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Enterprise customers are adopting cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to provide modern, flexible workplace solutions that allow users to securely access their corporate resources from any location, on any device, for anywhere-productivity. The pace of change is pretty astonishing! With all of the problems IT teams have encountered with on-premises VDI solutions, those conversations are largely over, and most CIOs are turning to cloud PCs and workstations as part of a cloud first strategy. If you're ready to replace your physical PCs and workstations or modernize your legacy VDI by adopting cloud PCs and workstations, there are several considerations that can dramatically impact your success.
In a recent blog we talked about the importance of a globally distributed architecture for planet-scale VDI. The architecture you select for your virtual desktop solution has tremendous implications for business agility. If you missed that blog, definitely have a look. Today I want to spend some time on what we mean by a turnkey PC in the Cloud service; what exactly you should expect from it, and how it compares to other approaches you could take to implement virtual desktops. We'll take a color-coded look at the options!
"Turnkey service." "Turnkey solution." Turnkey project." "Turnkey contract." "Turnkey investment." There's so many things claiming to be "turnkey" do you even pay attention to the word anymore? After all, there are degrees of turnkey. What does it really mean in context? Does it suit your needs? We've even seen "turnkey" applied to legacy VDI, and that's a misnomer at best. So it may be difficult to grasp the notion of "turnkey" as it relates to virtual desktops in the cloud. How could that possibly be turnkey?
I am guessing your first reaction to the headline is "that's crazy - why would I ever need to do that?" Information technology experts are forward thinkers - CIOs and their teams have to anticipate compute demands well into the future to make sure the technology choices they make support the organization's growth objectives. Growth calls for agility, and agility requires a whole different architecture than most enterprise software solutions have been built around.
For example, Oracle database and SQL server were designed with deployment in a single data center in mind. Likewise, most VDI deployments have been scaled vertically in one data center. That's not by choice. It's because the complexity and expense of implementing VDI across multiple data centers is prohibitive. That inhibits agility and limits growth. Let's walk through why the architecture for VDI solutions had to change (we did that part already!), what it looks like now, and what the future holds.
When you think about it, the need to put compute power closer to users is only going to grow - in leaps and bounds - so why wouldn't you need to have a virtual desktop solution with that kind of horizontal scalability?
We all know the huge impact the big 3 public cloud players - Amazon, Google and Microsoft - are having on how IT services are delivered to organizations of all sizes. There are still private clouds in use too; you can have a private cloud on-premises in your own datacenter, or you can have a service provider handle your private cloud for you. Either way, by definition a private cloud is on a private network and that infrastructure is dedicated to your organization. So with public clouds going mainstream, when would you use a private cloud and are there any advantages in doing so? Can the private cloud keep up with the public cloud providers to provide the kinds of services, security and scale you need? Let's take a look at cloud evolution and the considerations for the future.
Public Cloud Gen1 (2006)
The benefits of the first generation public clouds were elasticity and self-service. Developers could spin up a new application by themselves, quickly, and with very little expense on the public cloud. If the application drew more demand, they could scale up the service automatically. The first set of workloads developed for the public cloud were consumer applications such as Netflix and Dropbox.
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