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Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is a virtualization technique enabling access to a virtualized desktop, which is hosted on a remote service over the Internet. It refers to the software, hardware and other resources required for the virtualization of a standard desktop system.
VDI is also known as a virtual desktop interface.
VDI is a shadow copy of the desktop including its OS, installed applications and documents, which are stored and executed entirely from the server hosting it. VDI provides users the ability to access their desktop remotely, often even from a handheld device because the entire process of executing the interface is done at the central server.
VDI operates by storing OS preferences, software applications, document and other customized data on a server in the cloud. In theory, or ideally, the user experience is the same as on a physical desktop.
Virtual desktop interfaces were primarily design to provide global access to desktop systems. They are also used in designing disaster recovery and backup solutions. This is done by routinely updating the desktop’s data on a remote server and enabling the interface for users in case of a system disruption.