I’ve made no secret of my dissatisfaction with Amazon’s WorkSpaces DaaS platform. While I like the general direction in which the platform is heading, and appreciate the impact that Amazon can have in the DaaS market, WorkSpaces has been slow to implement enterprise-class management features and suffers from too many rough edges to withstand close scrutiny when compared to many alternative solutions.
Nevertheless, it has gained some big-name support; at the recent AWS Summit, Johnson & Johnson’s Director of End User Computing Jeff Mendelsohn took to the stage alongside Nathan Thomas, General Manager Amazon WorkSpaces, to share Johnson & Johnson’s experience implementing Amazon WorkSpaces to support its large contractor community.
Over the years, I’ve worked with just about every VDI vendor on the market, except one: Leostream. It’s not because the Leostream Connection Broker isn’t any good. Far from it. It’s just because I’ve never experienced an environment so complex that Leostream offered the right answer. So I thought it time to take a closer look at Leostream and its broker to try to understand what makes it so special. Before I took a look at the product itself, I spent some time with Karen Gondoly, Leostream COO and head of product management, to learn a little more about the company and its customers.
Amazon has taken a big step forward in its application delivery strategy, taking to the stage at the April AWS Summit in San Francisco to announce the introduction of AWS Marketplace for Desktop Apps, a dedicated storefront for Amazon’s Desktop as a Service platform, Amazon WorkSpaces, through which customers can purchase off-the-shelf applications to run on their virtual desktops. At the same time, Amazon VP Andy Jassy announced the availability of a new admin tool, WorkSpaces Application Manager, which controls admin and user access to marketplace apps.
During a recent briefing from a DaaS startup, I was surprised to hear the vendor report that he was seeing interest from enterprise customers looking to DaaS because they were unable to make the numbers work for a server-hosted desktop virtualization solution. This baffles me. I’m hard-pressed to think of many current circumstances where it is not possible to deliver a VDI solution for less than the cost of a comparable managed distributed desktop implementation. I’m even more puzzled that anyone believes that it is possible to deliver DaaS for less than the cost of VDI, at least not without some degree of legerdemain. I’ll come back to the question of cost comparison between VDI and distributed desktops and how to deliver low-cost, high-performance VDI next week, but for now let’s look at the DaaS vs VDI comparison.
In a surprise move, hyperconverged systems startup NIMBOXX has acquired Virtual Bridges’ VERDE VDI platform. NIMBOXX has received some early acclaim for its MeshOS™ hyperconverged appliance. This appliance takes a “simpler is better” approach to converged infrastructure platforms. NIMBOXX claims that customers can be up and running in as little as seven minutes after powering on its appliance. The company’s real business is its KVM-based MeshOS, delivered on a commodity hardware platform, with the business aim of keeping purchasing and installation as simple as possible.
In my overview of Desktop as a Service (DaaS) delivery models last month, I touched on availability services, an emerging market that shows strong potential for future growth, and on DaaS services specifically tailored to disaster recovery. Now, fresh from witnessing the slightly embarrassing spectacle of San Francisco grinding to a halt after a little light rain, I thought it would be worth taking a closer look at Horizon Air Desktop DR.