Despite the government work form home rules being temporary, a lot of businesses have had their eyes opened to what the future of work could be. We have spoken to loads of customers who are now deciding whether to go home based full time! There are so many benefits to both the staff and the business owners in this scenario, but often people weren’t quite setup right for this new, modern way of working. So now is the perfect excuse to invest the latest modern workplace technology, but what does this look like?
Our latest recommendation is Windows Virtual Desktop and Microsoft 365. This is a Microsoft Azure based system for virtualising Windows operating systems, which basically means hosting your desktop in the cloud. In the same way you now use the internet to access portal.office.com or any of the online version of the Office suite – your users could be accessing everything on their desktop through the cloud. For anyone looking for a more in-depth explanation, check out the video our CEO Chris did all about this below, or else read our summarised points of what it is and why it’s great below.
What is Windows Virtual Desktop?
WVD separates your operating systems, data and apps from your local hardware so nothing runs on a local machine, but rather on a server in the cloud. This is a great way to separate your organisations apps and data from user devices, so gets rid of the risk of anything confidential being left on a local device for anyone else that has access to that computer to see.
What do users see?
There is little compromise between what they usually see on a locally hosted desktop and WVD. With Windows Virtual Desktop and Microsoft 365, apps are fully integrated with the Start menu and you can do all the things you usually do like pin your key ones to the taskbar. The only clue they are virtual is a small symbol on their icon, but apart from that the experience is the same
How long does it take?
An example we use for time is for 50 users with 4 or 5 servers. This should take about 4 or 5 days to set up from scratch. Assuming you don’t need any more than these 4-5 servers, just add a few days per 100 users. Once the hard work is done on the servers, it’s just a case of adding users – which used to take weeks or months to get a complex setup like this ready.
What do users need?
In order to connect to WVD, users do need to be using a machine with Windows 10 installed or Mac OS X. Outside of that they can be on a Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android or laptop device – it truly is that flexible.
Users are just shown a menu of applications they have been given access to and they open as if they are on their actual desktop. This only uses the computer’s memory to run that particular application, not all the ones they aren’t using as well as they are all stored in the cloud.
As WVD is loaded onto Azure, it means you only consume when people are logged on so you only pay when they are actively using their WVD environment and Azure space. It does not just sit there running up a bill overnight or when no one is working and is very scalable and flexible.
One of the great benefits of WVD is the security. A user’s local machine has nothing to do with your company data or environment, which can be a concern with people working from home on unmanaged or old hardware. You can actually stop anything being downloaded locally, so if someone is using a home PC you don’t have to worry about any viruses or vulnerabilities it has corrupting any data. They also can’t send anything the other way, so no threats will be uploaded onto your brand new WVD environment from someone’s home machine.
Summary of Benefits
Perfect for Home Working
Quick to Setup
Cost savings over old RDP
New Standardised Desktop