Back in the fifties, Mainframes were the absolute stars of the IT environment, recognized by their enormous room sized calculators which were used by enterprises to store data. The “Operators”, as they were called back then, were working on something called light terminals which consisted of nothing more than a monitor and a Keyboard. The top of the line were the IBM 700/700 and AS400 Systems.
Mainframes were extremely secure but costly. Not only from a hardware perspective but also from a maintenance perspective which made them accessible to large enterprises only. However, as technology advanced and personal computing developed, terminals started to get replaced with PCs shifting the power and data from a central location to the hands of the end-user and by that reducing the overall costs. You could compare this change to what is happening today with Edge Computing.
IT is constantly changing our environment and its impact can especially be seen in the workplace where connectivity & technology allow us to work remotely and connect with team members anywhere in the world. IT is on the move, it is smart, it is multidevice, multicloud, BYOD, and Anything as a Service. Regardless of where you are currently based you will most likely have a wideband connection of 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps or 10 Gbps. Imagine that kind of connection speed back in the days of the Mainframes. IT evolution has not only pushed down costs while increasing the level of security and compliance but also generated numerous private and public services in the “cloud”. This new global scenario has the same architectural benefits as the Mainframes but without their high costs.
The Cloud has bypassed today’s technology & licensing limitations. For example, in order to provide a Remote Desktop Service to a private datacentre you need one VM and one desktop per user which isn’t very cost efficient. One solution to this problem is to let multiple users share one VM on a Windows Server. However, unfortunately many applications will not work in that infrastructure unless you add 3rd party tools such as Citrix, which results in higher costs and more complex management. However, Microsoft recently provided a solution for this issue when they launched Windows Virtual Desktop. Windows Virtual Desktop is a PaaS Desktop and application virtualization service that allows multiple users to be connected to one single Windows 10 Enterprise..
Windows Virtual Desktop ease the following complications:
· Lack of technical skills needed to build a solid offer
· Complexity and costs from 3d party vendors
· Infrastructure configuration
· Application compatibility
A Windows 10 or Microsoft 365 license in CSP provides the whole Infrastructure (Connection broker, Gateway, web access, load balancing, diagnostic as a service) for Windows Virtual Desktop, plus the FSlogix technology. All for free. This new service is available on Azure only, and with the correct cloud strategy, you can leverage this service to a fraction of the classical on-premise costs. All you need to do is pay for the Session Hosts where users connect to the Microsoft 365 license. The benefit of this model is that you only pay per usage and get complete control over your costs. Azure combined with Windows Virtual Desktop is without doubt a game changer in the market of Virtual Desktops.
The question is: Are you ready for it?