What is DeskTop Virtualization And How it Works?

Last updated on March 22nd, 2022 at 10:40 pm

Virtualization for desktops is a method for creating a virtual user desktop accessible from any remote device.

By abstracting the user’s desktop this way, businesses allow users to work from anywhere using the network connection of any tablet, laptop, desktop, or smartphone to connect to corporate resources, regardless of the operating system or device used for remote users.

Virtualization of remote desktops is an essential element for digital workspaces. Virtual Desktop applications run on desktop virtualization servers that typically run using the virtualization of machines (VMs) or at data centers on-premises and in the cloud.

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Since the user device is primarily a display keyboard and mouse and keyboard, a stolen or lost device poses a lower threat to the business. All user data and programs reside on the virtualization servers for desktops and not on devices used by the users.

How does Desktop Virtualization function?

Remote Desktop Virtualization is generally built on a model of client/server that is where the company’s preferred operating system and programs run on a server either in the cloud or in the central data center.

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In this scenario, all user interactions occur via an individual device of the user’s choice, akin to the dumb terminals standard on mainframes and earlier Unix systems.

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What are the advantages of Desktop Virtualization?

Resource Utilization

Since the IT resources used to support the virtualization of desktops are centralized in the data center, and the resources are pooled to maximize efficiency. The requirement to push OS and software updates to end-user devices is eliminated.

Almost every laptop, desktop, smartphone, or tablet can connect to virtual desktop applications. IT companies can therefore use less powerful and expensive devices for clients since they’re primarily used for input or output.

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Remote Workforce Enablement

Since every virtual desktop is located in central servers, brand new desktops of users can be set up within minutes and made accessible to new users for access.

Furthermore, as every application is served to the user via networks, users can access their corporate applications from anywhere with internet connectivity.

Moreover, IT support resources can concentrate on issues on virtualization servers, with no concern for the actual device connected to this virtual computer.

When a user leaves a company, the resources used to create their virtual desktop could be transferred to a centrally pooled infrastructure.

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IT professionals rate security as the most significant issue they face every year.

With security requirements restricted to virtualization servers and a strong emphasis on access and identity management using role-based permissions, limiting users to the applications and information they have been granted access to.

By removing OS and application issues from desktops, virtualization provides central security controls that are hardware-based.

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In addition, when employees leave an organization, there is no requirement to delete data and applications from devices used by users; all information on the device is permanently deleted and doesn’t remain on the device after the virtual desktop session has ended.

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How many types of Desktop Virtualization?

The three most common types of desktop virtualization include virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), Remote desktop Services (RDS), and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS).

Virtual desktop infrastructure

VDI emulates the desktop computing model using virtual desktop sessions running on VMs that are either on-premises in data centers or the cloud.

Companies that adopt this model control the desktop virtualization server in the same manner as they would manage any other on-premises server.

Since most user computing is transferred from the user back to Data Centers, the initial set up of servers for running VDI sessions is significant. Still, it is offset by removing the requirement to keep updating devices for end-users.

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Remote desktop Services

RDS is typically used when the applications must be virtualized instead of a complete Windows, Mac, or Linux desktop. The applications, in this case, applications are streamed to a local device that runs the OS.

Because only apps are virtualized, RDS systems can offer more users per Virtual Machine.


DaaS shifts the responsibility of offering Desktop virtualization services to providers, which significantly eases the IT burden when it comes to providing the virtual desktop.

Companies that want to shift IT costs from capital to operational costs will benefit from the predictable monthly expenses that DaaS companies are based on for their business models.

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Desktop Virtualization vs. Server Virtualization

Server virtualization is when the server OS and its programs are abstracted away into the VM from the hardware using the hypervisor.

Multiple VMs can be run on one server, each having its unique server OS and application and all the requirements for running the application like it was running on bare metal.

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Desktop virtualization abstracts the client software (OS and software) away from the physical client that connects to data and applications remotely, often through the internet.

This abstraction lets users make use of any device to connect to their desktop virtualization. Desktop virtualization could significantly enhance the need of an organization for bandwidth, contingent on the number of concurrent users at peak times.

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Desktop Virtualization vs. App Virtualization

App virtualization isolates programs running on the device that is running them, and desktop virtualization abstracts the whole desktop, including OS and applications, which can be accessed via any client device.

Application virtualization makes it easier to install any application which is first installed on a server. It is then virtualized to the different devices that it runs on. Client devices receive an executable that is pre-configured and packaged, which makes it easy to install.

Virtualization software is only one instance of the hosting server application, which means maintenance is much simpler.

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Only one instance has to be maintained and updated. If an application has been retired and deleted from the server that hosts, it will also erase the application from users no matter where they are.

Additionally, because virtualized applications are contained inside their containers, they cannot communicate or make other applications fail.

Furthermore, because virtualized applications are entirely independent of the operating system, they can be utilized on any device, regardless of Windows, iOS, or Linux/Android.

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However, the virtualization of applications is not suitable for every application.

Graphics and computation-intensive apps may experience a slowdown rendering time, which can cause visible lag and a reliable broadband connection is essential for delivering the same user experience as native device apps.

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