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The Cloud Workstation of Choice, from Workspot, AMD & Azure

Sometimes you find a match made in heaven, and that’s exactly what the Workspot, AMD and Microsoft Azure partnership is for organizations running graphics-intensive apps. If you missed our first blog about the “Goldilocks Zone” for GPUs, take a look to learn more about the “sweet spot” for GPUs.

When asked about the feedback he was receiving from Adobe Inventor users about their newly-deployed Workspot cloud workstations, Scott Funk of manufacturer Global Finishing Solutions said, “The feedback has been great. Other than that, I have not heard anything for about two weeks now, so I have other things on my plate.” Wow! Global Finishing’s cloud workstation user acceptance went so well, the IT team has been able to simply move on to other projects. That’s exactly our goal. Our SaaS Cloud PC platform takes care of provisioning, reliability, management, security, and great performance, so your IT team can focus on other matters.

If you have designers and engineers who work with 3D models, you know how demanding they have to be – they will not compromise on performance. Poor app performance is not only annoying for these valuable people; it slows productivity, and that costs money that doesn’t need to be wasted. Here’s the secret.

What Sets Our Cloud Workstations Apart?

What makes this and other GPU cloud workstation success stories possible is the combination of Workspot’s cloud-native architecture for deploying and managing Cloud PCs and workstations, AMD’s Radeon Instinct™ GPUs, and the global ubiquity of Microsoft Azure. The following are the key differentiators in our joint solution.

Workspot innovation: Our cloud-native architecture

Workspot invented cloud-native virtual desktops – we are not just running someone else’s technology. Microsoft Azure is essentially offering every organization tens of global data centers via their global cloud regions. However, to take advantage of this massive scale, a new virtual desktop architecture was needed. You cannot achieve the performance, security, and agility benefits possible today with outdated VDI architectures. So this is how we are unique: we built a cloud-native, globally distributed architecture, which enables instant, horizontal scalability across cloud regions, a comprehensive view from a single admin console of your Cloud PCs and workstations globally, extremely low-latency across cloud-regions, and unmatched security.

Our SaaS Cloud PC platform is built on top of this new architecture. When you take the Workspot SaaS platform and add to it the innovation in AMD’s GPU instances in Azure, you’ll find every reason to move graphics-intensive workloads to the cloud.

AMD Fractional GPUs Have Changed the Game

With AMD’s innovation, the Azure NVv4-series offers virtual machines with partial GPUs. We’ve said this many times – one size does not fit all when it comes to end user computing.  Every organization has different types of roles and a variety of computing requirements accompany those roles. Since modern applications are more graphics-intensive than ever, many people will need a GPU-boost to get great performance. But if they’re using Microsoft Office 365, they probably don’t need a full GPU – they may just need 1/8 of a GPU for optimal performance. Similarly, someone designing an aircraft using Siemens NX or some other CAD/CAM/CAE software might find they need more than 1/8 of a GPU; they might need a 1/2 “slice” or they might need full GPU power.

Here’s the range of AMD fractional GPUs you can select to support different types of workloads:

Figure 1: The range of fractional GPU configurations from AMD


The goal, of course, is to find the right balance of price/performance for each type of end user. 

“We’re seeing ridiculous speed with Workspot on Azure. I said this over 2 1/2 years ago, and it still holds true today,” said Andy Knauf, CIO Mead & Hunt. “We’re in a really good place with the AMD GPUs. There’s a sweet-spot for every type of user that we didn’t have before. It’s going to save money to provide a fraction of the GPU instead of over-provisioning.”

Our partner, ASTI, conducted several benchmarks. Figure 2 shows two different GPU slices when running Revit, a BIM application widely used by architects, engineers, and contractors. In orange is the 1/8 AMD GPU and in blue the 1/4 GPU fraction. This is how you can ensure exactly the right fit for optimal price/performance.

“Customers want the right fit – we don’t want to over-provision, said Doug Dahlberg at ASTI. “Our benchmarking demonstrates how the right AMD fractional GPU can be applied. What’s really interesting is how well the NV4 (in orange) keeps up, and might be appropriate for someone who only uses Revit a couple hours a day, whereas someone using Revit 7-8 hours a day will benefit from the NV8.”

Figure 2: ASTI benchmark compares performance of two AMD fractional GPUs while running Revit


Low-Latency and Easy Deployment on Azure

For amazing performance, Workspot places each Cloud PC and workstation in the Azure region closest to every end user. That’s how you combat latency – the productivity killer! With more than 60+ cloud regions globally, end users are within 50ms of their Cloud PC, and that’s makes for performance they’ll love! If you are a distributed organization with people working around the country or around the world, there’s only one way to deliver the lowest latency performance for all your users, wherever they are working: Workspot cloud workstations powered by AMD and Azure. It’s a bold claim, but it goes back to our architecture design, and that’s a critical conversation to have with vendors you’re considering.

How Does it All Come Together?

There are numerous “how to” and best practices guides for implementing your NVv4 virtual machines in Azure. You can consume all that info and take the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to building out virtual desktop infrastructure, whether on-prem or in the cloud. But why would you? You’ll have to figure it all out, replicate your infrastructure in every cloud region in which you want to have a presence, and then figure out how to manage all those Cloud PCs across multiple cloud regions. Why do that when Workspot does it for you? If your end users are in multiple locations across the continent or around the world, the DIY approach to Cloud PCs is not the best approach. You need SaaS Cloud PCs.

Together we’ll assess the requirements of your end users and recommend the GPU fraction they’ll likely need for their particular work and the apps they use. We have a ton of experience doing this. That’s the good news. Plus, your IT team does not need deep Azure expertise. We take care of all the infrastructure so you don’t have to. That’s why Workspot’s SaaS approach to Cloud PCs and workstations makes so much sense – we alleviate your team of all the heavy lifting when it comes to provisioning, management, and monitoring your Cloud PCs and workstations, but you still stay in control.

Even better, if you find that people need more or less of a GPU, you can easily make that change. It takes about 5 minutes. That is the kind of flexibility organizations need, and Workspot and AMD deliver it.

“We were committed to Workspot,” said Tim Masa, IT analyst at Barge Design Solutions. “Within a month we were up and running and had people working on their cloud workstations. Provisioning a new Cloud PC takes 5 minutes and the user can access it right away.”

What’s the Cloud Workstation Benefit Buzz?

Amazing performance for greater productivity: Workspot’s cloud-native architecture, plus AMD GPUs in just the right size and an Azure region close to all your users adds up outstanding performance that fuels productivity, wherever people are working.

Stronger security for IP protection: The layered security afforded by Workspot, AMD and Azure is unmatched.

Evergreen technology: Your end users won’t be left behind. Cloud PCs and workstations are always up to date with the latest and greatest tech. Easy.

Flexible configurations for cost optimization: Select exactly the right AMD GPU fraction for each end user to control costs while delivering great performance, then dial your GPU power up or down as needed.

One of our manufacturing customers described another significant benefit. With their data and workstations in the cloud, they’re now able to execute on their “follow the sun” resource utilization strategy for engineering. With Workspot, an engineer in one part of the world can immediately pick up and continue the work of an engineer in another part of the world, creating cost efficiencies and a productivity boost that had never before been possible.

We’d love to show you how SaaS Cloud PCs and workstations can transform your manufacturing firm too. Schedule a demo and let’s discuss your requirements.