Friday, September 22, 2023

The cloud PC is the new path to virtual desktops

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Mentor and board director for leading technology companies, including: Workplace-the cloud PC company

Looking back at the traditional on-premises virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), we understand why IT organizations have adopted it. VDI centralized the provision and management of Windows desktops and apps from data center servers and provided access anywhere via a LAN or Internet connection. It improved security while supporting a workforce that mostly worked near a company-operated data center. However, VDI was time consuming, capital intensive, complex and difficult to scale. With the introduction of cloud PCs, an enterprise desktop experience delivered from the cloud, it is now possible to modernize legacy VDI.

VDI has run its course

In recent years, increased security risks, the mainstreaming of hybrid work and a more globally distributed workforce have led to an increased need for virtual desktops to support hybrid work styles. Digital natives are expected to have as much 75% of the staff, increasing demand for virtual workplace technology that delivers a high-quality, consumer-like user experience; seamless transitions between personal and work-related online experiences; and simple, flexible ways to collaborate anywhere.

Unfortunately, legacy VDI has created some real challenges for IT teams.

Limited scalability: At a time when organizations need the greatest agility, VDI usually ties them to one data center. When deploying across multiple data centers is required, VDI becomes exponentially more complex, leading to increased cost of ownership, system complexity, and management overhead.

Chronic overprovisioning: Because expensive VDI infrastructure can remain idle for long periods of the day, overprovisioning of server, storage and network capacity is necessary to accommodate peak usage. Therefore, on-premise VDI lacks the scale-up or down-scaling capabilities that Cloud PC services can provide.

Architectural and Operational Complexity: On-premise VDI requires complex integration of servers, networking, storage and software components to create a successful implementation. As a result, it is notorious for lengthy projects that require expensive consultants, system architects, and third-party add-ons to design, procure, and integrate.

Bad user experience: Legacy VDI systems have been designed and improved incrementally over many years, so they lack the kind of built-in telemetry necessary for end-to-end observation. This means the ability to proactively monitor user experience, security, and availability is nearly impossible, and falls short of what IT departments need to deliver high-quality user experience and cloud-native service levels.

Time and again, major business software categories have been transformed from on-premises software models to software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions: Siebel gave way to Salesforce, Peoplesoft was disrupted by Workday, and BMC was replaced by ServiceNow. Now, VDI is no different as it can curb the current need for business growth, efficiency and resilience. The solution to the shortcomings is to switch to SaaS Cloud PCs, where system availability, monitoring and user experience are guaranteed by the vendor.

What Cloud PC Can Do for Business

The Covid era made everyone well aware of how quickly massive business disruption can occur and how destructive its effects can be. Moreover, it is becoming increasingly clear that an experience of working anywhere is a competitive differentiator for reaching and retaining talent. With that in mind, cloud PCs can provide modern workers with what they need, whether it’s in-office, full remote, or a hybrid model.

SaaS delivered: Cloud PCs delivered as a service shift heavy architectural, implementation and operational tasks to the vendor, allowing customers to easily use the software instead of tackling complex VDI projects. IT resources are precious and their work can be more useful if organizations assign these valuable people to projects aimed at business growth and efficiency.

Staff flexibility: Cloud PCs free people from rigid office-based work styles, giving them fully secure access to any business workflow from anywhere. Even advanced users can replace their expensive liquid-cooled PCs with a GPU-accelerated Cloud PC Workstation. This gives them the freedom to be creative and productive from any device without sacrificing performance.

Desktop, app and data security: Securing thousands of distributed physical PCs is a challenge. Strengthening security is why most organizations have adopted VDI in the first place. While on-premises VDI in your data center can be quite secure, when you move those enterprise desktops to the cloud, you get the massive security investments from the major public cloud players that your organization can’t possibly replicate.

4 Tips for Creating Your Cloud PC Action Plan

Here are some suggestions for modernizing VDI with cloud PCs.

• Begin your Cloud PC assessment with your most demanding use case: engineers and designers using compute and storage intensive applications such as CAD. This helps you determine how performance will be for users of less demanding applications in your portfolio.

• For maximum flexibility and business continuity protection, look for Cloud PC vendors that support multiple public clouds. Often, hyperscale cloud vendors offering SaaS-provided cloud PCs only support their own cloud, limiting your location choices.

• Look at cloud PC vendors that practice the principle of least privilege, meaning that their control and data planes are separate. With this practice, you can be assured of the level of security and availability you want.

• Look for guaranteed availability. You want a full Cloud PC Service Level Agreement (SLA) that is industry-leading in its uptime – about 99.95% or higher. Your users’ productivity depends on it.

Modernizing VDI doesn’t have to be painful and the benefits are transformative. For maximum business agility and a focus on IT systems that drive business growth, SaaS-delivered cloud PCs and workstations are the way forward. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

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