Desktop Virtualization

Desktop Virtualization, or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) isolates an operating system (OS) and all applications from the physical computer. The desktop environment is stored on a remote or centralized server, and can be accessed from any location.

There are two models of desktop virtualization:

  • Host-based virtual machines (VM): Host-based VMs require users to login and interact with their desktops through a network using a remote display protocol. The VM is hosted within a data center. Users can access the same VM each time, allowing them to personalize them, or they can be given access to a random VM from a pool (non-persistent desktop).
    • Shared hosted VM: Shared hosted VMs (also known as remote desktop services or terminal services) allow users to connect to a shared desktop or to individual applications which run on the server.
    • Host-based physical machines: Host-based physical machines, or blades, allow the operating system (OS) to run directly on the physical hardware within a data center.
  • Client-based VM: Client-based VMs are processed through local hardware.
    • OS streaming: Operating systems run on local hardware, but boot to a remote disk image through a network. Groups of desktops can use the same image. OS streaming does require a constant network connection to function.
    • Client-based VM: A virtual machine that runs on a personal computer (PC) with a hypervisor. A hypervisor, or virtual machine manager, is a program which allows operating systems to share a hardware host. It controls the host processor and resources and allocates them to each individual OS, preventing disruptions between VMs. Client-based VMs do not require a constant network connection to function.


Using desktop virtualization provides many benefits including:

  • Allowing secure remote access: Employees can work remotely during on or off hours with their own devices through a secure connection, greatly increasing productivity.
  • Flexibility: VMs can be provisioned quickly, allowing allows businesses to deploy machines to employees without the need to individually install software and operating systems on each computer, greatly reducing downtime.
  • Easy to maintain: VMs are much easier to maintain. When employees log off the system, VMs can remove any downloaded software or personalization made to it during the session. This prevents the system from slowing down and provides easier troubleshooting. Updating software or downloading patches on individual machines is very time consuming for an IT department. VMs reduce downtime to employees by pushing out updates and patches through the host.
  • Desktop security: Permissions can be set on each VM to prevent downloading of malicious software masked as documents, etc.
  • Overall reduction in IT costs: VMs reduce the software licensing requirements, providing a huge cost savings in applications and software. Maintaining VMs is much easier than physical machines, reducing the need for extra IT staff. Instead of maintaining separate computers, VM templates can be created based upon different roles within a company. For example, a VM can be created and software used specifically for a sales associate, executive team member, engineer, or receptionist can be installed.

Using VMs enables companies to focus solely on their primary business. JKS can help you by providing desktop virtualization implementation services specific to your business needs.