Cloud-Based VDI: A Question of Scale

Arthur Cole

Arthur Cole spoke with Jim Curtin, CEO, Virtual Bridges.

Enterprises have been enthralled by the flexibility and efficiency of desktop virtualization for some time now. Too bad nettlesome details like server and storage limitations always seem to mess things up. There are those, however, who argue that if infrastructure is in the way, simply go around it. Virtual Bridges, for example, has teamed up with outsourcing specialist CompuCom to deploy VDI on the cloud, where resources can be scaled to suit data needs no matter what the application. As CEO Jim Curtin explains, it's a matter of decentralizing the processing side while keeping management close to home.

Cole: The enterprise has long had a love/hate relationship with VDI as visions of streamlined architectures and lower costs run up against deployment and infrastructure issues. How does the cloud and desktop as a service change the cost/benefit equation?

Curtin: The cloud changes the dynamics of IT deployment from fixed-purpose legacy systems that require dedicated management and support, to a more elastic, extensible, stateless infrastructure that is more automated and cost-effective. The desktop-as-a-service model, which is the same as a desktop cloud, can be deployed as a private cloud, delivering tremendous benefits to companies struggling with legacy approaches to VDI. DaaS and private desktop clouds are able to more efficiently scale and provide business continuity.

The complexity of the legacy VDI approaches are daunting enough, but the high cost of managing and scaling these architectures have put the opportunity to realize any other benefits, such as security, out of reach for all but those with the deepest pockets. The unique Virtual Bridges approach to VDI, offering it as a desktop cloud, combined with the desktop management services of CompuCom, is a real breakthrough to companies of all sizes looking to modernize their desktop infrastructure and improve their end-user experience. It de-couples the user apps and data from a specific machine and makes them available across multiple access devices and use cases, like tablets and BYOD, to solve many of the challenges that organizations face today.

Cole: Now that Virtual Bridges has teamed up with CompuCom, what new capabilities are available in cloud-based VDI?

Curtin: One of the biggest benefits to CompuCom customers is the opportunity to scale as needed, a key challenge associated with legacy VDI solutions. Virtual Bridges and CompuCom offer a model that scales with the business seamlessly, while providing a practical way to ensure performance and business resiliency. 

Virtual Bridge’s Cloud Branch allows a private cloud to be deployed on site or hosted by a third party, but seamlessly managed from the cloud by a desktop management expert like CompuCom. Then even large, geographically dispersed organizations can scale as needed without hindering performance or creating a management burden. Virtual Bridges is unique in being able to decentralize the processing of VDI out of one large data center yet maintain the centralized management and efficiencies of infrastructure aggregation.

Cole: What do you say to those who are still leery about the performance capabilities of the cloud? Is it safe to start talking about VDI infrastructure that is just as responsive as the traditional desktop?

Curtin: With a private desktop cloud that can mix on premises and hosted infrastructure seamlessly, there is no need to be leery any longer. Traditionally cloud providers required accessing the hosted infrastructure over the Internet, which introduced user experience problems due to network latency and unpredictability. With the managed private desktop cloud, VERDE appliances exist on premises and take the network completely out of the equation. CompuCom centrally manages these appliances completely as a service, requiring no IT staff on premises to operate it. Best of all, users can continue to work even if connectivity to the managed service provider is completely lost, such as during an Internet outage.

Additionally, the best-of-breed VDI capabilities and performance of the on-premises VERDE desktop cloud means user experience is superior to that of most physical desktops. Users experiencing malware or corruption simply log off and log back in, and come back to a pristine managed desktop with their personal data intact. Neither physical desktops, nor competitive VDI solutions, can offer this level of resilience.

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