Better DaaS & VDI with FileShadow

Greg Bramwell

For most virtual desktop users, including those using Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), data synchronization is a concern. But it’s as much a logistical issue as it is a synchronization issue. A virtual desktop is their tool of choice for achieving synchronization, but does not provide exactly what they need logistically - a space where they can always access their workspace environment and files, any time and from any place. A virtual desktop is solving the synchronization problem by offloading the user’s entire desktop to the Cloud, but it doesn’t solve their logistical problem, and it doesn't synchronize their content adequately, at least not in my view; instead, it is a single point of failure running in the Cloud.

A virtual desktop replaces a user’s desktop environment (apps, folders, windows, toolbars, icons, etc.) by storing it on a remote server instead of on their computer or device. This allows for entry-level data “synchronization,” though, in my mind, data synchronization is not just about your data residing in the Cloud, it is about having all of your content accessible whenever and wherever you need it - at home, work, school, or while on vacation. Being able to have that data from your desktop available to you anywhere you go is sort of the “gold standard” of accessibility and synchronization. Is this gold standard achievable for virtual desktop environments? Out of the box, not easily. With FileShadow, yes, absolutely.

FileShadow recently announced support for Windows Virtual Desktop, which offers more complete data synchronization and accessibility than having a virtual desktop alone. Now your data can be synchronized to the Cloud, and be fully accessible from the virtual desktop from anywhere using the FileShadow desktop app, as well as any other machine with access to a modern web browser. Any edits to your virtual desktop files will be hot synchronized to FileShadow and made searchable from anywhere.

When virtual desktops first appeared, the possibilities were compelling. A user had one desktop workspace that they could access at their home or office, and all of their files would be on one virtual desktop. But of course, with this exciting new technology came the assumption that nothing would ever happen to their virtual desktop environment. Unfortunately, this was not the case, and the entire desktop could be lost through no fault of their own. And with it most, if not all, of their content. Data protection needs to be an essential consideration for anyone using a virtual desktop as their primary workspace environment. FileShadow solves this data protection issue by hot synchronizing everything that changes on monitored disks, and putting it into our secure cloud vault. The virtual desktop is no longer the primary home and vault of your content, it instead becomes a mechanism by which to access and edit those documents.

Ransomware is one of the leading data security issues facing users today. Virtual desktops alone do not mitigate this risk, and can even make it worse. If a hacker gains access to a virtual desktop, all the contents of that machine are compromised and most likely lost. FileShadow solves this issue by protecting all of a user’s content in our secure cloud vault with full tracking of all revisions. Even in the unfortunate case that a hacker locks their files, they will be able to easily access the latest versions created prior to the system’s compromise.