The crisis conditions that everyone faced due to the coronavirus pandemic forced many companies not only to reconsider their approach to remote work, but also to familiarize themselves with the process of virtualization of workstations. Below in this article we will look not only at what exactly the process of virtualization is, but also at the approaches to its organization and the benefits for companies, including the gambling sector.
If you approach the question very roughly, desktop virtualization can be defined as the process of moving a computer, desktop, OS and installed software into a virtual space. The essence of the process is to disconnect the employee’s workplace from a particular piece of equipment. At the end of the process implementation allows not only to save on infrastructure, but also to increase its availability, as well as to manage IT resources under a simplified program.
Dictionary and definitions
Due to the topic of desktop virtualization, special terminology is often used, the understanding of which is necessary for more efficient application.
The term ‘thin clients’ is most often used in this context. Essentially, it refers to devices that allow users to remotely access the computing power resting on the server. In this case the work is carried out as if they are inside a system unit which is used at the workplace.
Note that this term applies to a particular class of devices, as well as to PCs with basic characteristics, smartphones or tablets. The essence of the work of such devices is to broadcast an image for the user and then send the specified commands to the server. From the outside, everything looks as if the employee is busy behind a stationary workstation. At the same time, computing resources can be located at considerable distances, and the user observes only the image of what is happening on the screen of the remote server.
VDI and RDS, or how to organize workstation virtualization
Note that both abbreviations mentioned in the subheading are different ways of virtualizing. Looking ahead, we should also note that the two methods are quite similar to each other, but they solve different tasks for business and corporate network. There are also companies that combine both approaches so that the latter complement each other.
RDS is the original acronym that sounds like Remote Desktop Services. The latter is one of Microsoft’s components. According to this concept, employees of one company work on one virtual machine running on a server operating system. The strengths of this approach to virtualization are: no performance drops during software restarts, and solving problems with access to data on the corporate LAN.
Because RDS redirects data over a specific protocol, there may be limitations in the use of some tools. The more connections are made, the less productive the system will become. Another negative aspect of working with RDS is the difficulty in configuring the technology. And here the positive point is that at work with RDS the companies can save on acquisition of software licenses.
The abbreviation VDI comes from Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Essentially, it’s a virtual infrastructure where each user is busy on his or her own virtual machine, which is run through a remote server. In this way, all of the company’s employees are isolated, so more virtual copies of the OS are required. This technology, also because of this aspect, places more stress on the server.
At the same time, for companies whose main priority is to control access to confidential data, the solution may become indispensable. With this technology it is as if there is a disconnection between users and information.
In general, the technology for the corporate computer network is not only more reliable in operation, but also allows for a wider range of software and simplifies the configuration of infrastructure.
Virtualization: meaning for business
The benefits of desktop virtualization become apparent after months of use. However, the return on investment can take two to four years. The latter will depend on how large the business is managed by the company. However, the strongest argument for VDI and RDS will be a 40% savings in IT infrastructure ownership.
The virtualization process is first and foremost beneficial to the organization. Implementation of the technology allows organizing the work of employees using several operating systems. Thus, each employee of the organization or the whole department has the opportunity to get an individual set of software. As it was mentioned earlier, the use of technology allows to significantly increase the level of security.
Requirements to workplaces become more unified with a minimum of physical resources
In addition, by implementing a solution to virtualize the workplace, organizations can save on human resources. This refers to the work of IT engineers who are involved in setting up employee workstations.
Benefits of Virtualization
While the payback period for desktop virtualization is quite long, there are a number of undeniable advantages to using technology. Below are the most significant of these
- Reducing IT infrastructure costs. We mean savings on capital costs, including the purchase of equipment. As a rule, every five years companies buy a new batch of equipment, in addition, it still needs repair and modernization. Thin clients, on the contrary, do not become so quickly outdated and cost less.
- Restoration in the shortest possible time. Since a virtual machine recovers quickly, long downtime is simply not possible.
- More opportunities for staff. For example, there are solutions that allow you to run a virtual VDI desktop without an Internet connection.
- Expanding the possibilities for data protection. Because employees are isolated, confidential information leaks are reduced to zero. In addition, virtual machines can be provided with additional protection.
- High level of information security. Whereas previously information was stored on employees’ PCs, it now resides in a more secure location – cloud and office servers. The possibility of information theft or leakage is also minimized in this way.
Virtualization of workstations and gembling companies
Job virtualization is often referred to as one of the trends of this year. Indeed, more and more companies are using the latest technology every year. The gambling business is no exception. Everything described above regarding the benefits of virtualization will be fair when gambling operators use the technology.
In addition, operators may be more interested in the benefits of virtualization in terms of data protection and high level of information security.