VDI as a Utility in the Cloud

Michael Vizard

One of the problems that IT organizations have with anything to do with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is its complexity. While the promise of VDI is appealing, the cost of deploying it and managing it scares off a lot of IT organizations.

Naturally, anything that is complex to manage these days seems to be migrating toward becoming a shared service in the cloud, which is why we've already seen a number of VDI cloud services pop up lately. Now the question is, how long will it be before VDI in the cloud is a commodity?

If the folks at Leostream have their way, the answer to that question is very soon. The company this week launched a VDI beta offering called Leostream Cloud Desktops. According to Leostream CEO Michael Palin, the service can be accessed by any device and costs as little as $10 per month for 40 hours of usage. Alternatively, customers can opt to only pay when they use the service.

Palin says Leostream is testing the VDI market in the cloud with this offering so the service is free in its current beta format. One reason that the service is so inexpensive, says Palin, is that Leostream developed the VDI management environment specifically with the idea of deploying it on the Amazon EC2 cloud computing platform, which among other things allows Leostream not to have customers commit to long-term contracts, and all the set-up issues can be handled via a standard Web interface.

Leostream's end goal, says Palin, is to turn VDI in the cloud into a true utility service, as opposed to merely replicating all the complexity we have on the desktop in the cloud.

It may take a while to see how the market will ultimately react to that utility service concept, but it's almost certain at this point that some form of it is going to be standard operating system procedure for a lot of customers much sooner than later.

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