The primary purpose of having a virtual network is to allow a service provider or data centre to provide and manage a suitable and efficient networking structure. This structure must be constantly updated to reflect changing conditions, through software rather than physical hardware changes. Simply put, a hosted virtual desktop is a user interface that connects to applications and data that are stored on a service provider’s servers, rather than on the user or corporate network.
Implementing a hosted virtual desktop presents various benefits and cost savings for a company. The service provider is responsible for storage and backup of data, system security, as well as, upgrades. Moreover, they also offer redundancy, constant availability and optimized power. These virtual desktop models benefit the company, by enabling its employees to access their desktop from anywhere and anytime, given that they have an internet connection. They can also use various devices to do so; smartphones, laptops or tablets. As a result, the workforce is way more efficient and information is easily accessible to everyone in the company.
Cost effectiveness remains the main goal of every company. Firms adopt such technologies and digital services in order to cut costs, while still reaching their corporate aims. Virtual desktops deliver these cost savings. This is due to traditional desktops having very high lifecycle costs. Gartner, a leading consultancy agency, reports that the yearly cost of ownership of a computer exceeds $5,000 per year. This includes purchasing hardware and software, management and support, communications, system downtime and training, among other productivity losses. Adopting a hosted virtual desktop results in significantly lower total costs of ownership. This is done through economies of scale, that are achieved by centralization of IT systems and services. Rather than every company individually storing data on its own cloud and having its own infrastructure, all these services are provided by the service provider to many companies. The competitive nature that exists in the cloud services market also reduces the price charged for these services.
Cloud service providers present a low-cost way for companies to access applications stored on a cloud. These agencies are generally very secure, reliable and offer 24/7 support for their clients. These service providers group a number of physical machines and build a large number of virtual machines with software, making them accessible through the internet. This whole package with services and support would be offered at a monthly price for each desktop, referred to as a hosted virtual desktop.
Virtual desktops come in two different designs, either session-based, or dedicated. Session-based desktops are an economical solution for users to access applications with less changing needs. Users, such as, clerks and assistants, have less intensive computing and user personalization needs. Dedicated virtual desktops are aimed at those who need more resources, personalization, and control. These are used by individuals who have specialized requirements for high level computing, data storage and personalization needs.
Another benefit of using hosted virtual desktops is that these can be created with the desired configuration and software can be updated instantly. Virtual machines are much more capable of responding to the changing needs of a business, when compared to physical machines. They are easier to manage and make use of the available physical resources more efficiently.
After a company opts for a hosted virtual desktop, it is vital to choose the right service provider. Industry certifications for cloud hosting, from companies like Microsoft, are good indicators of the credibility and capability of the vendor. Another factor to consider is the level of experience of the vendor, in terms of length of time working in the industry, the size of existing customers and size of customer base. A hosted virtual desktop provider must have a very good track record of working with different customers, from small and medium business, to corporations, to individual professionals. Moreover, their offerings must be customizable to suit the specific needs of each business. Finally, they must be proactive and respond effectively to changing trends and demands, while increasing management tools.