Improve business and workforce flexibility with virtualization

As companies struggle to manage the number and types of devices – laptops, tablets and smartphones – used by a more mobile and dynamic workforce, by necessity, their focus turns to efficiency in managing the business as well as IT infrastructure.

And that’s where virtualization comes in.

Virtual Desktop as a Service is one solution for companies seeking to streamline their IT operations. In this Q&A, Michael L. Leonard, a virtualization product manager in the Dell Services Product Group, discusses what’s involved in moving to virtual desktops.

Q: Dell Virtual Desktop as a Service allows companies to outsource their IT. In fact, streamlining is considered a primary benefit. When should a company consider making the shift? What kind of practical benefits can IT decision makers expect if and when they implement it?

A: When a company makes the strategic shift to focusing on its core competencies and away from doing its own support, using virtual desktops as part of that move is a natural choice. It frees up time for IT staff to focus on more strategic projects instead of maintaining and deploying desktops. It also allows the customer to shift from a CAPEX model to an OPEX model that improves the predictability of budgetary planning.

Q: Many companies struggle to support multiple operating systems on a variety of hardware platforms. How can Dell Virtual Desktop as a Service help companies tackle that issue? And how does it affect end-users?

A: Either by choice or necessity, companies are embracing a “Bring your own Personal Computer” policy. Most notably, this is seen in companies embracing remote workers or contractors who use their own personal computers. It’s a nightmare for IT departments to support the variety of PCs, Macs and tablets used by employees at home.

By using a hosted virtual desktop, the company no longer has to support that computer – only the virtual desktop being used allowing the user to use their own laptop, computer or tablet.

As an added advantage, the company increases the security of its data. When a remote worker or contractor leaves the company, their access to the virtual desktop is removed, and no one has to send back company property.

From a budget standpoint, using a hosted virtual desktop does not necessarily provide any direct cost savings. The advantages are seen in the company focusing on their strategic plans and not on supporting IT, increased efficiency in deploying new operating systems and applications, and improvements in data security.

Q: In any business, efficiency is key. What impact does Dell Virtual Desktop as a Service have on deployment?

A: Dell’s Virtual Desktop as a Service provides the customer the simplest path for deployment of an application. For example, if remote workers require a new order entry application, that application would be added to that customer’s Virtual Desktop as a Service system, the users requiring the entry system are given rights to it, and the next time they log on, they have access to that application. The centralized nature of the virtual desktop makes deployment simple.

Q: Data security remains top of mind for IT decision makers. What changes can companies expect to both see and make in their organizations?

A: Virtual desktops enhance the security already in place by most companies by adding additional enhancements to the way data and desktops are protected. For example, the centralized nature of hosted virtual desktops imparts added security by locating the data in a secured facility on redundant data center class server and data storage hardware.

Another security feature comes from using non-persistent virtual desktops. Non-persistent virtual desktops are created from an image each time the user signs on. This means that if the desktop were to catch a virus or malware, the virus or malware would be erased when the user logs off. Of course, any files created during the session are saved for the next session and are scanned for viruses as part of the virtual desktop service.

To find out more about virtualization, check out a series of case studies involving Dell clients.

About the Author: Ana Cantu