VDI provides benefits and drawbacks in terms of data protection. The major benefit of VDI involves the centralization of workloads. Employees using separate desktop computers present endless problems in data protection because if the hard disk on that computer fails, and the data hasn’t been backed up, that data is likely lost forever.

To avoid scenarios where important user data is lost forever, someone needs to back up the client machines on a regular basis. With VDI, things get simpler, because each user’s computer is a virtual machine hosted centrally. That gives VDI administrators far more control over configurations and backups.

For personal virtual machines, which allow users to store persistent data, VDI administrators can configure backup solutions that automatically back up all files and folders. For non-persistent virtual machines, VDI administrators can configure policies so that important files and folders are stored in a central location, such as a file share, which is regularly backed up and protected by IT.

As long as the backup solution is an effective one, which backs up critical data in a reliable way, it doesn’t matter if user files are stored on a file share or locally on the client machine and then backed up to a central location. What is important is that proper backup policies are in place, ensuring that backups are performed regularly, that there is a reasonable backup retention period, and that any data that needs to be retained for compliance purposes is stored for the requisite amount of time.

It’s worth making sure that regular backups of each VM occur for personal VMs, in case the VM image becomes corrupt. With locked-down non-persistent virtual machines, as long as the “gold master” VM is backed up, there is no need to back up each VM image as they are deleted once a user logs off for the day.

Underwritten by HPE, NVIDIA and VMware.