How VDI in the Cloud is Powering Remote Workers

Hybrid multicloud use cases for delivering virtual desktop applications to distributed users

José Ignacio López García

Since the global COVID-19 pandemic began, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) services have been at the forefront of providing remote apps and desktops to users. This trend is expected to continue well into the future as experts predict COVID-19 demands will influence 70% of desktop virtualization business cases through 2023.[i]

Today’s enterprises are deploying hybrid VDI solutions on-premises and across multiple cloud providers, leveraging Interconnection Oriented Architecture® (IOA®) best practices to achieve optimal performance and cost savings. Low-latency, proximate connectivity between remote workers and the VDI apps they need to access on-premises and/or in the cloud delivers the best quality of experience (QoE). In addition, aggregating multiple network and cloud connections using a software-defined interconnection fabric across multiple regions provides extensive, low-cost coverage and access to VDI applications for distributed users.

The following use cases illustrate how to exchange high-value VDI applications with large data transit demands from the massive number of users accessing VDI platforms on-premises and via the cloud. By leveraging IOA best practices using Equinix Fabric™, Network Edge and Equinix MetalTM solutions on Platform Equinix®, enterprises can achieve improved performance, scalability and cost-savings. Though not a comparison, these use cases illustrate solutions from common cloud service providers (CSPs) such as Microsoft Azure and VMware on AWS, or Desktop-as-Service (DaaS) providers with native VDI services and VDI technologies  such as Citrix XenDesktop, which can be deployed over CSPs or on-premises.

Equinix Fabric™ Data Sheet

Establish data center-to-data center network connections on demand between any two Equinix Fabric™ locations within a metro or globally via software-defined interconnection.

Equinix Fabric

Proximate, private interconnection drives improved performance

The diagram below illustrates a standard remote user/VDI scenario where there is a hybrid environment of VDI services running on-premises and in the cloud. The key to lowering latency when accessing VDI applications is putting remote users as close to VDI applications as possible, wherever they are. On Platform Equinix remote users can access an interconnected data center platform of more than 200 facilities worldwide, with an extensive network of digital ecosystems of clouds, networks and VDI partners, including vendors such as such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Citrix and VMware.

Typical Hybrid VDI Scenario (On-premises and Cloud)

Direct and secure interconnection to native VDI CSPs and vendors reduces the delays caused by multi-hop networks, providing low-latency connectivity to VDI applications. The following scenarios demonstrate how using Equinix Fabric™, Network Edge and Equinix Metal™ services on Platform Equinix can deliver fast connectivity to VDI applications via hybrid infrastructures and increased performance to remote users.

 Use case #1: External users, remote workers and partners using Equinix Fabric software-defined interconnection to access hybrid multicloud VDI apps.

Equinix Fabric directly and securely connects VDI users with on-premises and CSP-hosted VDI applications over multiple virtual connections through a single physical port. This network and cloud traffic aggregation reduces cost and simplifies hybrid multicloud infrastructures. Private connectivity to networks and clouds can be dynamically provisioned and managed for the best possible performance and to handle spikes in VDI traffic and high-volume video applications that require large amounts of low-latency bandwidth.

Use Case #2: External users, remote workers and partners using Network Edge cloud-to-cloud routing and firewall virtual devices when interconnecting to hybrid multicloud VDI apps.

Network Edge services from Equinix deliver network functions virtualization (NFV) services (SD-WAN, firewalls, cloud routing, etc.) from leading vendors. NFV devices can be spun up in minutes anywhere on Platform Equinix without needing special purpose hardware appliances. Network Edge services with Equinix Fabric provide fast private connectivity to CSPs and hosted VDI applications in the cloud, speeding remote user access and simplifying multicloud VDI deployments.

Use Case #3: VDI Gateway-as-a-Service – PoP Deployed on Equinix Metal.

Equinix Metal delivers an automated Bare Metal-as-a-Service (BMaaS) for businesses requiring high-performance compute capacity that is directly and securely interconnected to on-premises and cloud-based VDI services. Remote users can harness all the compute power they need to run high-volume VDI applications, in addition to accessing VDI cloud services on-demand. This is especially applicable to distributed engineers collaborating on VDI development projects.

Reducing the cost of VDI

Individual direct connectivity to multiple CSPs’ VDI services can be expensive for large organizations that may have thousands of users consuming high-volume VDI workloads. The diagram below illustrated some vendors’ bandwidth recommendations, which can vary dramatically: [ii]

Source: Equinix

By leveraging hybrid multicloud VDI infrastructures using Equinix Fabric, IT organizations can aggregate their network bandwidth and manage it over more agile, flexible virtual connections. Our calculations show that a typical organization can reduce their cost of connecting to VDI applications by up to 40%.

This article is just a high-level summary of the VDI use cases that can be deployed using IOA best practices on Platform Equinix. To learn more about deploying VDI hybrid multicloud infrastructures for your internal or remote users, schedule a Digital Edge Strategy Briefing with a local Global Solutions Architect.

You may also want to read:

Dizzion Desktop As A Service (DaaS) – Equinix Infrastructure Partner


[i] TechTarget SearchVirtualDesktop, “Why COVID-19 fuels desktop virtualization trends,” Paul Korzeniowski, Dec. 18, 2020.

[ii] Amazon WorkSpaces and Teradici Best Practice Guide.

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