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Jonathan Stone

By: Jonathan Stone on October 16th, 2015

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VDI vs. IDV (Intelligent Desktop Virtualization)

Modern Data Center | Executive Consulting | Workforce Enablement

Desktop Environment Managers share several concerns about the challenges of managing a company’s desktop and laptop environment. Chiefly, they struggle with the maintenance of the separate images used to support both hardware and users. The quandary of simultaneously supporting operating systems during an upgrade is also a challenge.

Managers collectively worry about the security of confidential data on laptops in case of a hardware loss, as well as ensuring that the latest patches install uniformly across the fleet of desktops and laptops. These challenges manifest themselves in terms of cost increase, management complexity, risk, and security exposure. Cost effective solutions with the least management complexity and highest security may negatively impact end user experience.

In the past, desktop environment managers proposed VDI (the hosting of virtualized workstations on hypervisor equipped servers in the data center) as a solution to the aforementioned challenges. Understandably, VDI possesses distinctive benefits through the linked-cloning feature which reduces the number of images to be managed, subsequently reducing management complexity and overall environment cost. It also provides the possibility of reduced security exposure because business data is less likely to reside on the desktop or laptop device.

Despite these positive attributes, VDI is unable to leverage many graphical and multimedia features at the desktop, and can create bottlenecks on the hosting server and storage infrastructure. VDI cannot be generalized to all users, especially highly mobile ones, thus, it is not the most efficient solution to all desktop management problems.

NxTop from Virtual Computer provides a more adept solution to the aforementioned challenges. With NxTop, managers have the benefits of a single image for multiple users while still utilizing the local processing power of the desktop or laptop. This is possible because it turns VDI into IDV (Intelligent Desktop Virtualization), by using a type 1 hypervisor on the laptop or desktop, rather than on the server in the data center.

The NxTop management server is centrally located and is only used to supply and maintain the client virtual images making it more organized. In order to use NxTop, the client connects to the server only for the initial image download. Both image updates and backups only upload or download block level changes, so both are very network efficient. Moreover, because NxTop stores the client image, client customizations, and client data separately, all client devices can utilize the same base image and discard any inadvertent changes to the OS at each boot.

A significant feature of the NxTop is the presence of the hypervisor, which allows multiple guest operating systems to coexist on the same laptop or desktop. This is ideal for allowing an old OS (like XP) and a newer OS (like Win 7) to run concurrently, to facilitate migration and to control the risk of the migration. This coexistence also enables users to securely run personal and business operating systems on the same device, enhancing its productivity. NxTop utilizes security features that encrypt the data on the hard disk, and through the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), ensures maximum safety for the hypervisor.

This means that if an NxTop laptop is lost, it can be sent a kill-pill to destroy itself. Provisioning a new device for a user simply requires loading the NxTop Engine and associating the device to the user’s profile on the management server. Even more noteworthy, the last backup of the user’s personalization and files are automatically restored to the device. Desktop and Laptop management is made efficient, simple, and trustworthy, with the numerous features provided by NxTop. For Desktop Environment Managers, NxTop from Virtual Computer should be the obvious choice.

To learn more about NxTop and to see a demo, give us a call.

About Jonathan Stone

In his role as Chief Technology Officer for Kelser, Jon ensures that the strategies we craft advance business outcomes for our clients.