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Compare SaaS Cloud PCs with DIY Virtual Desktops

We often talk about the benefits of SaaS cloud PCs versus “do-it-yourself” (DIY) solutions such as virtual desktops and physical PCs. When you think about it, end user computing approaches have been mostly of the DIY variety. IT departments manage a fleet of physical PCs and workstations, including periodic hardware refreshes, or they’ve implemented on-premises virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Whether physical or virtual, there is a lot of complexity associated with these DIY solutions; they are labor intensive and expensive to deploy and manage. Let’s compare SaaS cloud PCs with DIY virtual desktops and physical PCs and explore how the right cloud PC solution alleviates complexity, offloads your IT department, reduces costs, and more.

IT Leaders: Cloud PC Buyers Beware!

The Desktop as a Service (DaaS) landscape is evolving very quickly. Pretty much any analyst or CIO one talks with these days will tell you that DaaS is the way to go for end user computing, especially if you have a distributed workforce. It’s certainly no surprise to us; we’ve been implementing SaaS cloud PCs for customers for years now, and the flexibility, security and productivity benefits these organizations achieve with their cloud PCs is adding tremendous value to their organizations.

However, the DaaS landscape is getting more crowded, so you’ll need to weigh the various approaches and navigate through the hype to select the solution that’s right for your organization. DaaS solutions vary wildly. You’ll see some vendors offering a “DaaS” solution, but in reality it’s just a VDI broker offered either on-premises or in the cloud. Where’s the “desktop” part? We refer to this as “broker-as-a-service” because there’s still a lot of DIY implementation, management and troubleshooting tasks that are your sole responsibility in order to deliver a complete virtual desktop to an end user.

Other vendors offer a full desktop service referred to as a “cloud PC,” but that service is limited to delivery from only one public cloud. Workspot is the only comprehensive SaaS cloud PC service that spans multiple public clouds.

The Old Way: DIY PCs and VDI 

When we refer to DIY desktops, it encompasses both physical PCs and virtual desktop solutions, because in either case, the customer is responsible for procuring and managing infrastructure, operations and the SLA of the desktops. The notion of “doing-it-yourself” spans these computing formats. We wrote a blog that poses the question of whether SaaS cloud PCs will disrupt and ultimately replace physical PCs. What do you think? When you consider all the overhead involved in buying, imaging, shipping, troubleshooting, updating and refreshing physical PCs and workstations, it sure seems like cloud PCs could win the day. And that’s leaving out one of the most challenging parts of managing a fleet of physical devices: securing them and passing your compliance audits.

Similarly, until recently, the only way to centralize and virtualize your enterprise Windows desktops was to invest large amounts of your time and money into Virtual Desktop Infrastructure – commonly known as VDI. VDI software is limited to provisioning, brokering and gateway functions. It’s up to you, the customer, or a third-party reseller, systems integrator, or consultant you hire – to architect, integrate and pay for all the infrastructure: the CPU, memory, storage, and networking. The upfront cost for all of this is huge. But it doesn’t stop there. Thereafter, a team of experts, whether they are part of your in-house IT team or an outsourced team of people, will need to maintain and troubleshoot this complex system. Given all that complexity, virtual desktop reliability can be a serious problem, and the cost of downtime can be significant. We have customers who say it costs them a million dollars a day when their on-prem VDI is down. Ultimately, after all that work and expense, many companies find that because architecting and operating these systems is so complex, their end users are unhappy with the performance.

The primary considerations when considering DIY solutions, whether VDI or physical PCs and workstations, are the following:

  1. Do you have the right skill sets in-house to integrate all the moving parts & pieces of the technology stack? if not are you willing to hire them? If so, is this the best use of their time?
  2. If an end user is unable to connect to their desktop or is experiencing poor performance, do you have the expertise to figure out what’s wrong and fix it? Can you afford the cost of that downtime?
  3. Are you able to optimize costs for your DIY approach? For example, if you have a VDI broker in the cloud, do you have the people and the tools to understand the cost variability of services in different cloud regions and manage your deployment accordingly?

Bottom line: When you take a do-it-yourself approach to end user computing, it’s definitely resource-intensive, and expensive!

The New Way: Enterprise SaaS Cloud PCs  

Cloud PC High Availability

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could subscribe to a comprehensive, global service for enterprise cloud PCs through one vendor who takes complete responsibility for the reliability of your cloud PCs? Workspot does exactly that. The Workspot Enterprise Desktop Cloud is the only SaaS platform for delivering enterprise-proven cloud PCs to your end users from multiple public clouds. We make sure that your end users can reliably access their cloud PCs and that they enjoy great performance so they can be productive everywhere. Our big data collection and correlation engine, Workspot Watch, monitors cloud PCs globally to identify potential issues that could pose a security threat, helping to strengthen your Zero Trust Security posture. Overall, we offload the burden of desktop provisioning and management from your IT team so they can focus on solving problems more strategic to your business.

360 Degrees of Cloud PC Innovation

From day one of our engagement, we’re innovating together. We call it 360 degrees of innovation because at every step of our cloud PC journey we are inventing new capabilities based on your requirements and evolving the platform.

Our Workspot Customer Success Team takes your first use case live and then continues to support you throughout your digital transformation, acting as your advocate every step of the way. Once in production, our Workspot Support Team is the one place to go to help you identify and resolve any issues that arise.

The Workspot Engineering Team is continuously updating the service to optimize costs, strengthen security, and improve performance and reliability.

Flexible Cloud PC Consumption

The Workspot platform significantly changes the economics of end user computing. The SaaS approach alleviates much of the management and troubleshooting time and expense from your team, allowing them to apply their skills in more strategic ways.

Moreover, you have an opportunity to fine-tune compute costs for each user. Different types of end users have unique cloud PC usage patterns, so how could one pricing model possibly be adequate? Here, flexibility is the name of the game. Our pricing models are flexible to fit your purchasing and usage models – and can be different within your company across your various departments and use cases. When predictable pricing is a must, choose our flat-rate subscription option for exactly the resource you need for each end user, whether it’s a dedicated desktop, shared desktop, or just access to a few applications – each is available at the same fixed price per user per month, globally. That may not be the case with other solutions, so evaluate this carefully. When hourly pricing is key – choose our Variable Use Subscription option. If you need more options, talk to us about customized pricing that makes sense for your use cases.

The advantages of SaaS cloud PCs over DIY approaches to virtual desktops are compelling. Greater business agility, stronger security, simplified IT and the stunning performance users love are what you’ll find with Workspot cloud PCs.

Ready to see enterprise cloud PCs in action? Schedule a demo and we’ll show you how it works!