Before you get to know about Microsoft Azure Cloud PC service, think of the scenario below.
What if one of your employees downloads data into an excel sheet from the live database into their system, and the machine gets hacked?
Had you not wished all the day-to-day apps were also available on the cloud as your confidential data without management hassles? This would have allowed your workforce to work directly on a cloud-virtualized machine.
Now that Microsoft is speculated to introduce Cloud PC services, this could be possible.
Come to think of it, Microsoft posted a job opening in June this year. And all cloud and technology enthusiasts took it with much fervor. The job featured Cloud PC services in the requirements section. However, we have to wait until next year to see the offer in real.
Let’s join the dots and understand what could possibly be a Cloud PC and the relevant services.
What is Microsoft Azure’s Cloud PC service?
Microsoft has a VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) solution called Windows Virtual Desktop. Under this, they offer a virtualized version of a desktop and apps to the enterprises.
Another nascent virtualization portfolio is desktop as a service or DaaS. Unlike the competitors, Microsoft has no offering in DaaS yet, which is more flexible and cost-effective. Azure cloud service is going to fill that gap.
What is Desktop as a service?
Desktop as a service (DaaS)—as the name suggests—is a cloud service where users get a fully functional virtualized desktop. This space also wraps virtualized software and apps.
DaaS is fully managed by the vendor and relieves you of the pain of managing the infrastructure and software. You get the freedom from maintaining an exclusive IT team for this task.
With a desktop in the cloud, your employees gain the flexibility to work from anywhere and anytime. And you go economical with your infrastructure cost.
What is Microsoft Azure Offering?
Microsoft Azure plans to offer Cloud’s PC services under their Azure cloud services bundle. Using this facility, a user can use their laptop, mobile, or tablet as a thin client and connect to a virtual desktop on the cloud platform. The virtual PC would provide all your day-to-day software.
Other than OS, Microsoft Cloud PC Service would also offer you all the productivity tools and apps related to handling your job. Think of this as a kind of PC, only completely virtualized, that comes at a subscription fee.
A user would not need to have any tool or application installed on the thin client. This would allow employees to work from anywhere and from any device. All they need is to use a remote connectivity option to connect to Cloud PC.
What Benefits Could Cloud PC Services Offer?
The current pandemic has pushed most of the workforce homebound. And organizations struggled to set up a comfortable and secure environment for many weeks. Those with DaaS or VDI became the clear winners due to secured flexibility.
That said, oftentimes, DaaS service providers charge on the seat basis and cloud PC would be no exception. Like other cloud services in Azure, we expect affordable cost structure and benefits for you.
With DaaS, you save quite a few pennies. You need not have an IT team to manage and secure the infrastructure and machines. Also, you are saved from spending on intermittent and necessary upgradation and scaling expenses.
Cloud PC service is expected to be charged per user and not usage. Thus, your users would define the expenses.
Procuring new hardware—a desktop or a laptop—laced with the security, applications, and tools is time consuming. But organizations are moving towards the cloud to avoid this slack, and Cloud PC only makes this step easier.
Other than a quick setup, users can log in from anywhere and work anytime. All they need is an internet connection.
You can onboard the new users, temporary teams, and contractors into new projects right from day one and get them started to work.
All in all, installing new software and preparing new virtual desktops is easy; order them to your service provider.
With 77% of the workforce misusing the BYOD policy (bring your own device), the risk to your organization’s data security is at the peak. But Microsoft’s Cloud PC is capable of handling these risks. When your employees access data and applications from a cloud-based desktop, they store nothing locally.
Cloud PC by Microsoft Azure services would be secured and follow all the norms of local and global regulations.
Onboard new employees and order a Cloud PC for them. Again, if you predict a major ramp-up in any department or workforce, scale smoothly with your cloud vendor or Microsoft.
Expand the capacity of a desktop in memory, speed, and applications anytime without disrupting the work. Your vendor would take care of the groundwork.
Have a mock project or a prototype to build? Order Cloud PC, finish the project, and release the virtual desktops.
A VDI is a virtualized desktop residing on the cloud. However, the infrastructure setup, security, and regular maintenance is your onus. When a failure happens, you are the one to handle and fix the issues. This puts you under pressure to have in-house experts monitoring the performance round the clock.
With Cloud PC service, like DaaS, you can leave your worries of regular maintenance and weekly patches in the OS to the third party or Microsoft. The failures are their responsibilities, and ongoing maintenance activities are onus.
How can Cloud PC Services help Startups and Telecommuters?
Startups and SMBs go frugal and often opt for the cloud services owing to the subscription model. SMBs often go for IaaS and PaaS to achieve complex infrastructure setup in place and run the business. Cloud PC services might come quite handy for them to invest into.
Microsoft would enable them to economically outline their budget to invest in only thin clients and monthly cloud rent. They can get the virtual PC customized with the required software and tools. Only a few IT experts would be sufficient to manage the same. Moreover, scalability and other benefits would automatically be a part of the parcel.
Telecommuters and solopreneurs can benefit greatly from Cloud PC, too. They need not worry about the annual renewals of various applications and timely maintenance. Also, if technically unfamiliar, they can leave the complexities to their vendors.
What is in Store with Cloud PC Service?
Microsoft is planning to release the cloud PC service sometime in early next year. Speculations say that could be around the Spring of 2021.
No technical offerings in the cloud—or for that matter, any technology—come flawless. So, this too might have its limitations. Since Microsoft has not yet declared anything publicly, we have to wait until the release to assess it.
Meanwhile, for other widespread Azure services, the Logesys team would love to consult should you have a project in mind. Contact us for services like disaster recovery, backup, archiving, migration to the cloud, and managed cloud services.