Dan's Take

Workspot Offers a Cloud-Based Take On VDI And DaaS

The company positions itself as "the next generation" of application access and delivery.

Brad Peterson, Workspot's VP of Marketing, recently discussed with me his company's cloud-based take on virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS). The goals for both are to drastically streamline the computing environment, make it simple for enterprises to use the technology, and make it easy to use VDI or DaaS as part of the enterprise's disaster recovery plans.

Peterson, who has extensive experience with Citrix-based solutions, spent quite a bit of time reviewing all the pieces of a VDI solution, including: client-side software; workgroup and departmental caching tools; directory services; host-side software and applications; and management and security. Each of these components, he pointed out, require expertise; this can slow adoption and increase costs overall.

Are PCs the Problem?
The discussion then focused on how VDI or DaaS can play into enterprise disaster recovery (DR) plans. Peterson discussed a typical scenario in which a site-wide failure can require the enterprise to bring a truckload of PCs and related equipment to the site and send engineers to set everything up. It may require days or weeks to bring the site to a normal operational state.

He suggested that such an approach may be too complicated and costly to address a fast-moving problem created by a hurricane, tornado or other disaster. If the applications, security and management software was executing back in the network or in the cloud, and if virtual access tools were in place to make these workloads usable from just about any networked device, he pointed out, the organization could be back on its feet quickly using smartphones, tablets or other devices.

Peterson believes that the move major players have made to push enterprises to think of application software as a service rather than as a packaged product also must be taken into account. Thus, reloading applications no longer means that engineers must come out to each site with a suitcase full of CDs or DVDs. As soon as network connections can be reestablished, the process of addressing a failure can begin.

Workspot's Solution
Workspot says that its software, combined with Microsoft Azure services, can make those issues a thing of the past. Workspot's technology packages up virtual access, security, management and other components into a service available on Azure. Enterprises can bring up virtual desktops or deploy desktops as service offerings with a few key clicks.

The company also makes it possible for enterprises to deploy the technology on-premises, in the cloud or a hybrid that best fits its requirements. The company has established partnerships with Atlantis, Cisco, Dell, HyperGrid, HPE, Nutanix and others to support this type of computing.

The company believes that its approach should be thought of as the next generation of application access and delivery.

Dan's Take: Striking a Blow for Simplicity
The notions presented by Workspot appear to address many of the challenges enterprises have faced in their journey to a more virtualized desktop computing environment. I noticed that the primary focus was on packaging and delivering Windows-based computing environments.

When I asked about Web-based applications or applications delivered by other computing environments, Peterson explained that Web-based applications can be delivered through Workspot's technology. Applications that run on macOS, iOS or Android are not currently supported directly with today's version of the technology.

Workspot's approach appears to strike at the heart of the complexity imposed by Citrix and VMware VDI environments. It would be wise for IT decision makers to become aware of the company and what it's doing.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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