Introduced in 2009, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) promised to revolutionize the way we worked, but after it debuted, adoption stalled. To explain why, industry analysts pointed to a myriad of issues, from high costs to high complexity. Knowing that VDI itself wasn't the problem - it was how VDI was being executed - designers went back to the drawing board to find a way to do VDI right.
So how has VDI evolved? Take a walk down memory lane with me. For most of you the VDI 1.0 memories are pretty painful; but there's a positive ending to the story, I promise. The chapter about a vastly complex VDI 1.0 solution with unbearably high CapEx and OpEx that took 9+ months to deploy is behind us. Ancient history. There's no need to ever install VDI 1.0 again.
Spoiler alert: Today, you have vastly simplified options - VDI 2.0 and Daas 2.0. Now you can adopt an all-cloud, dramatically simplified DaaS 2.0 solution that allows you to deploy a thousand desktops in 1 day with no additional CapEx.
Where it all started: VDI 1.0 (2009-current)
So many promises, most of them broken
Before the first generation of VDI was introduced, IT experienced a high demand for running desktops securely in the data center. As early as 1998, IT coped with this demand by running individual applications on Citrix Presentation Server or Citrix XenApp in the data center. This work-around ensured that users could access apps from anywhere. However, it also introduced challenges. Many applications experienced compatibility issues, and individual applications often developed broken workflows.
In 2008, as server virtualization matured, IT decided to put the Windows desktop operating system in the data center. IT understood that, theoretically, desktops could be just another workload. By 2009 Citrix and VMware brought the very first VDI 1.0 solutions to the market when they launched XenDesktop and View (now Horizon).
Notably, both solutions were complex and required high CapEx and OpEx. Because they were located on-premises they also took months to deploy. As a result, IT's initial enthusiasm for VDI was dampened, creating a low adoption rate that neither Citrix nor VMware could overcome. To understand how complex both solutions were, just take a look at all of their components below.
VDI becomes simpler with DaaS 1.0 (2013-current)
More promising, but one-size-does-not-fit-all
Understanding that IT still needed the functionality of VDI, Amazon launched Amazon Workspaces, which was essentially the first generation of Desktops as a Service [DaaS]. DaaS 1.0 provided IT with a much simpler VDI solution, and on the surface it solved many of VDI 1.0's complexity challenges. However DaaS 1.0 also introduced a new set of challenges:
- Only server hosted desktops were available
- The desktops were vanilla server sessions; IT had to determine how to customize them to meet their requirements
- IT could not use existing tools to manage these "desktops"
As a result, for the vast majority of customers DaaS 1.0 was an incomplete solution.
Cloud-native VDI 2.0 debuts (2015-current)
The promise of VDI delivered. Finally!
With the vast majority of organizations still lacking a viable VDI solution, Workspot decided to create a SaaS version of VDI 1.0. The concept was just like Salesforce, which created a SaaS version of Siebel. And while Siebel tried to move their solution to the cloud, they just couldn't do it right. And then we had the SaaS version of PeopleSoft: WorkDay; and the SaaS version of BMC: ServiceNow. Siebel and PeopleSoft and BMC all tried to "cloud wash" their solutions. We know the ending of that story.
The key to getting it right? Similar to Salesforce and WorkDay and ServiceNow, and unlike legacy VDI 1.0 vendors (there's a bunch of cloud washing going on there), Workspot started from scratch. It took Workspot 3.5 years to create its insanely simple, cloud-native VDI 2.0 solution. Compare the illustration below to the VDI 1.0 Citrix/VMware above. You get the picture. Workspot radically simplified VDI so companies of all sizes can reap the benefits.
In order to avoid sending customer traffic through the Workspot cloud, we created a new cloud control engine that separates the control plane from the data plane. We also created new clients on each platform (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android) that:
- Take advantage of the capabilities of each end point type
- Are not tied to the availability of the cloud
- Seamlessly integrate with existing IT infrastructure, such as VPN, SSO, and AD
100% cloud infrastructure arrives with DaaS 2.0 (2016-current)
Organizations go all-cloud for even greater simplicity
With VDI 2.0, customers enjoy vastly simplified desktop deployments, but they still need to deploy the infrastructure to host their virtual desktops. Happily, customers have great choices. They can choose hyper converged infrastructure at reduced levels of cost and complexity compared to traditional three tier options. However, even hyper converged infrastructure can represent significant CapEx.
So, how about deploying thousands of desktops in a day with NO additional infrastructure CapEx? Done. Go all-in on cloud with DaaS 2.0. For organizations that want to deploy enterprise-class VDI without any of the additional infrastructure CapEx, Workspot offers DaaS 2.0, leveraging Microsoft Azure as its distributed cloud infrastructure. As an enterprise-class cloud, Azure makes global enterprise VDI deployments feasible. Thanks to a partnership with Microsoft Azure, Workspot DaaS 2.0 includes deep integration with Azure. As a result, Workspot offers customers an all-cloud option for deploying Windows 10 desktops, applications and data in any Azure region in the world. Next generation DaaS 2.0 is the better way to do DaaS.
The best part about all of this is customer choice: The Workspot platform allows customers to mix-and-match. From a single cloud management console they can deploy desktops using on-premises infrastructure and Azure cloud infrastructure at the same time.