What is a Virtual Desktop and How Does it Work?
By: mindSHIFT Technologies on Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A virtual desktop is an Internet-based hosted desktop service.

Your desktop operating system and data is kept on a server in a data center. You use your Internet-connected device to log in with a personal ID and password via a web browser to connect to this server and use your desktop. This device could be a traditional desktop or laptop, a tablet like an iPad®, or a thin client.

After you have logged in, your desktop appears on your screen, and from that point forward, it operates just like a traditional desktop. All of your favorite programs, icons, pictures and wallpaper appear on your screen, just like before. If you want to use a Microsoft® Office® program such as Word®, you would just click on the icon, and the program opens, ready for you to begin typing.

When it comes to saving your files, you save them to your folders as always, but those folders are located on the virtual desktop and the files are saved on the remote server.

When you’re done with your work, you log off and your desktop closes.

Organizations and individuals see these benefits from virtual desktop operation:

  • You can log in from almost any device and from any location with an Internet connection, in environments ranging from an iPad in a coffee shop to a multi-monitor thin-client in your office

  • Desktop setup is simplified, making it easier and quicker to provision an account for a new or temporary employee
    • users can be added or deleted as needed

      • Corporate data is protected via automatic file backups
      • Improved data security
        • no data is stored on the device, so a lost laptop (for example) does not pose as much of a security risk
        • employees access their virtual desktops via a secure VPN (virtual private network), not just via the open Internet

          • Virtualized desktop services typically charge a monthly fee (per user) so the initial investment is lower, and you only pay for what you need

          • Most of today’s virtual desktop services operate with the Windows 7 operating system look and feel

          Virtual desktop solutions are sometimes called VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure), desktop virtualization, or Desktops as a Service (DaaS). Many companies use virtual desktops because they are a secure, low maintenance alternative to purchasing, managing and securing desktop software and equipment.

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          For more information on virtual desktop services from mindSHIFT, contact us or call 877-227-5054.






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