See how leaders and teams like yours are capturing up to 300% ROI. Explore the data now!

What’s Keeping VDI Admins Awake at Night

August 10, 2023

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) allows users to access a desktop environment from any device, anywhere. A VDI environment consists of a centralized server that hosts the virtual desktops and a client device that connects to the server and displays the desktop environment.

In recent years, VDI has become increasingly important in modern workplaces. According to a TechTarget survey, the top reasons organizations deploy VDI include the desire to simplify desktop management, reduce costs, enable remote workers, improve business continuity and disaster recovery, and enhance security.

Simply stated, a VDI environment helps IT departments save time and money and create better end-user experiences while allowing for nimbler scalability.

VDI shifted from a nice-to-have to a must-have nearly overnight in the face of the global pandemic in 2020. Since then, increased deployment and reliance on VDI environments have meant greater responsibilities (and increasing challenges) for VDI administrators.

In addition to creating and deploying virtual desktops, managing user access, and troubleshooting problems, VDI administrators must continually balance performance, end-user experience, security, capacity, and other issues that can make or break a VDI deployment.

Top VDI admin challenges—and how to fix them

1. Performance and Scalability

VDI Administrators are continually faced with balancing the need to optimize system access and performance for end-users against managing the constraints of their organizations’ technology infrastructure and budget.

The top issues affecting VDI performance and scalability:

Resource intensive applications

One of the biggest challenges in VDI environments is dealing with resource-intensive applications. These applications can strain the VDI infrastructure, leading to user performance issues.

Balancing user demands with infrastructure capacity.

Another challenge in VDI environments is balancing user demands with infrastructure capacity. This means ensuring enough resources are available to meet all users’ needs without overprovisioning the infrastructure.

Addressing performance bottlenecks

Performance bottlenecks can occur in any VDI environment. Various factors, such as inadequate network bandwidth, overprovisioning, or the VDI platform itself, can cause these bottlenecks.

Fortunately, these strategies and tactics can help mitigate or eliminate performance and scalability issues before they impact end-users while also helping avoid unpredictable and unnecessary expenditures.

Here are some strategies VDI admins can employ:

  • Load balancing – Load balancing strategies can help distribute the workload across multiple servers, which can help to improve performance for resource-intensive applications.
  • Resource monitoring and utilization – Resource monitoring and utilization can help VDI administrators identify and address performance bottlenecks. By monitoring the CPU, memory, and network utilization of the VDI infrastructure, administrators can determine which resources are being used the most. This information can then be used to optimize the VDI environment and improve performance.
  • Caching and acceleration – Caching and acceleration techniques can help improve resource-intensive applications’ performance by storing frequently accessed data in memory or on a local disk. This reduces the time it takes to access the data, improving the application’s overall performance.

2. Security

Security concerns are (or should be) top of mind for every executive across every industry around the globe. For VDI administrators, the centralized and more widely accessible nature of VDI environments across a broad range of devices presents a unique and formidable challenge.

The top security concerns for VDI environments:

Protecting sensitive data in virtual desktops

Virtual desktops often store sensitive data, such as financial information, customer data, and intellectual property. This data is vulnerable to attack if it is not adequately protected.

Managing user access and permissions

VDI administrators must carefully manage user access and permissions to protect the VDI environment. This includes ensuring that only authorized users have access to the environment and that users only have access to the data and applications that they need.

Defending against cyber threats and attacks

VDI environments are just as vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks as traditional desktop environments. This is why VDI administrators need to take steps to defend against these threats.

VDI administrators should implement adequate controls and proactive safeguards:

  • Strong authentication and access controls – Strong authentication and access controls are essential for protecting VDI environments. This includes using multi-factor authentication (MFA) to make unauthorized access to systems more complex, implementing role-based access control (RBAC) to ensure that users only have access to the data and applications they need, and monitoring user activity to identify unauthorized access.
  • Security audits and updates – Regular security audits and updates are essential for keeping VDI environments secure. This includes reviewing security policies and procedures, testing security controls, and applying security patches. Security audits should be conducted regularly to identify and address security vulnerabilities by either an internal team or a third-party security firm. Security patches should be applied as soon as they are released to protect VDI environments from known vulnerabilities.
  • Encryption and secure communication protocols – Encryption and secure communication protocols are essential for protecting data in transit and at rest. This includes using Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to encrypt data as it is transmitted over the network.

3. Improving End-User Experience (EUX)

Organizations can’t afford to lose worker productivity due to latency or downtime in remote and hybrid work environments. In addition to lost productivity, poor system performance can contribute to employee dissatisfaction and attrition. VDI administrators must proactively monitor and fix issues before going to remote workstations to avoid poor performance and downtime.

Here are some things that can negatively impact EUX, if not properly managed:

User experience across devices

One of the key challenges in VDI environments is ensuring that users have a smooth experience across different devices. This can be difficult because VDI environments are often delivered over the network, which can introduce latency and other performance issues.

Handling user complaints and troubleshooting

Handling user complaints and troubleshooting can be time-consuming and difficult, especially if the VDI administrator is not familiar with the specific issues that users are experiencing.

Providing adequate technical support

Adequate technical support includes providing users with documentation and training on how to use the VDI environment. It also includes supporting users when they experience problems.

To ensure a smooth experience—wherever and whenever workers access system resources—VDI administrators can:

  • Invest in user-friendly interfaces and design – One of the best ways to enhance the user experience is to invest in user-friendly interfaces and design. This means ensuring the VDI environment is easy to use and navigate, with clear and concise instructions. It also means using intuitive icons and labels and providing a visually appealing overall design.
  • Proactive monitoring and issue detectionProactive monitoring and detection mean using tools to monitor the performance of the VDI environment and the user experience. By proactively monitoring the VDI environment, administrators can identify and resolve issues before they cause user problems.
  • User training and education – User training and education help users learn how to use the VDI environment and troubleshoot problems. By providing user training and education, administrators can help ensure users have a positive experience with the VDI environment.

4. Managing Complex Infrastructures

Infrastructure complexity and management are significant concerns for VDI administrators because virtual workspace environments are often complex and require considerable time and effort.

The complexities of managing robust Virtual Desktop Infrastructure:

Handling complex virtualization technologies

VDI environments often use complex virtualization technologies. To effectively and efficiently manage such a complex environment, administrators must possess enough understanding of the underlying systems to handle such tasks as provisioning virtual machines, managing storage and monitoring performance, and troubleshooting effectively.

Streamlining VDI deployment and maintenance

VDI deployments can be complex and time-consuming because they often consist of multiple components, such as hypervisors, virtual machines, storage, and networks. These components must be deployed and maintained together to ensure the VDI environment runs smoothly.

Overcoming integration challenges with existing systems

VDI environments must often be integrated with existing systems, such as Active Directory, LDAP, and identity management systems. This can be a challenge, as it requires administrators to understand the requirements of the existing systems and how to integrate the VDI environment with them.

Using automation to centralize monitoring and management of the VDI environment.

Administrators can simplify the management of complex infrastructures inherent in VDI environments, here’s how:

  • Automation and orchestration tools – Automation and orchestration tools automate repetitive tasks such as provisioning, configuring, and de-provisioning virtual desktops. This can free up IT staff to focus on other tasks, such as troubleshooting and problem resolution.
  • Hyper-converged infrastructure solutions – Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions consolidate computer, storage, and networking resources into a single, easy-to-manage platform. This can reduce the number of components that need to be managed, saving time and effort.
  • Centralized management and monitoring platforms – Centralized management and monitoring platforms provide a single console from which administrators can monitor and manage all aspects of the environment. This can help improve visibility into the environment, making it easier to identify and troubleshoot problems.

Are you ready to alleviate these concerns and create a finely tuned VDI environment that balances both performance and cost? Watch our on-demand webinar to learn how!

EUC StrategyEUC Trends

Subscribe for more insights

Related Resources

Cloud Performance Consistency: Can Azure Guarantee a Performance?
BlogApril 22, 2024

Cloud Performance Consistency: Can Azure Guarantee a Performance?

Enhancing Application Training with Login VSI’s Scripting Interactions
BlogApril 15, 2024

Enhancing Application Training with Login VSI’s Scripting Interactions

Introducing Login Enterprise 5.9 for Seamless Workload Automation and Testing
BlogApril 11, 2024

Introducing Login Enterprise 5.9 for Seamless Workload Automation and Testing

Ready to see how you can transform with Login VSI?