MSP Today Expert Feature
February 21, 2013

Virtual Desktops Protect Precious Data

Data protection is one of the biggest selling points of virtual desktops. Instead of storing proprietary data on multiple computers, or endpoints, data is stored and accessed from the data center.

Companies create a centralized virtual machine and then modify the desktop for individual users. Employees can’t access what they don’t need to have.

At the same time, virtual desktops provide employees with a great deal of freedom. Since the virtual desktop can be accessed from multiple devices, employees have anywhere access to the data that they need.

One example of how desktop virtualization works comes from Leostream’s latest version of its cloud desktops solution. Cloud Controller, which is Windows-based, can manage virtual desktops built on open-source Apache CloudStack software.

CloudStack is usually used to deploy and manage large networks. The software includes complete Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) components including user and account management, Network-as-a-Service and a full and open native API.

Cloud Controller creates master images that can be used for provisioning desktops. Then, IT can create desktops and assign them to individual users. Single-use encrypted authentication ensures that unauthorized users are barred from the desktop.

IT can centrally monitor who is using their desktop at any time. When employees leave the organization, virtual desktops can be instantly deleted.

Users can use the built-in HTML5 viewer to access their desktops from locked-down PCs, laptops, Android, iOS, BlackBerry (News - Alert), Chromebooks, thin clients and other endpoint devices.

Leostream pro-rates monthly charges based on desktop use. Currently, no up-front contract is required.

For even more security, consider a hosted solution. Transitioning to a hosted virtual desktop benefits organizations that handle sensitive data, such as medical facilities that must comply with HIPAA regulations. With a hosted solution, IT can set restrictions to keep employees from copying data to any remote location.

Businesses can also configure policy controls to either limit employees to office-only access or to enable unlimited access for telecommuting or remote work.

Edited by Brooke Neuman