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Top 8 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Tools

Citrix Virtual Apps and DesktopsMicrosoft Remote Desktop ServicesVMware Horizon ViewCitrix WorkspaceVMware Horizon 7VMware WorkstationParallels Remote Application Server (RAS)VMware Fusion
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    For the most part, overall stability is what you would expect.It provides all of the features required for the protection of data. For example, we don't want to allow any copy/paste of data to an outside environment, and we are able to restrict the VDI to not allow any data transfer from the VDI to the local laptop's hard drives. That is one of the greatest advantages the solution provides.
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    Installing Microsoft Desktop Services is straightforward.The solution has very smooth connectivity and is very user friendly.
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    The solution is secure.The solution has good performance and functionality. However, if the network connection was poor we noticed a decrease in performance.
  5. It is a good product. I don't have any complaints.The feature that I like is that it is fast.
  6. One of the most interesting features in the enterprise version is the ability to do some support. There is a feature for remote control and debugging, which is something we didn't have before having Horizon 7 and the enterprise version.
  7. Great at solving connection problems. I haven't faced any inconveniences working with this solution. It is very easy to use.
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  9. You have the opportunity to virtualize applications in different locations. Everything is in one pane or one window, which is quite good.Its price and ease of use are the most valuable. It is simple and has good performance.
  10. The whole point of it is to run Windows VMs on a Mac. This is the most valuable feature. There is snapshotting, but we don't really use that. The Pro version allows me to actually attach to the Windows ESXi infrastructure at the backend, and I'm able to create a session that I can attach to the VMware hooks at the backend, so one is running a VM, and the whole operating system is running on the actual Mac. The other one is literally a frontend to the VMs that are running in the infrastructure at the backend. These are the two main features I use.

What is the purpose of a virtual desktop?

Virtual desktops can fill several purposes. First, they enable users to access their desktop, applications, and data from anywhere and from any device. Also, virtual desktops promote collaboration, since most solutions allow for users to work on the same documents and projects remotely, to share data and docs, and even to communicate within the virtual desktop environment.

More organizations are moving to desktop virtualization because it provides business continuity and makes workloads more efficient. Desktop virtualization provides a way for organizations to continue operations even in moments of crisis or with a geographically distributed workforce.

How does a virtual desktop work?

A virtual desktop works much like a physical desktop. A user logs in to their virtual desktop from any device and connects to the network. There, the user can interact with applications, data, and other users as they would on a physical desktop.

In hosted virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), the virtual desktop resides within virtual machines on a central server. This technology uses hypervisor software to virtualize the operating system and simulate the user desktop. This enables the server to run multiple instances of the same operating system, thus fostering sharing and collaboration between multiple devices and users.

How do I create a virtual desktop?

Most major operating systems providers offer desktop virtualization. For instance, Windows 10 offers the possibility of creating several virtual desktops for end-users. If you use a single monitor, this feature can be very useful. You can add a new virtual desktop by using the Task View pane.

If you want to add a virtual desktop, click on the Task View button in the taskbar or press the Windows key + Tab. Then, click New desktop to add a virtual desktop. You can also switch desktops by going to the Task View pane. You can add an unlimited number of virtual desktops.

You can also create a Windows Virtual Desktop in Microsoft Azure. Although this is a bit more complicated than for an end-user, it can be done from the Virtual Machines tab. Start by creating a host pool of virtual machines and then create the application groups, the workspaces, and the designated users. More detailed information is available from Azure.

Types of Virtual Desktops

There are three main types of virtual desktops:

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is popular among companies because it mimics physical desktop computing. This hosted model assigns a virtual machine (VM) to each user when they log in. The persistence in this technology enables each user to connect to the same VM each time they access the workspace so that users can customize their desktops.

Remote desktop services (RDS) enable users to access desktops and Windows applications via the Microsoft Windows Server operating system. From the end user’s perspective, there is no difference between RDS and VDI. However, in RDS the server can support as many users as the hardware can handle, and thus is more cost-effective.

Desktop as a Service (Daas) VMs are hosted on a cloud platform supported by a third-party provider. DaaS platforms provide scalability and are usually more flexible than on-premises solutions. They also deploy faster than other desktop virtualization options.

Benefits of Virtual Desktops

The benefits of virtual desktops include:

  1. Business continuity: Virtual desktops help organizations stay in operation even when part of the workforce is remote. Virtualization also helps companies to expand their activities to keep a global workforce without compromising security or productivity.
  2. Expanded security: Desktop virtualization works at a layer on top of the physical hardware. Since the desktop is managed from a central physical or cloud-based server, you can implement security controls that go across the entire controlled environment.
  3. Simpler administration: Virtual desktops make it easier for IT teams to manage the access and computing needs of employees. It also simplifies collaboration and sharing for employees.
  4. Improved productivity: With a virtual desktop, employees can easily access enterprise computing resources from anywhere. Therefore, productivity is increased regardless of where the workforce is operating from.
  5. Scalability: Scaling up a regular company’s on-premises infrastructure is expensive and time-consuming. Desktop virtualization enables organizations to deploy new virtual machines or add a new user whenever necessary.
  6. Better user experience: Virtual desktops offer an intuitive user experience with easy access and collaboration from a centralized dashboard.

Features of Virtual Desktops

Desktop virtualization allows you to move computing operations to a virtual or cloud environment, offering you scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Here are some of the features of effective virtual desktops:

  • They can be accessed from any device: Any authorized user from any device - mobile or desktop - can access their desktop virtually and work as if they were in the office. This helps companies with remote staff or employees that need to work from the field.
  • You can deliver apps, data, and documents to any device from any cloud: Collaboration is easier with virtual desktops, since all employees share the same workspace, regardless of their operating system.
  • Unified management console: Most desktop virtualization solutions offer a unified management console to simplify user administration, deployments, and hybrid environment management.
Find out what your peers are saying about Citrix, Microsoft, VMware and others in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Updated: October 2021.
542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.