In the modern business, deploying virtual desktop instances to remote users is the best practice for most companies. Rather than deploying physical machines to each remote user, or having a bank of machines on hand to run a test environment, Virtual Desktop Technology (VDI) allows for the deployment across a server of any number of virtual machines. These machines run a controllable copy of an operating system that can be logged into remotely and used in either live or test settings. This reduces the cost of hardware to a fraction of its original price, but the road is not always paved in gold.
Because of the remote access capability of these machines, they can fall victim to slow and choppy bandwidth. Poor connection, slow internet, and bad user experience can lead to administrative nightmares and ultimately finding more expensive and less reliable solutions, if not to completely abandoning VDI altogether.
In the Dark Ages of VDI, three major solutions were developed to address the problems posed by deploying VDI systems. These are…
Public Internet… *shudders audibly*… The Internet is cheap, and you’ve probably already got an internet connection. That’s cool, right? Well, sure, if you like horribly slow, unreliable, unpredictable, and unsecured connections.
Dedicated Multi-Protocol Label Switch MPLS networks are fast, predictable, and usable. They are also wildly expensive, impractical, and don’t scale with your project.
Por que no los dos? Some grotesque hybrid of MPLS and internet solutions. You may get some of the benefits of both systems, but you also get the downsides of both. And what happens if they both fail?
Anarchy, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.
Thankfully, we’ve moved on from the Dark Ages and now find ourselves in a VDI Renaissance. Innovative solutions have emerged that allow a VDI solution to actually work.
Let’s have a look:
Dedicated VDI solution vendors. These solutions convert the VDI traffic to User Datagram Protocol (UDP) traffic. Kind of like the Public Internet we looked at earlier’s younger, slicker brother, UDP sees most of its use in live-stream applications where some packet loss is acceptable, and things can be a little murkier. This is great if that’s what you want…and you can get it to work consistently. Major downside – UDP will default back to Public Internet if the connection strength isn’t up to standards.
Build it yourself. Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solutions are custom built, and generally offer you exactly what you need for your network and user-base. Sounds good, right? Well, yeah, if you’re an SD-WAN expert and are willing to configure and deploy a bunch of proprietary hardware. Custom-built solutions are great until something goes wrong, and something always goes wrong. Did I mention they can be really expensive to build and maintain?
Application based acceleration. That’s that good good sweet LiveQoS approach. Deploying a combination of MPLS factors and UDP solutions, the application accelerated solution is able to skirt around Internet speed problems by tapping into a global overlay network to make sure the speeds you need are always available. LiveQoS’ algorithms seamlessly switch between the two sources to allow your data transfer to move out of the slow lane and into express mode. LiveQoS’ solution is fast, cost-efficient, and secure.
The long and short of all of this… VDI is the best way to run your business. Algorithm based acceleration is the best way to use your VDI technology. It’s fast, easy to deploy, and gives you a tailor-made solution for a fraction of the cost of the hardware. Sure, you could spend a ton of time and a truckload of money developing the perfect system for your specific network needs, or you could deploy a solution that works over what is essentially a slightly more polished version of the nightmare we know as public access Internet. You could do that. But why bother? For a fraction of the cost of deploying a purpose-built network, and with exponentially better speed and reliability than UDP solutions, deploy an algorithm based acceleration system like LiveQoS and get back to doing business the way you want.