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Solutions | Virtual Desktop | 3 min read

Virtual Desktop Solutions for SMBs

Peter Niebler
Written by Peter Niebler

Virtual Desktops are not a new technology by any means. As far back as the 1980s, computer makers offered secure remote workstations, and someone even tried to trademark the term in the 1990s. However, it is only in the past few years that virtual desktops have matured into a truly transformative technology.

In fact, since the pandemic drove millions of workers to remote offices, virtual desktop technology is an essential tool. Microsoft reported that the use of virtual desktops has more than tripled, as the number of people working remotely grew from 7% to 66%. And with the rise of hybrid offices, virtual desktops will only become more essential.

Here’s what you need to know about virtual desktop technology and how to choose a solution that fits a small to medium-sized business.

The Reality of Virtual Desktops

The definition of a virtual desktop is a preconfigured image of operating systems and applications in which the desktop environment is not stored on the physical device the user is working from. Users access their virtual desktops remotely over a network on a laptop, smartphone or tablet.

A desktop and application virtualization service runs on the cloud, so your remote and hybrid teams have secure access to all their documents, applications and resources. And because the computing power comes from the cloud servers where the virtual desktop is hosted, you can have practically unlimited power. Because data is stored in a single place, users experience their desktop the same way every time they log in, no matter which device they are logging in from.

Thanks to this additional power, a virtual desktop is a more flexible way to grow your business, especially if you are a small to medium-sized company trying to manage a growing and virtual workforce. It means you don’t need to invest in expensive desktop workstations, support those devices and upgrade your hardware as often. It is also more secure, with automatically updated and proactive cybersecurity features managed by large cloud providers like Microsoft.

Unlimited Power for Your SMB

A virtual desktop is scalable, providing the ability to turn up or down the amount of computing power and storage you use. For example, rather than loading all your company laptops with the complete Microsoft suite of applications before they leave the building, the Azure Virtual Desktop (formerly known as the Windows Virtual Desktop) delivers virtual desktop experience and remote apps to any device.

Thanks to the distributed nature of virtual desktops, SMBs can make any application available from the cloud without having to manage servers on site. This including graphics-intensive applications like AutoDesk. We have seen that you can work on a Chromebook and have the same functionality you would have at your workstation in the office.

With more businesses moving to remote work, virtual desktop solutions are taking center stage. Not all virtual desktop infrastructure is made the same, however, and it’s important to identify the best virtual desktop solution that suits your organization. Many virtual desktop products have similar capabilities, but the level of maturity and capability can be very different. Here are the most popular choices:

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft’s Azure provides virtual desktops to users that have the applications they need either pre-installed or provided as needed. With Azure Virtual Desktop AVD, the infrastructure and management components of a traditional on-premises virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) disappear into the cloud. The latest release makes it possible to deploy Windows 10, Windows Server and Windows 7 desktops and apps with a unified management experience.

Citrix DaaS

Formerly known as WinFrame, MetaFrame, Presentation Server, XenApp and Citrix Virtual Apps, the product has been renamed as of 2022 as Citrix DaaS. Despite the frequent name changes, Citrix is a mature platform popular for large organizations with many remote users. It delivers centrally hosted Windows applications to local devices and is the flagship product for Citrix.

Amazon WorkSpace

Amazon WorkSpace is a cloud-based virtual desktop built on Amazon Web Services worldwide cloud platform. The platform was first introduced in 2013, making it one of the newer and less mature offerings. The product offers the power of Amazon’s AWS data centers, and is geared toward larger companies with many remote users.

VM Ware Cloud

Another popular choice is VM Ware Cloud, which recently partnered with AWS to create a hybrid cloud offering more like the services listed above. Thanks to this new, cloud-based virtual desktop infrastructure, the company is better able to provide high performance applications to remote users over broadband connections. Because it has only recently adopted this model, the company is playing catch up with other competitors.

If you want to learn more about providing a secure, scalable GPU-enabled service, visit You can also reach out to our experts for a consultation at any time. Deploying a virtual desktop environment can simplify your remote work situation, but it is still useful to have a partner or managed service provider to provide virtual desktops as a hosted managed service.

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