It’s pretty likely that if you’re an IT person with responsibility for End User Computing (EUC), a VDI implementation and/or for the physical desktops and workstations in your organization, you’ve lost sleep at some point over managing, upgrading, troubleshooting or refreshing these systems. That’s not to mention the nights and weekends spent struggling to ensure that virtual desktops are up and running to meet end user demands. Many of our customers tell us that the management overhead of legacy VDI is so resource-intensive that it overshadows any value they might be deriving from having virtual desktops. Similarly, physical desktops and workstations require constant attention: for the OS upgrades needed to stay secure, and every few years yet another refresh cycle has to happen, consuming time and money, both of which are scarce these days.
These challenges and more make a strong case for moving to SaaS cloud desktops, because our Enterprise Desktop Cloud™ platform shields your IT team from all that complexity, and the service takes care of upgrades, troubleshooting and management of your cloud desktops, offloading the management burden that can be so overwhelming. But what’s the best approach?
Cloud PCs, cloud VDI, cloud desktops? It’s getting crowded out there! That’s why it’s important to understand the fundamentals. The first consideration for a virtual desktop evaluation is the solution architecture, because the architecture dictates whether or not you can fulfill your end user computing requirements, including performance, scalability and security. From there, you probably want to know more about reliability.
In this blog, I want to introduce what sets the Workspot Enterprise Desktop Cloud platform apart from other virtual desktop solutions when it comes to virtual desktop availability. That difference is Workspot Watch.
What’s Your Virtual Desktop SLA?
Do you even know what desktop service level you’re delivering? If you’re running on-prem VDI, it’s a tough question. Many IT teams just don’t know. If you’re using a virtual desktop broker for cloud PCs from another vendor, there will be a service level agreement (SLA) for accessing their broker, but not for the uptime of your virtual desktop. That’s your problem, like it or not.
Workspot is different. Our enterprise-proven SaaS platform consistently achieves an SLA of 99.95% or greater – an industry leading uptime for your cloud desktops. There’s a whole bunch of innovation that enables us to deliver such robust reliability.
24×7 Cloud Desktop Monitoring with a Twist
What if you had a way to “watch” your cloud desktop implementation, even while you are peacefully sleeping without a cloud desktop care in the world? That’s the mission of Workspot Watch. Workspot Watch is a sophisticated, big data trending and correlation engine that drives the Network Operations Center where our support teams monitor, troubleshoot and analyze the health of Workspot cloud desktops globally. Think of our operations center as the “NASA Mission Control Center” of cloud desktops, operating continuously to anticipate, identify and help mitigate problems that may arise that could impact your cloud desktop operations. Workspot Watch collects millions of messages from endpoint devices, virtual machine agents, protocol gateways, enterprise connectors, and other Workspot control plane services. The data is gathered from multiple clouds, spanning thousands of locations around the globe, and hundreds of networks in dozens of regional data centers. Workspot Watch is fully operational as part of your Workspot cloud desktop subscription, and our operations center staff begins monitoring your implementation on day one.
Watch simplifies compliance, strengthens security
We made a critical architecture design decision to separate the control and data planes. This has significant implications for performance and scalability, but it also sets Workspot far apart from other virtual desktop solutions when it comes to security and compliance. Workspot was designed to enforce your Zero Trust Security policy, but we go way beyond just supporting zero trust endpoints.
Workspot Watch trending capabilities reveal activity patterns that can indicate a brewing security issue. As a result, Workspot support teams have been able to identify and quickly diagnose ransomware attacks, and then proactively alert the customer. Workspot makes the valuable cloud desktop health data that Watch generates available to individual customers too. Highly regulated organizations channel the data feed into their Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems to enable security alerts, monitoring and optimize day to day operations to ensure compliance with internal governance.
Although the Workspot Enterprise Desktop Cloud platform is instrumented throughout to feed activity data to the Workspot Watch big data engine, the fact that our cloud desktop control plane is completely separate from the customer’s data plane means that Workspot never sees, nor does it have access to customer data. This has important implications for meeting regulatory requirements, because unlike other virtual desktop solutions, this separation dramatically simplifies compliance audits because the Workspot platform is outside the scope of the audit.
How is Watch better than other vendors’ monitoring systems?
1) Workspot goes way beyond providing a monitoring tool and letting IT figure out what might be the issue – that’s what other vendors do. The Watch correlation engine feeds global cloud desktop activity data to the operations center to surface and alert on issues, trends and root causes. This unmatched data gathering and analysis is what enables our industry-leading cloud desktop SLA. Workspot Watch enables more predictive, proactive, and less reactive operations to ensure the highest possible availability so your users can always access their desktop.
2) Because we provide a global service, we can see system health both for your implementation and across customer implementations and clouds around the world. Our monitoring capabilities go beyond just the Workspot platform, often revealing patterns that could become a real issue for a single customer or for multiple customers. That comprehensive monitoring is how we were able to alert Microsoft about a problem that arose with a software update they implemented, because we witnessed it having a negative impact across our customer base. That saved Microsoft days of troubleshooting and ensured that our customers stayed up and running. No other virtual desktop solution can do that.
Workspot Watch enables Workspot to make a commitment to our enterprise IT customers for an industry leading SLA, so you can sleep well!
Why Not Just Build it Yourself?
Some organizations we’ve spoken with during their virtual desktop evaluation process believe they can build a monitoring engine that will provide what they need for a virtual desktop implementation. However, when they’ve taken a closer look, two obstacles emerge. First, they might be able to use a set of tools to achieve limited visibility to see what’s happening with an individual user, a desktop pool, or all of the pools in a single location. With a heavier investment, they might even be able to see what’s happening in their desktop pools in multiple locations. This definitely has some value. But at what cost? How long will it take to build this, and how many people will you need to hire to monitor the monitoring platform to make the data actionable? How much will that cost? How do you correlate signals from separate systems and time stamps to understand the trends and root causes?
Second, what you won’t be able to do with a DIY monitoring tool – at any cost – is benefit from visibility at massive scale into problems that may be arising across all implementations of that virtual desktop solution globally, or across all cloud regions around the world. That’s a huge blindspot.
Workspot Watch Has Your Cloud Desktops Covered
Large enterprises have complex environments, and staying on top of a global cloud desktop implementation requires a sophisticated big data engine that continuously gathers system health data globally, analyzes that data in real time to look for emerging patterns, and determines the “blast radius” of the problem so customers can be alerted to a potential issue. Workspot Watch, in conjunction with our Network Operations Center, is holding down the fort to protect your cloud desktops!
Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo so we can show you how it works.