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IT Debates: VDI vs physical laptops

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IT Debates: VDI vs physical laptops

"Dear IT Pro's, I would like your opinion on Desktop Virtualisation (VDI) and Thin Clients. VDI vs physical laptops is a topic I often hear with my clients of +100 users. Who is in favour of this technology for mid-size companies with knowledge workers in flexible office environments? Who thinks this is not the way to go (anymore)? I would like to hear your stories! #vdi #citrix #nwow #itpro"

The above question was recently posted to LinkedIn by Olivier Mangelschots, Digital Challenger and Enterprise Architect.

The question caught the attention of SOS SAM team members Max Kong, Paul MacManus and Warren Pynt. Thanks to Olivier for raising this topic. Our team agrees there are times when using VDI makes sense. Here are a few to consider:

  • For security purposes, to ensure the user has only restricted access to data and applications and to reduce virus risk. Virtual desktops have less/restricted access to the data.
  • When working in a certified environment – pharmaceutical manufacturing, healthcare, mining process control systems – where a computer must always be in a controlled, ‘known’ state.
  • For remote workers who require limited access to applications and data, or when alternate access to this data is unavailable.
  • To take over from Remote Desktop Services (RDS).  Instead of providing access to an app on an RDS/Citrix server IT can provide a whole desktop with all the applications and software a user needs.  From a licensing point of view, it also removes the need for Microsoft RDS licences as VDI does not use RDS.
  • When software requires large amounts of resources but is used only infrequently by a single individual (e.g. a video rendering application requiring large amounts of GPU grunt); in this instance, it is better to share resources in a centralised location
  • For access to fixed applications which cannot run on a tablet operating system; for example, in a retail setting like IKEA for clients to use design software or product searches


VDI lends itself to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Virtual desktops provide a standardised environment of applications regardless of the technology employees choose to bring.

Virtual desktops provide the same benefits for IT as cloud computing, removing the need for IT to maintain approved technology lists and the standard operation environments (SOE) to support the approved lists.

In our experience, company size does not heavily factor into the decision-making process. Organisations need to make informed decisions on the best mix for their workforce in order to create the most efficient and flexible work environment. What do you think?

You can read Olivier's original post and the ensuing debate here: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6427157995632750592/



| Categories: IT Debates | Tags: vdi, citrix, IT debates, RDS, virtualization | View Count: (2645) | Return

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