Best VDI for Small Businesses

    Products classified in the overall Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) category are similar in many regards and help companies of all sizes solve their business problems. However, small business features, pricing, setup, and installation differ from businesses of other sizes, which is why we match buyers to the right Small Business Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to fit their needs. Compare product ratings based on reviews from enterprise users or connect with one of G2's buying advisors to find the right solutions within the Small Business Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) category.

    In addition to qualifying for inclusion in the VDI category, to qualify for inclusion in the Small Business VDI category, a product must have at least 10 reviews left by a reviewer from a small business.

    Top 10 VDI for Small Businesses

    • VirtualBox
    • Hyper-V
    • Workstation Pro
    • Citrix Workspace
    • V2 Cloud
    • Amazon WorkSpaces
    • Parallels RAS
    • Vagrant
    • Horizon 7
    • Fusion

    Compare Small Business VDI

    G2 takes pride in showing unbiased reviews on user satisfaction in our ratings and reports. We do not allow paid placements in any of our ratings, rankings, or reports. Learn about our scoring methodologies.
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    (222)4.5 out of 5

    VirtualBox is an open source x86 and AMD64/Intel64 VDI solution for enterprises.

    (103)4.3 out of 5

    Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 is a stand-alone product providing a simplified, reliable, cost-effective and optimized virtualization solution.

    (87)4.4 out of 5

    VMware Workstation Pro allows technical professionals develop, test, demonstrate and deploy software by running multiple x86-based operating systems simultaneously on the same PC.

    (274)4.0 out of 5

    Citrix Workspace is a complete secure digital workspace, designed to empower people to work better anytime, anywhere without distractions. It seamlessly integrates with your existing systems, so you can focus on driving digital transformation.

    (45)4.8 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:Start at 40$ per month

    Desktop virtualization doesn't have to be complicated. And V2 Cloud is the IT nerd you need. As a fully integrated Desktop-as-a-Service solution, we focus on speed and simplicity—so you can work faster from anywhere. Let our support team get rid of your worries—use your cloud computer safely. Quickly. And economically. Try V2 Cloud free and say hello to the simplest cloud desktop!

    (62)4.0 out of 5

    Amazon WorkSpaces is a secure desktop computing service that runs on the AWS cloud it allows provision cloud-based virtual desktops and provide users access to the documents, applications, and resources needd from any supported device, including Windows and Mac computers, Chromebooks, iPads, Fire tablets, and Android tablets.

    (61)4.2 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$79.99

    Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) product portfolio helps consumers, businesses and service providers to fully experience and optimize computing.

    (30)4.6 out of 5

    Create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments.

    (58)4.0 out of 5

    Horizon 7 is a virtual desktop software suite that securely delivers applications to end-users on the device of their choice, increasing user's flexibility while reducing costs, and maintaining data security.

    (109)4.4 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$79.99

    Fusion provides a virtualization solution for running Windows programs on a Mac.

    Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops lead the industry in desktop and app virtualization. Deliver Windows, Linux, and web business applications or full virtual desktops from any cloud—public, on-premises or hybrid—within a modern digital workspace

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    Check out the G2 Grid® for the top VDI products. G2 scores products and sellers based on reviews gathered from our user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. Together, these scores are mapped on our proprietary G2 Grid®, which you can use to compare products, streamline the buying process, and quickly identify the best products based on the experiences of your peers.
    Leaders
    High Performers
    Contenders
    Niche
    Horizon 7
    Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops
    Hyper-V
    Fusion
    Parallels RAS
    Workstation Pro
    VirtualBox
    Vagrant
    Amazon WorkSpaces
    V2 Cloud
    Citrix Workspace
    Market Presence
    Satisfaction

    Learn More About VDI

    What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software?

    Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) software solutions allow users to run virtualized desktops within their native desktops. This is facilitated by a virtual machine living in a company’s server. It allows users to completely customize their desktops and adapt them to fit their specific needs. This could mean something as simple as creating a Linux environment on a Mac or running a program that is not native to Windows on a PC. It could be more complex, such as delivering a virtual application.

    Administrators can consolidate hardware resources into more flexible appliances through VDI solutions. End users are able to access multiple desktop variants in just about any location on a device connected to the VDI’s server. This is accomplished by utilizing a connection broker and a hypervisor. The connection broker assigns and connects endpoint devices to the server, while the hypervisor runs the virtual desktop. If you are not familiar with hypervisors, they can be equated to virtual machine monitors that can run a virtual operating platform to deliver a variety of operating systems.

    Typically, VDI implementation is facilitated on a remote operating system communicating with the local device. The connected network uses a remote display protocol to perform the actions of the end user. All information and actions are actually stored in the remote system rather than the local device. This goes for virtual desktops, virtually delivered applications, and other virtual appliances.

    These tools are used to share resources in an effort to improve efficiency and reduce costs. This eliminates the need to have a diverse set of hardware devices for different tasks and applications. It also benefits administrator management by providing a centralized console for client environmental control. As problems arise, administrators are alerted and can reconfigure the virtualized server to return functionality.

    Key Benefits of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software

    • Avoid unnecessary hardware costs by virtualizing existing resources for multiple users
    • Allow employees to access their work desktops from anywhere on any device with an internet connection
    • Quickly push software updates to enterprise applications
    • Install multiple operating systems on a single machine
    • Maintain data security, as desktop virtualization only transmits display, mouse, and keyboard information across the network

    Why Use Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software?

    Better technology, lower cost – Instead of supplying standardized devices across the company or paying for other costly IT infrastructure components, VDI puts a ton of control in the hands of administrators. They can update devices, provide new applications, and ensure security, all at a fraction of the cost of the manual and infrastructural expense. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) world makes it much more necessary to provide virtual tools, since each device's capabilities are different. As long as a device is reasonably up to date, it can run any program the administrator delegates. This means more operating systems, business applications, and virtual machines regardless of the type of device an employee is using. The tools allow for increased monitoring and improved security. Network penetrations and compromised devices can easily be identified and removed.

    Reducing infrastructural burden — Some investment in server and storage hardware may still be necessary, but VDI solutions typically connect devices to hosted networks and cloud storage environments. This makes it easier on the end user to navigate databases and prevents large files from bogging down devices and slowing performance. Hosted databases can be as large as you need and typically scale with costs. Administrators are at an advantage since they get a single navigation point for network access and managing endpoints and storage. These systems also isolate and centralize resources to make the remote devices run more smoothly and securely.

    Extensive options and customization — In addition to customizing the setup to meet your storage needs, you can customize applications, user access requirements, and bespoke virtual machines. From the administrator end, you can customize security protocols, network monitoring dashboards, and document historical records. Combining the two ends can help develop a remote IT setup that’s both cost- and resource-efficient. You can give Mac users access to Windows-native applications or vice versa; virtually every application becomes OS-agnostic since you’re choosing the operating system, regardless of the end user’s device. These standardized environments can often be deployed to users across the globe, with limited effects on functionality.

    Other business problems solved with VDI – Security is probably the largest additional solution. Virtual apps inside an isolated server are much more difficult to access for hackers. Properly implemented VDI solutions can improve security by adding further firewall layers, malware scanning applications, and vulnerability management solutions. Gateways can control access to cloud applications, email accounts, and web browsers. Administrators can choose what users can and can’t do while connected to the company’s network. It also makes it easier to delete virtual environments and disconnect devices that have been compromised. Troubleshooting device issues and providing user support also benefit from VDI since administrators are connected to the device. They can provide support documents, discuss issues via live chat programs, or take control of the device to inspect the issue.

    Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software Features

    Scalability — Software options in the VDI category range from allowing a single user to run two operating systems on one machine to an entire enterprise having access to virtualized machines. Your software buying decision will depend largely on the number of users accessing the virtualized desktops. Furthermore, consider whether scaling your virtualized desktops to more users will be necessary in the future. Standalone software tools in this category may not have the same scalability as software suites.

    Integrations — Integrating existing solutions with a VDI tool can be difficult. Certain technical support tools and web conferencing software use a form of virtualization that make it difficult to integrate with other VDI tools. If your business uses remote access tools for technical support or web conferencing software to host virtual meetings, you may want to consider a software suite that combines these functions with VDI. Moreover, integration issues with industry-specific solutions such as electronic health record software or financial services software may also be overcome with industry-specific software suites.

    Mobile virtualization – It’s worth noting that not every VDI software tool comes with a mobile application. While your virtual desktops set up through these options may still be accessed through a mobile browser, not having a native application may make it more difficult to navigate the virtual environment. Applications designed for a desktop that require heavy use of a mouse tend to be difficult to navigate on a touchscreen device.

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