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How to manage VDI in the cloud

Bryan Kaufman
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How to manage VDI in the cloudVirtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and virtual applications have the power to transform workforces. Powerful, consistent EUC experiences – regardless of team size, location, or application complexity – enable digital workplace transformation. And VDI in the cloud enables resource elasticity, dramatically reducing the infrastructure burden of desktop management.

In our recent demo, we explored how NetApp manages EUC workloads in the cloud, from small regionally distributed clients to large multi-tenant providers. Watch the demo below, or read on to learn more about NetApp’s cloud VDI offerings.

NetApp Virtual Desktop Service

There’s a new approach to how companies can overcome hyperscaler rules and unbound the limits for user connections/zones: NetApp Virtual Desktop Service (VDS). NetApp VDS is a component of VDS that further extends the enterprise scale of the SaaS delivered global control plane for VDI deployment, management, and optimization. VDS clears away the hyperscaler limits for deployment and scale, in a sense bringing the hyperscaler zone to the user.

VDS extends the hyperscaler zone limits to the user by:
  • Managing logical groupings that are not bounded by the hyperscaler limits
  • Easily managing separate cloud region targets, including the network details, file locations, and regional segmentation containers, and locating the virtual desktops and applications close to the end users
  • Easily scaling large implementations and adding multiple cloud resources to enable concurrent build outs, and avoiding cloud API and other limitations
  • Managing users across hybrid/multi-cloud environments with single user identity and administrative scope control
  • Supporting mobile user data by integrating VDS and NetApp Global File Cache, allowing accessibility to the user and data profiles from the VDS Site location data store


Now businesses can extend the hyperscaler functionality to the actual user location and across hybrid/multi-cloud environments, improving the experience of remote users and improving performance, thus improving business continuity.

Azure NetApp Files

Organizations look to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to improve security, control, and increase productivity all while simplifying desktop operations. And the cloud is a perfect fit to reduce costs and the burden of virtual desktops while providing the flexibility to grow and shrink dynamically to enable true digital workspace transformation.

Azure NetApp Files (ANF) helps organizations reduce risk utilizing virtual desktops in Azure – without experiencing performance degradation. ANF’s highly available architecture offers a secure data environment to ensure customers have data always available to keep their operations on track–especially for those critical profile containers. Based on Azure’s Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) service, ANF is designed to deliver Windows desktops to your users on nearly any device.

The Windows Virtual Desktop service offers:
  • Support for multi-user deployments with Windows 10
  • Integration with Microsoft solutions, such as Office 365
  • Extended support for Windows 7 including security via Microsoft 365


ANF enables customers to achieve performance in Azure typically only seen in the data center. With ANF, your VDI can address business-critical needs from anywhere, any device, any time.

Global File Cache

With distributed VDI, businesses are finding it difficult to ensure that data is accessible and properly versioned. They need an enterprise-class centralized data management system that will work across the entire multi-cloud world. NetApp Global File Cache (GFC) is the enterprise-class answer to meeting this need.

GFC enables regional VDI farms to keep user productivity high and keep data close to the VDI farm and users without replication and syncing overhead. GFC is the centralized data management tool for distributed VDI. It is integrated with NetApp Virtual Desktop Service and NetApp VDS Sites, allowing customers to manage through its SaaS-delivered global control plane and single pane of glass.

GFC goes beyond other data management solutions by:
  • Keeping regional VDI workspaces “closer” to the user population with ~30ms or less latency
  • It does so for all locations by using VDI centralized data, providing one place for backup, scale, audit and compliance, etc.
  • It provides a single version of truth for all users
  • It enables easy roaming capabilities for mobile and transient workforces


With GFC, businesses can improve data access and performance, keep regional VDI data stores closer to the user, and solve the problem of data versioning mismatch in a global distributed VDI environment. GFC can also reduce replication and syncing costs. Finally, all of this can be done through the VDS SaaS-delivered global control plane and its single pane of glass, without requiring highly skilled IT resources to manage VDI distributed data stores.

Learn more

NetApp’s portfolio of cloud solutions enhances the value of VDI across all platforms/virtualization vendors, clouds, and use cases. With NetApp, you’ll provide your workforce with a powerful, consistent end-user computing experience – regardless of team size, location, or application complexity.

Your optimized VDI is waiting. Are you ready?

Bryan Kaufman

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