nature of your business — and the know-how of your in-house tech team — you may toy with the idea of owning and managing your own virtual desktop solution. There are a few considerations to make:
IT Staffing Does your staff have the specialty expertise and training to build and manage your own system? Do they have the current capacity to take on this additional workload?
Infrastructure Do you have, or could you get, the servers, licensing, storage, and networking services or capacity you need to deploy and manage your own solution? What is the cost-benefit analysis of doing so yourself?
Budgeting While in-house solutions may seem more cost-effective, a legitimate analysis needs to be performed in terms of man hours, opportunity cost, and additional costs you may incur.
Want more insight into whether you should build and manage your own in-house virtual desktop solution or partner with a cloud services provider for a managed DaaS/hosted virtual desktop solution? The decision is yours, but this FREE resource lays out all of the facts to help you decide.
4. The Bells and Whistles (Features)
Not all VDI software systems are created equal. Most will have a common set of features, including:
● Desktop virtualization platform
● Connection brokerage management
● Connection Protocols (RDP, Blast, PCoIP, HDX, RDSH)
● Management and Security tools
● Performance management and reporting
As you look for a VDI solution, you must consider critical deployment questions like:
Ï Can the VDI deployment be implemented on the platforms you currently operate, or will you need a proprietary hypervisor?
Ï Does the system have security capabilities that will support your defense in -depth strategy or will you need to layer in other tools for virus protection, endpoint management, and identity management?
Ï Must the system be deployed on premise, or can it be supported on a hyperscale cloud like Amazon or Azure?
Ï Do your critical applications require a specific operating system or version? Many virtual desktop software solutions require the use of Server (not desktop) operating systems that can affect application performance.
Ï Do you hope to deploy a concurrent or dedicated desktop instance model? Concurrency can save costs but limit options.
Ï Is this a project, and a specialty skill, that your IT team has the time, capability, and money to take on and get right, or should you consider fully managed virtual desktop offerings like Desktop as a Service (DaaS)?
Perhaps most important is to inquire about pricing structure and uncover hidden costs like usage and bandwidth. Customizations may cost extra, and you’ll want to make your decision against real numbers.
5. Comparing DaaS Providers
Leveraging a DaaS provider to deliver your virtual desktop solution can simplify your desktop virtualization journey, control costs, and optimize performance. The current market size for DaaS is set to exceed $190 million the year 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55.8%. This means it is a fast-growing industry with numerous providers worldwide. The company you choose for this service will impact everything, so it’s important to consider what you need. Sort the essential services by order of priority:
● Let’s talk size: It’s important to choose a DaaS provider that can accommodate your team as it is now, and support future growth.
● About the benjamins: Cost is an important factor, because scaling VDI software can get expensive fast. The best service providers will have a network of partnerships that drive down costs and be clear about the variable expenses in their offerings.
● Anyone there? Companies rely on VDI software, and you need to know you can reach someone for help if you have a glitch or issue. Investigate a company’s customer service reputation to learn if they’ll be as responsive as you need them to be.
● Experience with your use cases – Not every DaaS provider is created equal. Requirements like Real Time Audio and Video are not a given. If you plan to run online collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex, or contact center software in your environment, you’ll need a provider that specializes in delivering it.
● Flexibility – DaaS service providers deliver virtual desktops in many ways. Make sure that your service provider is not a one-trick pony supporting one method of delivery. As detailed above, there are many considerations that affect your choices of VDI software. Don’t get locked in.
The truth is most traditional DaaS providers have a comparable set of features. Very few are branching out or innovating, which is why Evolve IP has such an elite standing in the market. We’ve gone above and beyond the traditional offerings, and are leading the industry in affordability, consistent user experience, security, regulatory compliance, and more. In fact, Evolve IP is a top DaaS provider and recognized by Gartner. This categorization is proof positive of the quality of work, reliability of services, and benefits provided.
User Experience Uptime, Power & More: Desktop as a Service
Desktop as a Service (DaaS) directly impacts user experience, giving employers and employees the tools they need to thrive in a digital age. At Evolve IP, we’ve spent over a decade operating DaaS infrastructure. Now, for ambitious companies that want enterprise performance, we offer our Virtual Desktop as a Service solution. Get an array of device deployment options, tailored desktops, maximum security, audited compliance, expected uptime (99.99%), and other standout benefits for optimal productivity. Plug in your team to the power of DaaS: Contact Evolve IP today to learn more.