VDI is a Quick Win for SME Business Continuity

Article date: Tue, 11 Jun 2013 10:42 GMT

hosting and colocation firm UKFast

SMEs should harness the flexibility and reliability of virtual desktops (VDI) to cut IT costs and ensure business continuity.

Speaking at a round table debate looking into VDI, Andrew Wood, solutions architect at virtualisation company Atlantis Computing, said: "I remember a small business that was flooded. They had PCs and it took six months to get the firm back up and running. They were flooded again not long after they had put a VDI in place and they were up and running within days.

"Having that central infrastructure meant they could roll out new devices and quickly go back to where they were operating."

Having a virtual desktop removes the need for every desk to have a PC, which is replaced by a thin client. It also means that the user's desktop is accessible from anywhere, from any device and all desktops are updatable from the central hub in the data centre.

Lawrence Jones, CEO of hosting and colocation firm UKFast, said: "The use of VDI can encourage best business practice. It makes sure everything is stored centrally and backed up in the same place."

Chris Burnet, business development manager at NetApp, believes VDI is an effective way of keeping the uncertainty of red tape at bay. He said: "I think if you look at the compliance regulations, VDI is seen by many as a way of alleviating a massive burden of regulation.

"How are you supposed to keep up with everything? So many questions get asked, like 'do I need to keep this data for three years, six years, 10 years? Can it go out of the country?'

"Whereas if you have a VDI environment now, you know that data is going to be in the data centre and hopefully you have some control over where it goes from there. That is one less thing to worry about."

The panel also highlighted the benefits of having one centralised system through VDI in which to carry out maintenance and updates.

Zain Javed, cyber security specialist at Xyone Limited said: "For many, one of the major benefits of VDI is rolling out new updates and IT support. You don't have to get someone in to update each individual machine; you're cutting and making better use of your time.

"A lot of SMEs are not very technical. They like an expert to look after their IT service. When it is hosted in a data centre someone is looking after it and you can let the IT departments do their job properly."

Fareed Baloch, CEO of Jus Taxi and COO Matriks, believes that investment in VDI is a way to future-proof a company rather than to see an immediate ROI.

He said: "Companies should not expect an immediate return on their investment in VDI, because this is an investment for the future.

"For example, companies I have looked at in Dubai see VDI as an investment for the next few years and view it as something revolutionary.

"There are so many benefits. Centralised control of updating your software and applications, and in any eventuality you can recover your data and maintain better control of their customers' information."

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