It is critical for staff of organizations to have access to any information they need, at any time, and from any device. Recently, the increase in the variety of devices has made providing access more challenging for IT. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets present connectivity and security concerns for IT. The expanded capabilities of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) provides solutions to the challenge of mobility.
Initially, having the ability to log on to your account from any device on the LAN was a main benefit of VDI. VDI is designed to run applications centrally on powerful servers where users have thin clients on their desktops instead of fully functioning PC’s or workstations. A thin client consist of a keyboard, mouse and a monitor with enough compute power to display graphics and connect to the LAN. This also works well for shared devices such as those used by multiple shifts of nurses using the same workstations for example.
Today, users need remote access from smartphones, tablets, remote laptops, and PC’s. One approach is to authenticate remote laptop and PC users through a virtual private network such as with an SSL VPN appliance. This is a good solution, but the architecture does not necessarily accommodate mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, which don’t have enough compute power to run full desktop applications.
This is where VDI can extend access and functionality. In this design, consider smartphones and tablets as thin clients and run the applications on central servers. VDI ISV’s have added this type of functionality in an effort to remain relevant and add value. VMware Horizon is one VDI solution that provides connectivity from several types of mobile devices.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has partnered with VMware to provide a ConvergedSystem solution for VDI. The HPE CS700 for VMware Horizon is a factory integrated cabinet of servers, storage, and networking, which now has VMware Horizon VDI preloaded. This is a solution you can provide that meets the needs of a wide variety of organizations; from many users of shared workstations, to business application users, to those using heavy graphics such as computer aided design (CAD) and streaming video. The bonus is that you can also accommodate mobile users with smartphones and tablets.