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Going to work used to mean that you would wake up, get dressed, pack a lunch, and actually leave the house to drive to the office. You might have sat side-by-side in cubicles with other employees where you worked on a company-issued desktop. However, over the last few years, the workforce has changed. Going to work now may mean that you wake up, get dressed (almost all the way), walk to your home office, and use your own laptop. Because of this new “work-from-home" culture that so many businesses have implemented, there is also a push to start implementing virtual desktop infrastructure, also called VDI.

This allows employees to use their personal devices from anywhere in the world to virtually log on to their work desktops and use all of the applications that their company offers without paying additional licensing fees. Many business applications are licensed to one specific machine or require more compute. Virtual desktops allow users to access their fully functional business desktop from any device.  

A recent study published in Bloomberg states that the use of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is poised to expand globally by at least 20% by 2028. The article outlines the benefits of persistent VDI use and how it has become a staple for business technology users, replacing conventional corporate-owned laptops. While all of this is true, what Bloomberg did not elaborate on was the benefits of utilizing non-persistent VDI.  

The difference between a persistent and a non-persistent VDI is the end user’s experience. A persistent VDI is unique, or persistent, for each user whereas a non-persistent VDI can be shared by multiple users. For example, when you put your computer to sleep for the night and then return in the morning, everything remains as you left it. A non-persistent VDI can be spun down when not in use and a fresh virtual desktop can be created upon the next login.  

One reason for the "pro-persistent VDI" stance is that all the benefits of a persistent VDI are based solely on the end user's experience. While this is a significant concern, it is also important to cover how this would affect the enterprise IT management of these persistent VDI's.  

With a non-persistent VDI, the desktops are preconfigured from a sterile state, allowing for better control over licensing costs and compliance efforts when performing audits over an entire VDI infrastructure.  

Since these are fresh gold images, you can easily control patching, vulnerabilities, and connections to these desktops from a security perspective. The users' experience would not be tainted because the adoption of cloud-based storage. This would provide that seamless "persistent-like" experience that allows an end user to pick up right where they left off the day before.  

One of the most advantageous features of non-persistent VDI's is its ability to provide its end user with a concurrent pricing model. Concurrent pricing allows a fixed number of licenses to be applied to a given organization. This means that you are only charged for the number of users logged into the VDI service instead of being charged for each user. This strategy can be great for companies with multiple shifts of users (Customer Support or SOC teams) who only need 50 VDI instances but technically have 150 employees that work at different times. This can be very beneficial for employers who have lots of remote employees working from different time zones or even internationally.  

There are numerous reasons why organizations have used persistent VDIs in the past. However, with the ever-changing landscape of technology and security, as well as a new work from home culture, companies have been forced into a new mindset. Why worry about patching efforts, resource consumption, and ongoing price hikes to keep track of, when you can rely on non-persistent VDIs for your workforce which is hosted  within the confines of your TetherView Digital Bunker?  Focus on your day-to-day operations and client needs and leave the heavy tech lifting to the professionals at TetherView.  

Michael Abboud , September 9, 2022
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