In the post-COVID-19 world, the term “new normal” has come to encompass many things: social distancing, facial covering, and remote working. The latter is a hot topic for discussion in news media and within organizations. It is not merely because it is necessary in these challenging times, but because it is a viable way of working that is broader and deeper than most organizations realize. Remote working has been a hot topic a decade before the onslaught of COVID-19, and many organizations have already adopted or at least considered the benefits of leveraging a remote workforce. A critical starting point for many organizations in the road toward remote working is a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), a solution that simplifies how to extend secure network access to employees beyond an organization’s physical walls.

 If you are not familiar with VDI solutions they are simply defined as the hosting of desktop environments on a central server. It is a form of desktop virtualization, as the specific desktop images run within virtual machines and are delivered to end clients over a network. Those endpoints may be PCs or other devices, such as tablets or thin clients. For many organizations, even before COVID-19, remote working was a viable option that could offer a wide range of benefits. These benefits include, but are not limited to, cost savings in terms of hardware, enhanced user experiences with a single sign-on, and the ability to implement bring your own device (BYOD) programs, to name a few. Nonetheless, the implementation of VDI solutions didn’t come without its challenges and obstacles, including hefty initial investments in backend infrastructure, a large supporting IT team, and the need for consistently reliable and robust network connectivity. Because of these challenges, VDI solutions failed to catch on completely and remained a niche solution only larger and well-capitalized organization could undertake.       

Luckily, VDI solutions have come a long way since those early days and are now even more viable and accessible to organizations of all shapes and sizes. Among the most significant changes in the last decade have been Edge Computing and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI). Not only have they made the VDI more affordable and easier to deploy, but also more importantly, they provide the scalability and operational efficiency that organizations need to service large numbers of remote users. Also, because of Edge Computing and HCI, VDI solutions are no longer the reserve of larger organizations as they simplify and automate many cumbersome and time-consuming tasks. Therefore, a leaner IT team staffed by IT generalists can easily manage everything from a central interface, including compute, storage, and networking. What’s more, Edge Computing and HCL have also brought powerful new integrated and automated disaster recovery (DR) capabilities and the ability to overcome latency and performance issues previously associated with VDI to ensure a smooth desktop experience that users have come to expect in 2020.


While the COVID-19 Pandemic will eventually fade into the history books, as all pandemics have done before, remote working and VDI solutions are here to stay. If the COVID-19 has taught us anything, organizations need to be prepared and versatile for the unknown, whether they be a pandemic, bush fires, or human-caused disasters. Beyond risk management, remote working and VDI solutions also play into the changing behavior and values of a workforce where versatility, mobility, and humanity are more important than ever. With the affordability, accessibility, simplicity, and manageability of VDI solutions today, there is no excuse to forgo them.     

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