Information Security Tips Series
Virtualisation, in computing, is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) environment by real resources for hardware platform, operating system, a storage device or network interfaces. Virtualisation on hardware platform in general refers to the creation of a Virtual Machine (VM) that acts like a real computer within the environment of the original computer.
Under this concept, multiple VMs with corresponding Operating Systems (OS) and versions can be run in a single physical computer machine concurrently.
Desktop virtualisation is a server-centric computing model that multiple virtual desktop environments in VMs run on servers centrally in a data centre while users can access these virtual desktop environments from users' devices like a local computer, a smartphone or an iPad.
Key Benefits of VDI
* Provides a centrally controlled environment. As all data are stored and protected centrally, not in users' devices, the data will still be protected from loss or leakage even the users' devices are lost accidentally.
* Remote access to applications and data can be provided at any time and anywhere.
* Lifecycle of the users' devices like desktop computers can be extended as new or additional software/applications are actually running on the central servers.
* Better resource utilisation of central physical servers.
Protection measures should be enhanced and in place prior to getting the benefits of desktop virtualisation, especially on remote accessibility and data protection. They are as follows:
* The central servers and storage system are critical and should be located in secure areas, which are physically protected from any unauthorised access or other environmental hazards.
* Software and Operating Systems must be patched on a timely base to mitigate the risks of vulnerabilities and loopholes.
* Strong user authentication and privilege assignment on need basis should be enforced.
* Data transmission between the users' devices and the servers should be encrypted.
* End users usually expect high availability and quick response for VMs. Resilience of computer network and data lines has to be established to guarantee the quality of service delivery.
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