Desktop virtualization technology has advanced greatly in recent years and is beginning to offer the robust performance, superior graphics, and quick response times required by users of CAD and other compute-intensive applications. On top of those benefits, virtualization brings other benefits to the CAD user. For instance, virtualization allows remote workers to do their jobs anywhere while maintaining a high level of security for the data stored back on site. It is also perfect for remote file viewing and collaboration, as the speed issue isn't as bothersome as it is during the actual work process. With the right tools, you can create a virtualized CAD experience that is as good as a desktop CAD workstation. Here's how.
Invest in the Right Hardware
The first component of a solid virtualization experience is the server that houses the information and processing power utilized by the virtual desktops. RAM is the single most important factor, because without adequate RAM, the other components of the virtualization experience won't perform as well as possible. And it's cheaper in the long run to fork out generously for ample RAM to begin with than to try to tack on more later, so invest in as much as the budget allows.
Redundant racks are also a good investment. In order to support remote workers through virtualization, it's crucial to have backup servers in place in case one of the servers goes down. Though modern servers are more reliable than those made several years ago, hardware malfunction is still a part of life.
Invest in a Good Connection
Network connection is like a bridge. You can't get to New York from Jersey if the George Washington Bridge is out -- and your virtualized desktop can't perform beautifully if it can't cross your network connection with some zing. 10G-PON is ideal, but costly. Invest in the best quality connectivity you can afford so that your virtualized machines can get the most good out of all that robust infrastructure you built back onsite.
Choose the Right Uses for Desktop Virtualization
With the right equipment, remote workers should get as good an experience as workers using desktop CAD workstations. But if budget limitations reduce the amount of RAM you can purchase or prohibit the use of a speedy network connection, virtualized machines can still offer benefits, such as remote viewing and long-distance collaboration on projects.
For more information about CAD software and hardware technologies, visit Cadalyst.com.