Virtual / Remote Desktops
Virtual Desktops and Remote Desktops (generically Server-based computing (SBC) or Centralized Desktops) is a technology whereby applications and desktops are deployed, managed/supported and executed on a server and not on a client workstation. Only screen information is transmitted between the server and client.
This solves the many fundamental problems that occur when executing the applications solely on the client. In client based (i.e., PC workstations) environments, hardware & software upgrades, application deployment, technical support, and data storage & backup must all be performed on each client. If your business has even 20 client workstation, you will understand the time (money) that performing these tasks incur.
Contrast that to an virtual / remote desktop environments where these tasks are performed centrally and once only on the servers hosting your desktops. Data and applications only reside on a few servers rather than on numerous and geographically diverse clients. It provides “virtual” workspace that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, on a variety of devices.
Existing PCs essentially become terminals and as reach the end of their life cycle they can be replaced by simpler, less expensive and most importantly easier to manage devices called “thin clients”.
Main Implementation Models of Virtual / Remote Desktops
True "Virtual Desktops" or generally VDI (Citrix XenDesktop / VMware Horizon View,...) involves connecting a remote display unit (think Thin Client Device, tablet, smart phone) to an isolated desktop operating system (like Windows 7) contained in ('executing in') in a Virtual Machine (VM) running on a separate physical centralized VM server. That is a mouth full no doubt. Simplified, all this means is a display device connected to the central server.
The "Hosted Shared" (Remote Desktop Services/XenApp) model involves connecting a remote display unit (think thin client device, tablet, smart phone) to a shared or multi-tenant desktop server running Windows Server. The desktop is that of the host server operating system like Windows server 2008 or 2012. While the user's desktop may look like a typical windows 7 or 8 desktop, they are not, although users are seldom the wiser.
Unfortunately many people think of desktop Virtualization as only VDI. In fact, many organizations would be better off if they used the hosted shared desktops like Citrix XenApp/RDS or straight Microsoft RDS instead of a full blown VDI desktop. The reason is that for small organizations, the additional hardware infrastructure needed for full VDI cannot be justified from a performance and cost perspective.
Click here for a more in depth discussion of this topic including pros and cons.
L4 Networks builds and manages Server Based Computing Systems on Microsoft RDS, Citrix XenApp/RDS, and Citrix XenDesktop and VDI-in-a-Box products.
Our preferred server vendor is Fujitsu as they build extremely high quality servers to our specifications and offer excellent support.
"As a strategic partner to Citrix, we are proud to be one of the largest providers of virtualised managed desktops in the market and support the Citrix Desktop Transformation Model that acts as a guide to helping us achieve our customers’ desktop virtualisation goals." - Michael Keegan, Fujitsu Business Development Director.
L4 Networks is a Citrix, Fujitsu & Microsoft partner