VDI is the acronym for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and with it we refer to the software and hardware which are necessary to grant the end user the same user experience of a personal computer, without a personal computer.
From the end user point of view, the use is the same as a normal PC. Once the ‘computer’ is turned on, the user inserts his data and finds all the classical resources of a PC: a desktop, the installed software and the net resources necessary to work.
The PC does not really exist: the desktop that the user finds is a virtual machine. How these virtual machines are managed or made available to the user you can find in this article.
The advantages of using these types of infrastructures are the same we discussed in the article about Virtualization (resources optimization, energy costs reduction, …) but we need to add all the ones connected to maintenance, user support and security: workspaces are just access ‘portals’, so their company value is nearly zero. All data and software are in the datacenter, away from clumsy and spiteful hands and the support can be easily centralized.
The ‘Virtual Desktop Infrastructure’ shows (in various ways) desktops to the end users: in some contexts the term VDI (or more correctly VD) is used in order to identify the showed desktop, instead of the whole infrastructure.