Delivering Virtual Desktop Infrastructure to Telecommuting Workers

The optimal infrastructure for providing reliable interconnection to multiple VDI clouds

Yoichi Yahagi

In recent years, Japanese companies have been promoting employee work style reforms. The introduction of remote working in Japan was well underway prior to the global pandemic to address cultural shifts (e.g., employees who are raising children and providing elderly nursing care) and decreases in the working population due to a declining birthrate. The Japanese government also promotes work style reforms through telecommuting (“telework”), which has various effects in three directions (society, companies, and employees), and is using it as a measure to solve social issues. Telecommuting was also recommended to alleviate the congestion of commuter trains during the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which are now planned for 2021.[i]

Given the current situation with COVID-19, remote workforces in Japan have been rapidly expanding to help reduce the spread of the virus. Telecommuting shortens commuting time and reduces unnecessary meetings while increasing company value through greater worker productivity. It is also one of the work style reforms that enhances employee satisfaction and labor production, and leads to increased corporate sales.

Remote working has helped reduce the impact of the COVID-19 virus around the world. Given this, overcoming the challenges of delivering remote worker environments and security to employees is critical for IT departments. Moving forward, improving the remote worker environment and maintaining business continuity in the event of any crisis or natural disaster will be vital to any business’s IT foundation.

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VDI is meeting remote worker needs

As the demand for remote work environments grows, IT departments face many challenges such as providing security and preparing the infrastructure for variable demand. When performing highly confidential work or moving workloads in which data privacy regulations need to be considered, it is necessary to keep security in mind for supporting IT infrastructures and networks. By building a remote work environment in the public cloud using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), more companies are solving these issues. VDI is a desktop virtualization technology offered by vendors such as AWS, Citrix, Microsoft, VMware and others, where the desktop operating system (OS) is privately managed in a company’s secure on-premises data center or in the cloud. The virtual desktop image is delivered to an endpoint client (PC, laptop, tablet, mobile device, etc.) over a secure network, allowing the user to interact with the system and its applications as if they were running locally. There are also third-party managed, cloud-based VDI services that provide desktop as a service (DaaS) capabilities. However, most companies prefer to run their own VDI service for security, control and compliance reasons.

Either way, if you have a VDI or DaaS environment in a public cloud that is being accessed from the internet, it also needs to be integrated with corporate on-premises applications and data infrastructures. This requires securely connecting one or more public cloud and on-premises environments at high speed without high latency delays to deliver the greatest user experience and business productivity. In addition, a secure digital infrastructure is needed that supports access to the public internet. There are many obstacles to building an infrastructure that meets all these demands at the same time.

High quality and secure connection to VDI environments

To deliver the best performance and lowest latency when accessing VDI cloud platforms, the answer is private interconnection between users and the VDI environment in the public cloud. Equinix offers a direct and secure connection to VDI platforms on many cloud service providers (CSPs) via Equinix Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™) software-defined interconnection. For example, it is possible to privately connect with AWS Workspaces, Windows Virtual Desktop, VMware Horizon Cloud, or other VDI resources built by customers on the IaaS platform of a public cloud.

A number of companies choose to use different VDI platforms depending on the job type and work content. Being able to access different public cloud and VDI platforms is critical to meeting the needs of all employees. Equinix enables IT organizations to support a VDI environment according to business requirements and IT infrastructure. Accessing various VDI cloud platforms via ECX Fabric offers our customers a choice of remote work environments. It also provides direct and secure, private interconnection to VDI clouds that quickly adapts to changes in network traffic, business conditions and the customer’s IT infrastructure.

Network Edge services from Equinix enables IT organizations to deploy virtual network devices on Platform Equinix® to gain fast access to VDI cloud platforms in minutes, without adding new networking hardware. This enables companies to add access to VDI cloud platforms for employees around the world on-demand.

A physical or virtual network connection can be selected according to the customer’s network requirements and a public cloud’s VDI environment. Even if the VDI requirements change, such as with the unpredictable remote work environment of COVID-19, the high adaptability of the network infrastructure helps customers reduce IT costs by optimizing the flexible cloud connectivity on Platform Equinix.

As remote working demands continue to grow, it is expected that VDI environments via the public cloud will continue to increase at an annual rate of 10% between 2020 – 2024.[ii] Amid the changing behaviors and challenges in the business environment, Equinix will continue to provide global access to VDI cloud platforms via interconnection solutions that help customers quickly solve critical remote worker issues.

Learn more about remote workforce and collaboration solutions.

[i] CNN Travel, “Tokyo commuters told to work from home to avert Olympic transport nightmare,” July 2019.

[ii] ResearchandMarkets, “Global Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Market Forecasts to 2024: Adoption of Linux-based VDI Leading to Sizable Demand,” May 08, 2020.

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Yoichi Yahagi Senior Solutions Architect, Global Solutions Enablement, Japan
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