How to Choose the Right Virtual Desktop

May 2nd, 2017
Vadim VladimirskiyFounder & CEO, Nerdio

Each Nerdio plan has a different set of desktop specs, but which one is the best choice for your business? The answer will depend on the size of your business (i.e., the needs of 500 employees will be different than the needs of 10), what applications you’ll be using frequently, and what level of online activity you expect. In terms of virtual desktop needs, here are some considerations to help you decide which plan might fit your needs best:

Browsing speed

The more users you have, the higher the browsing speed you will want available. That much is obvious, but how do you know if 50 mbps is good enough or if you should consider the 250 or 1000 mbps options? This comes down to what your average and busiest periods of online activity look like.

If your business only requires checking email and moderate web browsing, you probably do not need very much in this category. Text is cheap as far as data used to send and receive it. Images are larger, and email file size (and therefore the data needed to send and receive it) is increased by any images or files attached to the message. While 50 mbps might be enough for these tasks, take into consideration if file attachments or websites with large images will be used frequently before automatically settling into a small amount.

If it makes sense for your employees to stream videos during the workday or if you use an application for conference or video calls, that will also increase your speed requirement. High definition video uses more bandwidth than standard definition, but audio-only conference calls use significantly less bandwidth than streaming videos. Consider if your employees will be streaming videos during their lunch hour or if you have a policy against this.

browsing speed

Lastly, if your business develops a software program using a repository, you will likely want an option higher than 50 mbps. Your developers will either be sharing small changes frequently or large changes at different intervals, both of which will be demanding on your bandwidth. If in doubt, there are free tools available which can help you estimate your business’s bandwidth needs.

Hard drive

Choosing between 100 GB, 150 GB, and 200 GB on each desktop will be a matter of how many applications and large files you expect each user to have. The real decision maker in this category is if you want the luxury of a solid state drive (150 GB or 200 GB) or are content with a traditional hard drive (100 GB). Solid state drives operate faster than traditional hard drives – and they especially read data faster.

If your users will be frequently launching and closing different applications or frequently opening large files, the speed boost of a solid state will be noticeable. If your day-to-day operations are more centered around a few applications which rarely (or never) get closed and the average file size on the computer is reasonable, the slower speed of a traditional hard drive may not impact your workflow as much.

CPU/RAM

Obviously, the more CPU cores and RAM you have, the faster your machine will run. You will want to pay attention to the system requirements of the applications you use, though two cores and 4 GB of RAM should cover a wide variety of current applications.

More technically, having a larger amount of RAM allows your users to have more applications open and running at the same time without experiencing slowdown. Adding more CPU cores allows multi-threading in applications, which can allow a single application to finish its work faster or allow multiple applications to run side by side at full capacity. If your standard workflow involves running a lot of applications at once, and especially if that involves running processes in the background, you will notice the impact of having extra CPU cores that much more strongly.

dual monitor support

Monitor support

If your users typically have a single monitor or a dual monitor setup, dual monitor support is probably a good fit for your needs. Quad monitor support allows users to see more information from a single application at once or use multiple applications for multi-tasking. If you have provided multiple monitors per user, you likely have a good idea of which option suits your needs best.

These desktop options are just a fraction of what is included with Nerdio. Plans also include software, servers, security and much more not described in this article. Visit our website for more information on making the software decision that works best for you and your company.

Check out the rest of the Plans page to see the other components of Nerdio.