Cloud Technology & IT Security Specialists ask@cambridgesupport.com 01223 901 900

The Case for Cloud Hosted Virtual Desktops

If there is anything that the national lockdowns have proven over the course of the last year, it’s that we need to be prepared to operate our businesses from anywhere. Which has resulted in businesses asking questions about Cloud Hosted Virtual Desktops and how they can support remote working.

With major operational challenges being caused to organisations, focus has shifted to identifying how employees would be able to continue operating from home.

This way of thinking has highlighted the benefits of cloud technologies. Showing how flexible they are for the new way of working, which we are all still adjusting to.

As our working lives have changed from our offices and business locations, so too can our approach to working.

By leveraging cloud technologies, Cambridge Support can provide a fully functional IT infrastructure, but hosted in Microsoft’s cloud platform. Your on-premise servers are replaced with Cloud Hosted Virtual servers. With your desktop applications and experience is abstracted to the same remote environment.

One of the key benefits to this type of environment is that it greatly reduces the requirements for organisational computers to be either in the office, or on the office network over a VPN. Instead, end-users will have a direct connection to a remote instance of Windows 10 where all of their apps will be.

Traditionally computers would be supplied to each end-user resulting in significant cost to the company. Where remote access can be provide, it introduces a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ format. (A basic specification or thin client computers can also be used to access the platform).

Another significant challenge in a traditional IT environment is ensuring that applications are all up to date. Historically, this would mean the IT team or partner needing to connect to each organisational computer to apply updates to Windows or other software.

With Cloud Hosted Virtual Desktops, all end-users work on a virtual machine which boots from a “gold image”. If and when updates are available, the “gold image” is updated accordingly and your entire team benefits from the changes in one hit whilst minimising downtime.

During the summer of 2020, Cambridge Support assisted a London business in the financial sector with moving away from their existing on-premised server solution.

Remote access to their office was challenging as many of their client’s IT environments did not allow VPN connections which hindered application usage and data uploading.

Many of the end-users had data stored in several locations; on the server file shares, OneDrive, or on their own laptops. This presented a challenge to how the organisation operated, as company data was not stored in a standardised format and not all of it was backed up.

Cambridge Support moved this organisation into a Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop environment hosted in Azure which has tackled each of these issues. All users work in the remote environment and save data to locations where it will always be backed up. As the remote access used with WVD is a standardised protocol without a VPN, accessing their apps remotely no longer presents a challenge when visiting clients. Whenever an application update is available, there is minimal downtime and everybody receives the update straight away as opposed to a rolling install across the endpoint estate.

Other key benefits of a Windows Cloud Hosted Virtual Desktop environment include a reduction of up-front investments in server hardware as this is virtualised in Azure on a subscription basis. High availability and resiliency (accessing the environment is not limited to your office premises and is accessible anywhere with an internet connection). Reduction in electricity costs as servers would not be powered on in your offices or require cooling, simpler backup logistics, and many more.

We believe that Cloud Hosted Virtual Desktops are a great benefit in a modern day IT environment, certainly in the current climate of home working and decentralised IT infrastructures.

We have Technical Consultants available to audit your existing environment and determine if it would be a suitable solution, or any of our team would be happy to speak to you about Cloud Hosted Virtual Desktops so please feel free to get in touch.

Call: 01223 901900 or Email: ask@cambridgesupport.com

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