Virtual Desktop vs. Remote Desktop Services for SMBs
Does your small Business have the requirement to give secure remote network access to contractors, partners, satellite offices or remote employees? In this article we will overview to two most common options implemented by managed Services providers at small and medium sized businesses.
IT consulting firms recommend two Microsoft solutions; Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or Remote Desktop Services (RDS). For both these options you require a server that will host the virtual desktop (VD) or remote Desktop (RD).
What is Remote Desktop Services?
Remote Desktop Services formerly known as terminal services is a Microsoft thin client solution that comes with Windows 2008 R2. This product allows users to establish a virtual session from most devices to the server. This enables them to connect to applications and files hosted on the server. The user develops the same experience as their local desktop however their session is hosted and processed on the server rather than their desktop. This cost-effective infrastructure platform is suitable for any type of organization, particularly those with a roaming workforce, or users that require a flexible desktop or application access, including contractors, remote workers and corporate workers that may need to work from home.
The Benefits According Microsoft includes:
- Accelerate desktop & application deployment
- Help secure data and applications
- Increase remote worker efficiency
- Microsoft RemoteFX: enables local-like access to media-rich applications for session-based desktops; it can be deployed to a range of thick and thin client access devices
- Improved user experience: Capacity to support multi desktop sessions, bi-direction audio, and support for media rich applications such as Silverlight.
- Remote Desktop Web Access: Users can easily make connections on any operating system via the browser.
- Remote Desktop Gateway- Enables convenient access to secure networks with-out the need to establish a Vpn connection.
What is a virtual Desktop?
Virtual desktop is an interface in a virtualized environment hosted on a server rather than the local desktop. Software platforms such as (Microsoft Hyper-V / Remote Desktop Infrastructure) or (VMware Vsphere / VM workstation) allow your IT administrator to spin up virtual machines on the server and allocate the necessary resources to it. You can connect to the virtual desktop via the web or remote desktop client and work in that environment to access your business applications such as Microsoft Office, SharePoint and CRM systems.
- Scalability: The resources such as RAM capacity, disk space and other peripherals can easily be allocated by your administrator.
- Centralized Backup: As the remote desktop is hosted on the server, the VD can easily be backed up and restored using snap-shots.
- Enhanced and easy Deployment: With the capability to clone and create templates a virtual machines can be deployed in a few minutes.
Both options are viable and suited for different environments. They can be hosted in the cloud at a secure facility or hosted in your office if you have the suitable infrastructure in-house. To reduce your hardware and software costs some business opts to pay a low monthly fee and have their cloud service provider host their virtual server and virtual desktops. Consult with your IT Professional to determine which solution best fits your needs.