Desktop virtualization is growing in popularity, even though it's been around for several years. In June, TechRepublic did a survey to see who is using virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and the benefits, both expected and expected.

Download the survey results in the new report Research: Virtual desktop infrastructure benefits, drivers and favored vendors.

For those curious to learn more about VDI, from a conceptual standpoint, it isn’t much different than the old dumb terminal/mainframe setup that was used 30 years ago. Of course, the technology has changed, and it's no longer necessary to have a huge computer that fills a room to act as the backend.

At its very base level, there are usually a few VDI servers sitting in a data center and these servers act as the brains of the operation. They generally handle all of the compute resources and IOPs, while the virtual desktops are deployed to users on either their laptops or desktops or mobile devices. The virtual desktop acts the same as if users were working on a computer with local resources. For example, they can see their Windows 7 screen and interact with it as they would on any other computer. An important difference here is that the administrator has more control. The admin can dictate the times users can access their desktop, load the proper applications, and even wipe all the data if the end user device is stolen or an employee leaves.

Because of this flexibility that allows more mobility among employees, in the past five years, the number of VDI users has nearly doubled, according to the TechRepublic survey results.

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The survey, which had 255 respondents, broke down the numbers by company size and geography, to find out exactly who is using VDI and where.

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The report covers a range of VDI topics, including:

  • Preferred vendors
  • Benefits of VDI
  • Reasons for using certain vendors
  • Reasons some companies are not using VDI
  • What would make some companies change their minds about VDI
  • Benefits expected but not realized with VDI
  • Future plans to implement VDI

Download the full report Research: Virtual desktop infrastructure benefits, drivers and favored vendors