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Virtual desktop infrastructure: Your go-to technology for remote work and the new digital workplace

VDI has been on the rise for at least a decade, but COVID-19 has accelerated the trend. If you haven’t investigated the benefits for a while, there’s never been a better time – and HPE Pointnext Services can help you get there.

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When the pandemic ramped up in March, businesses that had already implemented virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) found themselves with an unexpected advantage in responding: VDI enabled them to move rapidly to jump-start remote work or quickly scale up their existing work-from-home environments. These organizations were reaping the benefits of a technology that – while still lagging traditional desktop systems – has seen steadily increasing adoption for at least a decade.

New research from Enterprise Strategy Group reports that “prior to work-from-home mandates, businesses had aggressive plans to expand upon the success of VDI” (See Key Considerations for Enabling Remote Work and Recovery Plans with VDI – requires registration). While only 8 percent of the companies polled by ESG said that VDI today accounts for more than half of their desktop instances, that’s changing fast. More than one-quarter of respondents (27 percent) expect the balance to shift to VDI in the next two years (see the graph below).

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It’s important to bear in mind that ESG’s data was collected before the epidemic hit. As the report points out, “the current increase in remote work has likely further accelerated organizations’ VDI usage and long-term plans. Businesses with a VDI footprint already in place were able to scale the environment to meet the new demand and enable remote workers to gain secure access to their corporate workspaces.”

VDI technology has come a long way even in just the past few years, and if you haven’t looked into it for a while, there’s never been a better time. A well-designed VDI solution can meet your immediate needs for work-from-home capabilities, help you accelerate your economic recovery, and lay the foundation for a flexible digital workplace that will serve your company far into the future. I won’t delve into the details of those benefits in this post, but you can find a great overview here: Desktop Virtualization Solutions: Enable Your Agile Workplace with HPE.

Security plays a big part in the selection of VDI solutions, providing the ability to serve applications on just about any device, but with the knowledge that data is stored securely in a client’s data center or possibly a public cloud. Given the fact that, around the globe, there’s been a sudden rush and an immediate need to provide remote access to applications, the security of the workplace services might have fallen down the priority list. The unfortunate reality is that the shift to remote work has exposed more vulnerabilities for attacks. Organizations need a robust way to protect their data, IP and personal information. VDI, with its central control and data storage, provides an ideal way to do this.

You don’t have to go it alone

While VDI is certainly a tried-and-true technology, designing a solution and getting it up and running can involve some complexity. The good news is that HPE Pointnext Services can help you build your VDI strategy and determine the best deployment model. It’s important to note that VDI is just one part of the workplace services that you provide to employees, so it’s critical to work with a partner who has experience in cloud technologies such as Microsoft 365, as well as the ability to deploy and manage hybrid environments. At HPE Pointnext we have deep experience and expertise in building digital workspaces – indeed, we were recently recognized as a Leader in worldwide digital workspace services by IDC (see Saadat Malik’s post HPE recognized as a global leader in all three areas of Intelligent Edge Services.)

In addition, I want to point you towards one of the most important and exciting innovations for VDI: It’s now available on-premises in a cloud-like, pay-per-user, per-month model. With HPE GreenLake for VDI you can keep your workloads on-premises, with all the benefits for control and performance that brings, but with all the agility and speed of the cloud. It’s a complete, turnkey solution. HPE supports, operates and manages the platform for you – up to, but not including, the desktop virtual machines – taking the operational burden off of your shoulders. And you can scale up, or down, very quickly and easily.

Partnering with the best

The ability to build effective partnerships is key to success for any VDI services provider, and we’re proud of our extensive ecosystem of alliances with industry leaders like VMware and Citrix. But our most important partnership, of course, is always with our customers. Whether you’re considering VDI as a way to meet pressing current needs, or as a central component of your flexible, hybrid workplace of the future, HPE Pointnext Services can guide you on every step of your journey.

If you haven’t already checked out the ESG report that I opened with, I’d highly recommend it – at around three pages, it’s short and sweet, and packed with info that will interest any business or IT decision-maker considering a VDI project. Here’s the link again: Key Considerations for Enabling Remote Work and Recovery Plans with VDI.

Learn more about HPE Pointnext Services.

Learn more about HPE GreenLake cloud services.


Peter Mansell
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author

Peter_Mansell

Peter is a business leader and executive with over 20 years’ experience in technology and services. His current role is to run a global services business focused on modernizing the workplace, utilizing technologies such as Microsoft 365 and Citrix. Throughout his career, Peter has managed sales, pre-sales and delivery teams, encompassing advisory and professional services, cloud offerings and infrastructure solutions.