How Does a Virtual Desktop Work?
From the perspective of one using virtual desktop infrastructure, the experience is very similar to what they’d otherwise see on a PC: a virtual desktop screen presented on their chosen endpoint device. However, the experience also differs somewhat in its speed - given that hardware and other resources required by desktop operations are usually closer in proximity than they would be to a local PC. A server hosting VDI is closer to backend databases, memory repositories and storage, and more.
At the same time, interacting with the virtual desktop feels like using a local PC because the model is designed to reduce latency, compressing traffic to optimize the speed of inputs like a mouse click or typing on the keyboard. A big clue that tells the user they’re not in a local environment is how they access their virtual desktop environment - usually by manually logging on through their local PC - though it’s possible to spin up a virtual desktop upon logging into a device.
Another way that VDI works differently is that users may not be able to save changes as they would a normal PC, but this also depends. On a “persistent” VDI the user can make changes that will show up the next time they access the virtual desktop, but this is also more expensive and complicated to maintain. Companies using a “non-persistent” VDI avoid these management obstacles but also limit the utility of their virtual desktops by giving users a permanently reserved (and immutable) VDI resource each time they login.