Assume that you were on the go and only had a relatively weak computing device to work with. Chances are that you wouldn’t be able to tackle any serious jobs owing to a lack of raw processing power. Virtual desktops help solve this problem by giving you an emulated personal computer you can access from any cloud-connected device.
Design Principles Behind Virtual Desktops
Perhaps the most accessible example of a virtual desktop comes in the form of a local paging application that allows users to divvy up their session into multiple panes. Distributed virtual desktops, like those that operate in the cloud, expand this concept by making each session available from any Internet-connected device capable of running a client application. That means you could theoretically use one to run any sort of desktop software that wouldn’t normally work on a mobile device.
Creative users have also found some other more unusual applications for this kind of technology. Someone who prefers to work from a Macintosh but needs to run Windows software could do so by deploying it in the cloud and accessing a virtualized desktop from inside of a macOS-based browser. Over time, engineers have developed some specialized implementations that are designed to meet the needs of commercial users.
Specialty Virtual Desktop Implementations
Graphic artists, architects, and those who need to run sophisticated number-crunching software have been among those who’ve adopted GPU virtual desktop platforms. These are essentially virtualized PCs that feature a rack-mounted graphics processing unit so that they can offer the ability to work with three-dimensional images in the same way a physical graphics adapter would.
Technicians can run a computer-aided design program inside one of these and experience very little latency compared to how poorly it might run if deployed on a weaker machine. Client computers powered by integrated graphics systems should still be able to manage these programs without running into many hiccups. The time savings promised by a GPU-enabled virtual desktop should be obvious considering how long it takes to render an image on a weak machine.
Musical instrument device interface adapters have been added to some specialty machines as well, which makes it possible to create sophisticated synthesized soundtracks on a virtual desktop running over a network. Software-defined radio receivers have made it possible to intercept broadcast transmissions and explore them far away from where the physical machine they’re running on is located. Nevertheless, likely, most technologists will simply want to turn to a virtual desktop capable of running all of their productivity programs.
Working Exclusively from a Virtual Desktop
Professionals who want to deploy their daily driver in the cloud should find it easy to use a shared computing environment that offers them an authentic desktop experience. Dedicated hosting solutions that deploy virtual desktops will normally provide a client application or browser-based solution that presents users with a window that showcases everything that would normally be found on a physical desktop. Any window you open on the server machine will open right on your client screen. It doesn’t matter if the architecture of the machine matches you’re working on matches what the virtual operating system expects. That means you can run x86_64-type software on devices built around ARM chips.
Multihead transmission technology relies on the manipulation of multiple video buffers that are synchronized with a specific pilot frequency so neither of them gets too far ahead of the other. Assuming that a client user’s network throughput is fast enough to handle the data transfers involved, they might not even notice that they’re not working with software running locally. Depending on the speed of the virtual desktop’s server machine, they might even find that software runs considerably faster than it would locally. While this is to be expected when working with graphically intense applications, it could be a little more surprising for those who only plan on deploying word processing or spreadsheet applications on their virtual desktop machine.
Whether you use the latest GNU/Linux distribution or prefer Microsoft’s proprietary ecosystem, you shouldn’t have any difficulty configuring a multi-head setup. By working with an outside organization that offers dedicated hosting solutions, you shouldn’t even have to worry about downtime either.