At CloudJumper, we are fervently on-boarding new customers to cloud delivered remote desktop solutions and expanding the VDI footprint of many others. The world is in an urgency of epic proportions and the decision window organizations have to work within leaves precious little time to take a systematic approach to an overall cloud adoption strategy. Urgencies like this necessitate tactical solutions to drive the organization forward and to keep employees productive and actively engaged. However, strategic decisions made with such a tight window of time cannot be without risks.
Urgencies like this necessitate tactical solutions.
This pandemic has likely caused the largest adoption of desktop virtualization within the smallest period of time. Thousands of organizations are actively considering or actively on-boarding employees into cloud-based desktop virtualization solutions, like Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). For many, it’s their first foray into a complex cloud service.
I’ve been answering quite a few questions from press sources asking my opinions of the impact this accelerated cloud adoption has for the present, and what we might see as a result in the future. As I considered these questions, I had to draw a distinction between organizations relatively new to running complex workloads in the cloud and those relatively familiar running complex workloads in the cloud. (I’m not referring to SaaS solutions that are generally easy to adopt and sprawl).
Cloud is about how you do computing, not where you do computingPaul Maritz
Understandably, organizations are forced to prioritize deployment of a tactical working solution to their end users instead of evaluating all of the market choices. Many organizations are suffering from a historical lack of business continuity planning toward remote work scenarios. That’s unfortunate, but we should take a note of this crisis and, when the time comes, document what and how the organization has evaluated options in a time of crisis and evaluate that decision criteria based on our post-pandemic learnings. Right now the world is backed into a corner and we are all doing the best we can. (Note: my peer, Robin Brandl recently wrote a good blog discussing the lack of business continuity planning for remote work solutions.)
Urgencies like this, by nature, require tactical solutions to drive the business moving forward. The question, for organizations who are relatively new to running advanced workloads in the cloud, is “Do they need a defined cloud strategy before adopting cloud-based desktop virtualization” — like WVD or Amazon Workspaces?
Cloud adoption is a serious consideration that transforms the way organizations deliver services to their employees and customers. Cloud is a means to a goal (a delivery option) for continued access to productivity tools. The cloud requires different strategies, skill sets, architectural models, migration approaches and organizational discipline. I’m genuinely concerned and conflicted with the thought that there are many organizations shifting to the cloud for the first time without a clear strategy. I believe in a systematic approach to evaluating options before making a long-term cloud commitment. However, cloud adoption is not without its own risks.
Strategic cloud decisions made within such a tight window of time cannot be without risks.
What is the solution? I’d like to offer a few thoughts. Windows Virtual Desktop and Amazon Workspaces offer compelling cloud solutions with reduced risk. CloudJumper is partial to Windows Virtual Desktop for its PaaS architecture efficiency, reduced attack footprint, licensing benefits that are only available in Azure and the Azure compliancy story which boasts some 90+ certifications. CloudJumper isn’t a one-trick pony though, we have active deployments in several cloud providers.
Solutions like native Azure WVD and Native AWS offer rapid on-boarding and a straightforward path into cloud VDI with the added ability to easily downscale, or exit, when the situation warrants. Organizations can move forward with “native” solutions without excessive on-boarding effort, investment or long-term commitments. Native solutions are defined as ones where there isn’t another proprietary layer of VDI management redirecting you to a 3rd party. In other words, legacy VDI providers are not offering native solutions in Azure. They are proprietary from the client-side receiver, to their gateway, to their control plan, to their management layer and toolsets. Beware because with all of the proprietary pieces often comes long-term vendor lock-in.
The mistake is making a long-term cloud commitment without proof that it meets your needs. What is the ‘exit’ plan if you want to scale down in 90 days and use cloud VDI for only a backup business continuity plan?
Outsource your desktop virtualization; not your cloud strategy.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Consult with experts who have more than one solution in their portfolio. Experts on only one solution are myopic and will likely only guide you to a single solution.
- Be wary of 3rd party clouds (like a VDI solution layered within Azure’s own offering). They work to lock you into high minimum commitments and long-term contracts. Additionally, they often lack the flexibility of letting you easily return to reevaluate your preferred cloud VDI solution provider(s) in the near future. Cloud solutions, and cloud economics, should allow you a way out (an exit plan without penalty), or a way to severely shrink your deployment when employees return on-premises.
- Evaluate native solutions, like CloudJumper on WVD Azure. You may find they offer everything you need, at a great price point and an exit plan. That is, the most flexibility to adopt a cloud economic plan to pay only for what you use — not to a long-term contract.
- For small and medium businesses, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) should be an important consideration. MSPs can provide expert guidance, turnkey solutions for managed desktops and additional options for other workloads. There are many options available in market.
- Come back and revisit the need to put a framework around your cloud strategy at a time in the very near future. Put a reminder on your calendar for 30 days from now — and make it a recurring appointment every 30 days for the next year.
- Cloud Decision Frameworks (sometimes called adoption plans) from major cloud providers, like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM are linked below. It’s a good time to start reading.
CloudJumper has a 20-year history of expertise and success in desktop and application virtualization. CloudJumper is a Microsoft Preferred ISV Solution Provider for Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). Our product group worked with the Microsoft WVD team for 2 years to develop a solution that would reduce the complexity of adopting and maintaining WVD in Azure. We support the native Azure Management Plane, sometimes called “Native WVD.”
CloudJumper’s software is delivered as a SaaS model into your WVD Azure tenant which means you benefit from our continued innovation from automatic cloud-delivered updates.
The SaaS model is ideal for customers because it can be uninstalled at any point without rebuilding your tenant. Simple cloud economics, use what you need and pay only for what you use. This, along with our simple, transparent licensing, avoids long-term legacy VDI vendor lock-in.
CloudJumper has on-boarded thousands of customers into cloud remote desktops in many cloud service providers. Organizations can have a fully-deployed cloud-based desktop solution available to hundreds, or thousands of their employees in less than a day.
Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework can be found here:
Amazon’s Cloud Adoption Framework can be found here:
Google’s Cloud Adoption Framework can be found here: https://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/google_cloud_adoption_framework_whitepaper.pdf
IBM’s Cloud Decision Framework