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An Introduction to Remote Desktops: Windows Virtual Desktop & Amazon WorkSpaces

Andrew Rigg gives an introduction to remote desktops, including the two most popular offerings, Windows Virtual Desktop & Amazon WorkSpaces.

Using a remote desktop, for an end user, is just like walking into the office, and booting up your work PC. You have access to your usual applications, systems, files and data. Except, because you’re using cloud technologies, you can do this from any device.

You simply open your desktop, apps, and documents on demand.

So why is this great for businesses?

  • Enable staff to use their own devices
  • Secure, remote access to key business apps & systems
  • Only pay for the computing power and storage you use
  • Cloud-powered desktops that easily scale
  • Very controlled, secure environment – perfect for highly regulated industries

What Pain Points do Remote Desktops Solve?

The problems that remote desktops solve include the following:

  • Less hardware to purchase and manage
  • Less chance of data leakage onto personal devices
  • No over-buying hardware, computing power and storage resources

What are the Benefits of Remote Desktops?

On the flip side of this, the benefits of remote desktops include:

  • Eliminate frustrating admin tasks of managing desktop provisioning, deployment & maintenance
  • Boost security and protect user data with encrypted cloud storage
  • Centrally manage global deployment of remote desktops
  • Flexible options for rapidly provisioning and deactivating desktops
  • Deployment options meet every users’ individual needs & saves costs

Amazon WorkSpaces vs. Windows Virtual Desktop

Amazon WorkSpaces is one of the more mature cloud remote desktop solutions on the market. Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is newer, but cheaper and easier to get started with, particularly if you already own related licences like Microsoft 365.

Amazon WS vs. WVD: Licensing

Amazon WS offers one-to-one resources which means you get reliable, dedicated resources to use.

Microsoft WVD can offer a one-to-one but also offers one-to-many resources. That means Microsoft provides a host, but you could have multiple people all using the same host. You spread costs across all those users. As the environment scales up, the cost per user comes down.

With one-to-one resources, you get dedicated resources, just for you. With one-to-many, there’s a chance you may get a noisy neighbour, someone who monopolises the resources.

Amazon WorkSpaces vs. Windows Virtual Desktop: Which Do You Need?

If you’re brand new to the cloud and remote desktops, Windows Virtual Desktop is likely the way to go. It’s a more scalable and cost-effective solution. However, if you already own other Microsoft licences, or you’re already using AWS cloud services, that may sway your decision.

It entirely depends on your industry, unique business needs, and individual users’ needs.

Interested in learning more?

We go into more depth about virtual desktops, including more differences between WVD and Amazon WS, published apps, and two customer stories in our free eBook.

Download eBook

Want to discuss remote desktops in more detail?
Get in touch for a free consultation to discuss your current pain points and goals, and how we can help you to achieve them.
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