What are the words that come to mind when you think about VDI? By VDI, we mean virtual desktops deployed in on-premises data centers:
- Complex to implement, manage, operate, upgrade?
- Slow performance for end users?
- Expensive to buy – lots of infrastructure – servers, storage, networking, hypervisors, etc?
Those are not happy words, but many of you have experienced those things. Let’s take a fresh look at what’s possible now. What happens when you put your PCs in the cloud? What can it do for you? How do you deploy them? Why would you change what you already have?
PCs in the Cloud: The Desktop Cloud Difference
You can take a variety of approaches to deploy your desktops and apps in the cloud. For example, you could just move your existing on-premises deployment architecture to the cloud, but you really haven’t changed much other than the need to buy infrastructure. You dialed back “expensive” – sort of. Implementation, ongoing management, and upgrades continue to be complex, (and time-consuming, which = expensive), and your users are still experiencing slow performance. We hear it all the time.
Why would you choose that? Next! Here’s the Desktop Cloud difference: When you choose the right cloud-native architecture for deploying your virtual desktops in a public cloud, that’s when something magical happens:
- Simple deployments
- Fast performance – even better than physical PCs!
- Lower cost – eliminate infrastructure costs and reduce OpEx
Those are words to live by. Let me show you how our Desktop Cloud solution changes everything you know about VDI.
What is the Desktop Cloud?
The Desktop Cloud enables you to use a single pane of glass to deploy your PCs in the cloud. These Windows 10 desktops live in any Azure region in the world, and users can use any device to securely access their desktops, apps, and data.
The Desktop Cloud pricing model is just like when you buy a physical PC – the price depends on the configuration of the virtual desktop. Makes sense, right? Just choose your configuration: Just need apps? Ok. Will Shared Desktops work for your use case? No problem. And if you need true Windows 10 PCs in the cloud, there are three config choices depending on what your users need. Have power users like BIM folks and design engineers? There’s a GPU workstation configuration for them too (and by the way, our customers report faster GPU-intensive app performance than a physical workstation!).
Desktop Cloud is Insanely Simple and Enterprise Class
So let’s say you have users in Tokyo, Australia, India, Brazil, UK, Canada, and Houston. From a single management console, you can deploy desktops into the closest Azure region to your users. The deployment is simple, but the solution is enterprise-class:
- The desktops are created from your corporate Windows 10 image, not a generic image
- The desktops inherit all your existing security and networking policies
- The desktops connect to your existing AD and 2FA
How long does this take? Just a few days for everything to be up and running! That’s it! That is crazy when you realize you can spend months deploying traditional VDI in just one data center!
Typically the task that takes longest is creating the network connectivity between Azure and your data center – S2S VPN, ExpressRoute, etc. After that, it is essentially just choosing your regions and creating desktops.
This distributed deployment model is made possible by the power of the cloud:
- A single Workspot control plane running as a multi-tenant service in the cloud is architected to enable the creation and management of these desktops anywhere in the world. This is possible because we only send control traffic through our control plane. That’s a very important distinction. The latency between the desktop and our control plane does not affect performance.
- Microsoft is building tens of Azure regions, so it is very likely that you can find an Azure region close to your end users wherever they are in the world. We find that for most users, you can find an Azure region within 50ms.
Desktop Cloud Delivers Better than PC Performance
Workspot’s deployment architecture delivers better than PC performance. And I am not talking about your low-end PC. I am talking better performance than a $10,000 liquid cooled workstation. How is this possible?
Two things make it possible:
- Data Center Class Hardware: The compute power available in the cloud is data center class. These are the highest performance servers because they can be cooled with data center-class equipment. Contrast that to laptops where cooling capabilities limit the compute power you can squeeze into a portable form factor. Desktops can be cooled more effectively than laptops, but having loud fans does not create a nice working environment.
- Latency: Of course, with desktops and laptops the compute power is located a few milliseconds away from the end user. The cloud is going to be further away. But because of the tens of Azure regions, most users are within 50ms of a region. The human response time is 215ms. That means they cannot sense that it is lagging if the overall response time is <200ms. Low latency cloud regions enable that kind of response time.
So combine data center-class hardware at a latency that is below the human response time threshold and now you understand how we can deliver performance better than PCs. Some of our customers are running 3D CAD models across 3 monitors and they are replacing $10,000 liquid cooled workstations with Workstation Cloud. Now that’s “digital transformation”; it’s completely changing their business model and making it possible to pursue new opportunities around the world. Exciting stuff!
For folks who have been doing VDI for a while, your first question might be “What about my apps? Won’t they become slower if they are not in the same data center?” And the answer is: You get physical PC-like performance. Remember that 95% of the world uses a physical PC, not VDI. The apps are not co-located with physical PCs. SaaS apps are not located in the data center. And your most important application – Office 365 – is not located in the data center. The performance of the desktop in the cloud will be as good, if not better than that physical PC.
Buy Desktop Cloud Like You Buy a PC
How do you buy a PC today? You test a few configurations. Then you order N PCs of the configuration you like. The manufacturer ships it to your office. You open the boxes, re-image with your corporate image, test for user compatibility, and then you ship it to the user somewhere in the world. The PC budget is well established. And the buying process is relatively straightforward and well understood.
Buying the Desktop Cloud is very similar to buying a PC. You just test each of the available virtual desktop configurations in the cloud. Then you buy N desktops. You upload your corporate image into Azure. We help you create N desktops. And then – here’s the fun part – you just email the desktops to the end users! I’m going to say it! It could be even simpler than buying a PC! What do you think?
Forget Everything you Know about VDI!
Desktop Cloud changes everything about VDI. It is simple to set up a virtual desktop, deliver PC-like performance, and you buy it just like you’d buy a PC (except for the shipping part!). This is how Workspot has really revolutionized VDI and put the emphasis back on DESKTOP. Forget everything you know about VDI.