Does Cloud VDI Need a New Name?
A customer recently told us “With Workspot, I don’t have to worry about infrastructure, and my team doesn’t need any Azure skills. You handed me the keys to a Ferrari and said ‘have fun!’.” Soon we’ll tell you who said this and the details behind it, but today, let’s take a look at how we arrived at being the “Ferrari” of VDI.
Workspot is solving what were once intractable performance, cost and complexity challenges with legacy VDI in enterprises, as well as helping customers address innovative, new use cases. Our customers are steadily expanding their implementations, and they have the flexibility to do so whether they need to add 10, 100, 500 or 1000s of cloud desktops and workstations at a time – they can do this in minutes, across cloud regions globally. They are growing their Workspot implementations for one simple reason: business value. Enabling that value is a variety of technology and business model innovations that are unique to Workspot.
It wasn’t until 2017 when Microsoft changed the Microsoft Windows EULA that we were able to begin delivering Windows 10 desktops on Azure, and once that hurdle was cleared, what has happened since then has been nothing short of astonishing.
The word is out: Our Cloud VDI solution is a game-changer for our customers, and that is the most important thing. But as great as that is, and as proud as we are for helping our customers be successful, we still find it difficult to find the right words to communicate the tremendous value we deliver. All of our innovations together comprise what was the very first, and is still The Only, Turnkey, Cloud-Native, Enterprise-Ready SaaS Solution for VDI. But that’s a really long name, and what does it mean anyway? What does “Turnkey” mean? Why is “Cloud-Native” important? Everyone says “Enterprise-Ready” – how are we any different? And if it’s in the cloud, why is there an “I” for infrastructure? All good questions, but as Shakespeare wrote, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” So, does Workspot Cloud VDI need a new name?
Circa 2017: DaaS 2.0? What’s that?
Back in 2017 when the Azure floodgate opened, we called our cloud desktop, app, and workstation solution “DaaS 2.0”, and of course, it’s only available on Azure, because that’s where our enterprise customers want to go. But the solution is so much more than desktop-as-a-service. Typically DaaS 1.0 involved a third party implementing the first party’s technology for the second party (that’s you, the customer). That means there’s a pretty vast distance between the technology developer and the end customer, and in that scenario, customer requirements either get lost in translation or take months or years to implement as a product feature. Workspot is So. Not. That. We are the first party, implementing a cloud-native solution for the second party (that’s you, our customer), and even if you’re also working with one of our wonderful partners on your implementation (a third party), you still also work directly with us and that means you stay close to our team and you have a direct line to our developers. They intercept your requirements, and because of the way we architected the solution, plus our agile development model (plus we have rockstar engineers!), they can implement new features in days or weeks. So, we stopped calling our solution DaaS, (even though some of the industry analysts call what we do “DaaS”) because the huge differences between DaaS 1.0 and DaaS 2.0 are just too great, and the benefits for customers so significantly different, the name does not reflect that.
Circa 2018: PC-in-the-Cloud? What’s that?
So then we called our solution “PC-in-the-Cloud”. This arose from the massively valuable opportunity to simplify provisioning and management of physical desktops and workstations as well as the opportunity to overcome legacy VDI complexity. Simplicity is the heart and soul of our cloud VDI solution. We liken it to the simplicity of buying a PC: Just choose your CPU, memory, and storage configuration, and then onboard users in minutes. What could be easier? With Workspot, you don’t even have to ship anything. So a PC-in-the-Cloud seemed like a pretty clear explanation of what you get. However, the term “PC” is so old-school – nobody wants to talk about PCs. And what about cloud workstations? That’s not a PC. What about cloud apps? Anyway. Next.
Cloud VDI Goes Mainstream
So in 2019, after many discussions, we decided to go with “Cloud VDI”, but not without some pain. On the one hand, most IT people know about or have experienced traditional VDI, so they understand both the promises and the challenges of the legacy incarnations of it. Yet because of this, the term “VDI” is loaded with baggage. We wondered, do we just want to disassociate from that baggage? At the same time, both business and IT leaders are converging on cloud-first initiatives, understanding that moving workloads to the cloud can be a high-return undertaking because of the agility, security, and efficiency benefits. So when you put “cloud” and “VDI” together, you get a descriptor that people recognize, and perhaps “cloud” modernizes the notion of “VDI”. But what exactly do you get? This is where the rubber meets the road. Vendors other than Workspot have virtual desktop solutions in the cloud, but each takes a very different approach. Essentially, you can still do on-premises VDI if you still think it’s a good idea to run your own data center and manage all the infrastructure. Alternatively, you can select a “broker-as-a-service” product where you still have to do all the heavy lifting and manage infrastructure, or you can go with one of two truly turnkey, cloud-native virtual desktop solutions, one of which is Workspot.
Today: Turnkey, Cloud VDI? What’s That?
So when our customer compared us to having fun with a Ferrari, we thought, that’s it! That’s what Workspot turnkey, Cloud VDI is. He said it way better than we ever could have.
When you think of Workspot Cloud VDI, there are three primary characteristics that make it turnkey and which comprise our differentiation:
Workspot is a global, on-demand utility
None of the planning, sizing, integration, provisioning and scaling problems of legacy VDI exist with Workspot Cloud VDI. You provision and scale on-demand, in minutes. Add and remove users anywhere in the world through a single pane of glass. You can even use your ITSM system, such as ServiceNow, to automatically provision and manage the entire lifecycle of your cloud desktops and workstations.
Workspot supports a global, business SLA
Our 99.95% uptime for the Workspot Cloud VDI service is industry-leading. However, that’s only part of the story. Enterprises are concerned about “business SLA” – the whole picture of performance, reliability, and availability of computing resources for their users because that’s what keeps the business going. So for example, what happens if the connectivity between the cloud region and the data center goes down? Or if a DNS change affects the VDI? Or if Active Directory is not available? Or if Azure AD is unavailable? These are not under the control of the Workspot service, and we cannot guarantee the SLA of these services. However, our service is aware when a user is unable to connect to their requested resource. And we know when that user is not getting great performance. We know all of this because we have end-to-end instrumentation of all components: desktops, gateways, connectors, agents, and clients. This data flows through our big data pipeline and is correlated & analyzed in real time. So when a user has a problem, our real-time root cause analysis will help IT understand where the problem may lie, so they can take action in real-time too.
Workspot offers global, flat-rate pricing
A 2019 survey by Rightscale revealed that the top concern for CEOs and CIOs is the unpredictable nature of public cloud pricing. While we can’t impact all public cloud spend, we can have a huge impact by offering flat-rate pricing for all your Workspot cloud desktops and workstations, so you don’t have to worry about usage. No more surprises, no parsing complex bills. You receive a single bill from Workspot for your cloud VDI – one flat fee that includes Azure compute. For IT and the business, a predictable, flat-rate price makes the most sense; that’s why we do it!
So that’s where we are today. Our definition of Cloud VDI is a turnkey, globally available, enterprise-ready cloud desktop service that dramatically simplifies IT, allows you to provision new desktops and workstations in any Azure region in the world in minutes, enables use of existing Windows 10 images, GPOs, MFA and more, and is all managed through a single pane of glass. If your vendor can’t provide utility-like capabilities, support your business SLA, or offer flat-rate pricing for your cloud desktops, it’s time to talk to Workspot about Cloud VDI! So what’s in a name?
Schedule a demo for a deeper dive into how Workspot can address your use cases.