Cloud Based Desktop Hosting Services

Image Attribution: Flickr

A plethora of desktop hosting services have popped up over the years with Amazon Workspaces getting the most press. For around $30-$40 per month, end users can remotely login to a desktop as if the hardware were sitting on the desk in front of them. This mobile desktop solution is becoming popular among organizations who are implementing work from home programs. Cloud hosted desktops allow organizations to deploy custom applications to a familiar Windows desktop using the popular RDP protocol.
Aren’t Virtual Desktops Slow?
That’s a common misconception. Within the past few years, acceleration protocols have emerged such as PCoIP (PC over IP) which helps deter screen lag. With cloud data centers sprouting up in regions all over the world, it is possible to connect to a data center closest to you that has a low ping time. Virtual desktops have even matured to allow streaming of flash content without interruption which is proven to be fan favorite among organizations who have started utilizing this technology.
Virtual Desktop Costs vs. Traditional Desktop Computing
With traditional desktop computing environments, organizations typically need an “IT guy” on site to help out with day to day troubles. Using a cloud based virtual desktop gives your users a new session each time since their profile data is being stored in a virtual disk that is in a separate layer of the virtual computing stack. This means that users will never show up in the morning with a blue screen of death. If there is a failure in a virtual desktop environment, the issue can be remedied immediately by the provider by simply redeploying the server image all across the farm.
Since desktop computing is being provided as a service on a month to month basis, organizations will be required to provide a device that can tap into the virtual desktop computing environment. Many organizations will purchase cheap LCD monitors and hook them directly into a thin client which would take the place of a bulky desktop computer. Since the thin client does not store data locally, many organizations could get away with not having the proverbial IT guy and only rely on their virtual desktop vendor for desktop computing support.
It doesn’t take very long for organizations to realize that cloud based virtual desktops are a much more cost effective solution for desktop computing than traditional desktop architecture. A report published by Gartner notes that the virtual desktop industry will continue to grow at a 26.4% CAGR. As more industries begin to trust cloud hosted virtual desktops, that rate could continue to rise.