A Brief History of VDI

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a powerful tool in the belts of many modern businesses. VDI enables users to access desktop environments anywhere, from any device, with an internet connection. Instead of running applications and storing data on local computers or servers, applications and data are hosted and managed on centralized servers in data centers or, as we’re more likely to put it, in the cloud. But VDI came from rudimentary and humble beginnings.

According to Britannica:

 

At a computer conference in San Francisco on December 9, 1968, [Professor Douglas] Engelbart demonstrated a working real-time collaborative computer system known as NLS (oN-Line System). Using NLS, he and a colleague (back in Menlo Park) worked on a shared document in one window (using keyboard and mouse input devices) while at the same time conducting the world’s first public computer video conferences in another window.

 

After 1968, VDI formally emerged in the mid-2000s as a way to manage desktop environments more efficiently. At first, it provided virtual desktops to users within an organization, which reduced the need for hardware. But its performance wasn’t optimal, specifically with graphics-intensive applications and multimedia content. But progress marched on with the ability of hardware to process more digital data faster and with ongoing improvements in network technologies.

The next challenge for VDI was scalability. As organizations grew and the demand for flexible, networked work environments increased, VDI was adapted to scale dynamically, allowing organizations to easily add or remove virtual desktops based on their needs. As VDI continued to evolve, more consideration was given to the user experience. Improvements in protocols for remote display enabled smoother rendering of graphics, reduced latency, and more responsiveness.

 

Then Came the Cloud

The integration of VDI with cloud computing was the proverbial game-changer. The combination offers greater flexibility, scalability, and accessibility, allowing organizations to deploy virtual desktops more efficiently without the need for extensive on-premises infrastructure. The cloud, of course, increased already existing concerns about remote access technologies. So, VDI evolved to incorporate advanced security features such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and refined access controls to protect the sensitive data and applications accessed through virtual desktops.

Some organizations adopt hybrid VDI deployments that combine on-premises infrastructure with cloud resources. This approach offers the benefits of both worlds, providing flexibility, scalability, and control over data while leveraging the advantages of cloud computing.

Whatever option you prefer — a hybrid approach, shared cloud resources, or a dedicated cloud environment — we’ve got you covered. Please let us know how we can help leverage VDI in the way that works best for you.

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Our experience with hundreds of businesses across diverse industries provides us with the expertise to understand your unique challenges.