The times, they are a-changing. Mobile computing devices, not to mention BYOD, and a millennial attitude mean that a substantial number of employees now do their work away from their desks. Whether at home, in a bus, train or plane, or in their favourite coffee shop, where a Wi-Fi connection is available, there is a potential workspace. On the flipside of convenience is that this information may then escape the control of the business, or at least partially so. For example, how can companies implement effective work area recovery for such nomadic workers in the event of an IT incident?

One answer to the problem is to use a desktop virtualisation technology. The exact approach may differ, but the underlying principle is to separate a logical, operating-system instance from the client device accessing it. Some compare desktop virtualisation to a combination of an old-fashioned mainframe paradigm with new-age, user-defined computing. Users each have their provenance of the applications and desktop OS they need, but these items reside in a separate machine (often a central server). Users then access their individual instances via a thin client application. This makes desktop virtualisation an interesting proposition for tablets and smartphones too.

When the desktop virtualisation combines with secure tunneling, daily security is enhanced. It can also grant access for those users to their instances using different devices, and lodged in different offices, in the event of a major upheaval or corporate disaster. Users recover the exact IT environment that they are accustomed to. If they already work from home, a disaster recovery at their employer’s site can be completely transparent for them. If they have had to change offices, they will need make new arrangements for transport and amenities, but when they log on, everything will be just as before. Even if the times are indeed a-changing, desktop virtualisation may be the one exception (luckily) where things still stay the same.


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