The Pros and Cons of Using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

This article provides a high level insight to the advantages and disadvantages of VDI.

Many organizations continue to run Windows XP on many or all of their desktop PCs, either because migration typically requires costly hardware upgrades, time-consuming transfers of settings, and user retraining, or because there’s simply no compelling reason to move users to a new OS and the new application software that goes along with it. In some cases, both justifications apply.

But when you consider that Microsoft has already stopped issuing non-security hotfixes for Windows XP and will end all support for the OS in 2014, that strategy won’t be tenable for much longer.

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) utilizes server hardware to run desktop operating systems and application software inside a virtual machine. Users access these virtual desktops using their existing PCs. This not only eliminates the need for workstation hardware upgrades, but also enables the user to switch between operating environments, such as Windows XP and Windows 7.

What’s more, VDI renders administrative and management tasks much easier, because every attached workstation can use the same image. Install OS and application software updates and patches to the one image, and every desktop system using that image is automatically updated and patched.

VDI offers clear benefits, but there are two sides to every coin. Here’s a brief look at the pros and cons of using virtual desktop infrastructure:

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