Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is virtualization technology that hosts a desktop operating system on a centralized server in a data center. VDI is a variation on the client-server computing model, sometimes referred to as server-based computing. The term was coined by VMware.
Benefits of VDI
Virtual desktop infrastructure is a desktop virtualization approach in which a desktop operating system, typically Microsoft Windows, runs and is managed in a data center. The desktop image is delivered over a network to an endpoint device, which allows the user to interact with the OS and its applications as if they were running locally. The endpoint may be a traditional PC, thin client or even a mobile device.
This approach can have many benefits, depending on the type of VDI deployed. Because little actual computing takes place at the endpoint, IT departments may be able to extend the lifespan of otherwise obsolete PCs by repurposing them as VDI clients. And when the time does come to purchase new devices, organizations can buy cheaper, less powerful machines.
Because all data lives in the data center, not on the endpoint, there are significant security benefits of VDI. A thief who steals a laptop that uses VDI can't take any data off the machine, because there is no data on the machine.
Besides that, Converged infrastructure and hyper-converged infrastructure products, which bundle storage, servers, networking and virtualization software -- often specifically for VDI deployments -- have emerged to help address the scalability and cost challenges associated with virtual desktop infrastructure.