In our last blog, we talked about Microsoft Azure and how businesses were using the platform to transition their businesses to cloud-based operations. This time around, the team at Agile MSP are focusing on Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), a particular service within Azure that is all the rage at present – and for good reason.
Technically speaking, a WVD is a virtual machine that hosts a desktop in the cloud. Within it, operating systems, applications and hardware are no longer contained within a local desktop but are run from a remote one belonging to Microsoft. WVD has the same functionality as an in-house physical desktop system, but with certain advantages.
The shortcomings of a physical desktop
The workforce looks different to how it looked 10, or even one, year ago. COVID-19 has forced many businesses to employ staff remotely, creating difficulties of desktop access and hindering the productivity of many businesses due to the challenge of staff accessing physically located desktops.
COVID-19 has also required many businesses to downsize and lay off staff, thereby leading to superfluous physical infrastructure. Similarly, businesses that have managed to grow during the pandemic have struggled to upscale IT infrastructure, as new employees have had to work from home and new software has been hard to make accessible to existing but remote employees.
The pandemic has highlighted the vulnerabilities of a traditional physical desktop and has underlined the value of a virtual desktop. WVD can be scaled up or down easily to adjust to business growth or downsizing. It is also immediately responsive to the need for new applications or services, with no delays experienced in acquiring and installing new systems and no unnecessary payments for tools which are not ultimately needed.
Why should I set up Windows Virtual Desktop for my business?
Arguably, the main benefit of Windows Virtual Desktop is that it can be accessed from anywhere in the world and on almost any device – a computer, a Mac, an iPhone, Android, an iPad, or a browser will all be suitable. All it requires is an adequate internet connection.
Staff who work remotely or who work in the field and travel from location to location, such as roaming sales staff, can access the full functionality of a desktop remotely when using Windows Virtual Desktop – making productivity possible and saving time travelling on the job.
WVD also allows greater flexibility within the office. If you employ a lot of part-time staff or want to modernize the workplace, you can setup hot desks as staff can connect to their personal WVD from any computer. You don’t have to invest in as many devices as you have staff.
Here are a few of the other key benefits of transitioning from working on a traditional desktop to working on a virtual desktop:
- Cost reduction. There are fewer IT overheads for businesses because services are instantly provisioned and scalable to changing requirements. A virtual desktop does not require CAPEX investment of complex infrastructure along with overheads of running private datacentres – both which can take up costly office space and contribute to significant energy and cooling expenditure. Staff require a basic connecting device and a reliable internet connection, as functionality relies solely on internet access rather than other IT systems. Thankfully, there’s no unnecessary investment with Azure because you only pay for the services you use. Also, WVD can be set up using existing Microsoft 365 licences, without the need to double up. Win-win!
- Improved security. As data is not stored on devices but in the Azure cloud, there is less risk of lost devices resulting in the leaking of sensitive information. Log-in is secure and can involve multi-factor identification. WVD also offers world-class disaster recovery and implements sure-fire measures against data-loss.
- Windows Virtual Desktop provides a familiar user experience as the virtual desktop runs on Windows 10. The screen looks and works the same, right down to applications being openable via the start bar. Speed is generally faster as the device is connected to hosted Azure servers.
- Virtual desktops are more scalable to changes within your business than traditional physical infrastructure.
- Up-to-date tech. Updates are more continuous than with physical software and infrastructure.
How do I change to Windows Virtual Desktop?
Launched in 2019, Windows Virtual Desktop is the updated version of Microsoft’s earlier Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and has perfected its game by using the power of Multi-Session Windows 10 and providing an as-a-service model on Azure without the need for gateway, broker, load managing and other roles to be managed by the client. Furthermore, it has broken away from the one-user per virtual machine model, allowing multi-user sessions and improving resource efficiency.
The experienced team at Agile MSP have seen the positive impact a transition to Windows Virtual Desktop can have for a business. Our IT consulting services have helped setup and maintain many businesses on Microsoft Azure and virtual desktop solutions, enhancing their productivity and guaranteeing their growth.
Contact us today on at email@example.com or on 1300 247 677 if you want to modernise your business or to learn more about how Windows Virtual Desktop may help your business.