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NVIDIA GTC 2019: Use Cases for GPU Cloud Workstations in Azure

I just spent the week at NVIDIA’s GTC 2019 event in San Jose, along with our Microsoft colleagues and some joint customers. So much has happened since GTC 2018! A year ago, we showcased our turnkey cloud PC and GPU cloud workstation service in the Microsoft booth, where we created quite a stir when attendees realized they no longer had to worry about the performance challenges of virtual desktops. People who use graphics-intensive apps such as CAD just can’t sacrifice performance, so many of these organizations didn’t even try traditional VDI, and if they did, they uncovered its limitations pretty quickly.

Amazing Performance is a Given. What’s Next?

We’ve talked about setting a new “gold standard” for virtual desktop performance because our Workstation Cloud customers tell us they often see *better* performance than their physical GPU workstations, and that comes as a big surprise to IT and power users alike. Now that everyone can take virtual desktop performance concerns off the table, what’s next?  The possibilities are really exciting because now you are free to grow! A year ago, CIOs and IT leaders in the AEC (architecture, engineering and construction), manufacturing and life sciences industries – all organizations that use high-performance GPU workstations – told us what they need to grow their businesses, and many of them became Workspot customers. Primary growth objectives include:

  1. Innovate faster
  2. Win more/bigger projects anywhere
  3. Launch projects faster
  4. Make collaboration on complex images easier
  5. Hire talent anywhere
  6. Simplify disaster recovery
  7. Better protect IP
  8. Derive better ROI from joint ventures
  9. Support work-anywhere flexibility for power users

Workspot and Microsoft Together Again at GTC

Fast forward a year, and this week at GTC 2019 Workspot and Microsoft were together again blowing some minds with our Workstation Cloud and Desktop Cloud demo on Azure. What’s also really cool is that we demonstrated our turnkey cloud workstation and cloud PC service alongside Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) all running on Azure. Plus, here’s a special shout out to Microsoft’s Ian Finder for the excellent Workspot demonstration during his speaking session: Microsoft Azure: GPUs for Visualization, AI and HPC. Workspot’s turnkey, planet-scale solution is tightly integrated with Microsoft technology, and that’s a winning combination for customers. Having companies like Workspot and Microsoft behind you to make sure you succeed is really powerful. If you know anything about Workspot, you know that ensuring your success is deeply embedded in our company DNA. Together, Workspot and Microsoft are making it possible for organizations across industries to achieve business agility that drives growth.

With more than 50 Azure regions around the world, suddenly any organization can have a global presence. But there is more to this than meets the eye; what’s core to the Workspot difference is our cloud-native, edge-native architecture. It’s what enables our customers to achieve better-than-PC-performance, add cloud PCs and GPU workstations across Azure regions in minutes, and manage it all through a single pane of glass. These are just a few of the key differentiators that make Workspot uniquely able to deliver on those 9 growth objectives for our customers, today.

What IT Needs and What Users Want

During the event this week, we had some great conversations with attendees about how they envision their IT evolving to support business goals. Of course, the discussion we had over and over is about the massive transition away from on-premises data centers to the cloud. Here are a few of the use cases we discussed with attendees as we explored what happens when our cloud-native, globally distributed architecture is the foundation of your cloud PC solution. When you place GPU cloud workstations and cloud PCs at the cloud-edge, that’s when the magic happens. One of our current customers even stopped by the Microsoft booth just to say how much they love their Workspot implementation and added that they are seeing 6ms response times, which translates into great performance for end users! So, what are some of the things customers want to do?

Innovate faster

A major software company stopped by to talk about how they might create a virtual experience to allow potential customers to try out a new GPU-intensive app – a “try before you buy” experience like no one has ever seen! Not only would it be great for their customers, but because this could be implemented so quickly – globally – it could also really drive adoption of their new solution.

An engineering software simulation company has a need to make the data they collect from drone flights actionable more quickly. Processing and visualizing complex images while engineers are in the field or at a project site is a challenge that we’ve solved for other customers by reducing data processing times to a fraction of what they were previously, allowing them to accelerate project delivery to their clients. This organization will enjoy talking with our existing customers!

A large design/build firm wants to allow power users to work from home, and they also want the flexibility to hire the best CAD engineers anywhere, regardless of whether they have a branch office in that location or not. We solve that problem all day long with GPU cloud workstations at the cloud-edge, and many of our customers report better-than-physical workstation performance. The productivity benefits are obvious, but bringing in the best people no matter where they reside also drives creativity and innovation.

Collaborate better & boost productivity

If people can be happier and more productive, the organization can grow. One architecture firm I spoke with said they grapple with complaints from users having a poor experience while trying to work from home, and even when they are in the office, it takes too long to open Revit files. We’ve heard this over and over from our customers who use graphics-intensive apps, and that’s a problem we are solving today!

A major retailer we all know and love spoke about these same challenges – both from the standpoint of the products they design and the design of their retail outlets. For these organizations and those like them, having the GPU power right next to the data in Azure changes everything about performance and the ability to collaborate on complex designs – that’s the cloud-edge difference – and that makes people happier and more productive.

Provide secure access to apps and data

Secure access is one of the reasons organizations have always turned to VDI, but Workspot’s cloud PC solutions on Azure take virtual desktop security to new levels. Our innovative architecture separates the control plane from the data plane, and that is fundamental to securing an organization’s data and IP. On top of that, you have all of the robust security of Azure; your data stays safely in your Azure instance. Security is top-of-mind for all our customers and with Workspot, they are able to give just the right levels of security to employees, partners, and contractors around the world. When I spoke with a couple of US government agencies about the value of placing cloud PCs and workstations in Azure Government, they were very intrigued by the ability to streamline IT operations with an unmatched cloud PC solution that provides world-class security and compliance.

Sound familiar? Each of these conversations reflects some of the key requirements for business growth. What’s changed since GTC 2018 is that we have even more production customers proving the business value of Workspot Workstation Cloud and Desktop Cloud on Azure who are achieving these growth objectives today. Seeing these companies thrive using our turnkey service is really exciting, and sharing those stories with GTC 2019 attendees was really fun. I’m already looking forward to next year!

To explore Workspot’s turnkey, enterprise-ready cloud PC service, schedule a demo now!