How to Overcome Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Limitations

By Cloud and Data Center Transformation
8/13/2020

When the global health crisis began, businesses were faced with the daunting challenge of enabling or providing additional capabilities to remote workers nearly overnight. Those that didn’t respond in some way, or simply deployed laptops to staff members, faced and continue to face significant business disruption and increased security risk.
 
A common solution has been to implement Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). According to a recent Insight survey, 40% of IT professionals reported having deployed VDI as a result of or in response to COVID-19.
 
Some key features and benefits of VDI:
 
  • VDI gives users access from anywhere to applications running on the corporate network.
  • Applications and data remain securely in the data center or a cloud location (not on a user’s device).
  • IT management is centralized, with better access controls.
  • Data loss and downtime due to maintenance issues or upgrades are far less prevalent.
  • VMs can be quickly spun up for dev/test, contractors, or other specific needs.

VDI, whether deployed on-premises or in the cloud, has significantly helped businesses maintain business continuity and productivity in 2020, despite workplace disruptions and economic uncertainty. VDI deployments were rising pre-pandemic as well, as more companies looked for the kind of flexibility and security that VDI can provide to a diverse workforce, a portion of which have operated remotely to some extent for years now.

However, VDI has its limitations, which can result in poor app performance, CPU overload, complex user management, and less-than-ideal user experiences. And such issues are exacerbated when more expectations are placed on systems. For example, updated versions of Windows 10 require twice the amount of storage as Windows 7 (32GB versus 16GB)1 and include features best experienced with newer processors.2 Some features in creative and design tools such as Adobe® Photoshop® will not work without a GPU.3

Other resource-intensive applications can also put a strain on CPU resources and therefore impact overall VDI performance. This can affect many organizations and end users, including creative design or engineering professionals using CAD/CAM or Adobe Photoshop, those in healthcare working with telemetry and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems with video, financial services firms requiring real-time data visualization, and data scientists building Artificial Intelligence (AI) models.
 
Upgrading hardware or switching to a more robust VDI solution can help. Adding Virtual Graphics Processing Units (vGPUs) into the mix can be even more effective, though.
 
Why?
 
  • vGPUs ensure virtual desktops are more reliably high performance.
  • This combination can produce better end-user latency for faster response times, higher frame rates for more fluid rendering, and richer image quality.
  • vGPU-enabled VDI improves the overall user experience, providing improved mobility and more seamless integrations.

 
Without a vGPU to offload the burden placed on a CPU, users may experience slower system performance, application features that don’t load or load with errors, and applications that are unable to run. Adding a vGPU is especially worth considering if you’ve recently made the move to Windows 10, a system that puts increased demand on your computing resources.
 
If you’re interested in learning more about whether a vGPU-enabled VDI environment may be right for your business, check out the whitepaper “vGPU and VDI for an Efficient and Productive Remote Workforce.” We are also happy to discuss your options with you directly — send us a message today.

 

1 Shaikh, R. (2019, April 25). Your PC Might Not Be Able to Run Windows 10 1903 as Microsoft Raises System Requirements After Years. Wccftech.com.

2 Microsoft. Windows 10 Computer Specifications & Systems Requirements. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-specifications.

3 Adobe. Photoshop graphics processor (GPU) card FAQ. https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/photoshop-cc-gpu-card-faq.html.