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The New Math of VDI Performance – Better than a PC!

Anyone who has experience with traditional VDI knows that users suffer with poor performance. It is always worse than physical desktop performance, and it can be particularly bad for remote users. But in the cloud era, the rules have changed. The “new math” that governs virtual desktop, app and workstation deployments means that now you can get better than physical PC performance! But to achieve this, you need to choose the right solution.

The Myth of Physical PC Performance

The conventional wisdom is that physical desktops have the highest performance. But it turns out that this is a myth! The reality is that physical desktops have significant performance limitations. Here’s why:

  • You cannot squeeze large amounts of compute into a laptop because it cannot accommodate the required cooling capacity.
  • You cannot squeeze very large amounts of compute into a desktop form factor, because the fans required to cool the desktop would be too loud. You can use liquid cooled workstations, but they are expensive. And even with liquid cooled workstations, there are limits to how much compute power you can squeeze onto a desk.

The Old Math of Legacy VDI Performance

Here is the math for legacy VDI performance:

  • Cost and complexity of VDI inevitably forces centralization of VDI deployments to 2-3 sites
  • Fewer sites means more users have high latency connections to their desktops
  • Since the performance of a VDI desktop degrades with higher latency, most users will experience fair or poor performance (depicted in yellow/red below)

The New Math of Desktop Cloud Performance

In the era of the cloud every customer has access to tens of data centers – essentially every region that Azure, AWS, and Google have to offer. What if you were able to locate the virtual desktop not in just 2-3 sites, but in any of the tens of sites available in the public cloud? If you could do that, most users would end up in very close proximity to their virtual desktop. Our experience has been that by locating the desktop in the region closest to an end user, we can reduce the latency to below 50ms in the majority of cases. Since users are very close to their virtual desktops, all users will get great performance (green in the picture below). This is the new math of VDI performance. And the result is that most users get better-than-PC performance!  But it can be even better. Let’s add another variable.

Data Center Class Hardware

Since the data center can provide much higher levels of cooling, there are almost no limits to the amount of compute that can be made available to the end user. So what happens when you couple data center-class hardware with <50ms latencies?

This is best illustrated by what our customers are doing today. They are able to replace $10,000 liquid cooled workstations with the Workspot Workstation Cloud. Their power users can run 3D CAD applications such as Autodesk Revit on three monitors. They can instantly spin up workstations for employees and contractors in any Azure region in the world, so geography is no longer a factor in hiring the best talent. And those power users have the freedom to use their virtual workstations from anywhere – home, office, or job site. With this kind of agility, the possibilities for AEC firm growth – and for company growth in any industry – is very exciting. Of course, if we can do it for the most difficult workload on the planet, we can do it for less demanding use cases too!

The Workspot Desktop Cloud

In order to accomplish this, you need a solution that allows you to deliver virtual desktops from any region of the public cloud. That’s where Workspot comes in. Our solutions enable our customers to deploy their custom Windows 10 images into any of the 50+ Azure regions worldwide. And they do it in a day. And they manage everything from a single pane of glass – even their on-premises users if they have any.


Our customers are reporting better than physical desktop performance, so we encourage you to re-think your virtual desktop strategy in the era of the public cloud. Now you have tens of data centers available to you. Take advantage of them and of the new math of virtual desktop performance: Deploy your desktops close to users, simplify IT infrastructure, and reap the productivity and cost reduction benefits!