With companies hosting applications and operating systems in the data center instead of on desktops, there’s a big push to move toward Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and explain why everyone’s doing it. The answer is easy. Smaller, simpler, centralized.

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is the practice of hosting a desktop operating system within a virtual machine (VM) running on a centralized server. VDI is a variation on the client/server computing model, sometimes referred to as server-based computing. The term was coined by VMware Inc.

In the process of evaluating the options and working on an affordable and scalable solution, we found this device.

Houston Data Center Thin Client VDI
Android Mini PC

This is a $20 HDMI stick that runs Android. It includes a micro USB connector for power and operating your mouse and keyboard. It runs Microsoft Remote Desktop flawlessly and is an incredible solution for the price.

It has 4GB of storage and a built in WiFi adapter. It’s essentially a Chromecast for half the cost and twice the functionality. The only downside is that it only supports one monitor.

If you’re in the market, or just want to play around with VDI, this is a no-brainer as a cost-effective proof of concept device.