When (and how) will we finally use cloud PCs?

Virtualization of IT services is a ground swell that has been deployed for many years in many fields.

It’s a fact, the server infrastructure where the global giants (Google, AWS, Azure, etc.) are fighting on the planet. Local players (such as Orange, OVH, Scaleway or Bouygues OnCloud in France) have also not given up on existing ones.

Another observation is the safeguarding of personal data where Google Drive, iCloud and Dropbox each have approximately one billion users and have become the norm despite questions of confidentiality and sovereignty. Cloud office automation with G Suite (with 2 billion monthly users) and Office 365 (with 300 million licenses, over 50 million Microsoft 365 subscribers) or gaming in Shadow or Stadia, in particular.

In this evolution, complete computer virtualization appears to be a latecomer. In fact, end users continue to buy more physical terminals when servers and storage devices are virtually gone from the inventories of companies and individuals.

The reasons for this delay are known

A complex implementation in the case of VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) solutions or difficult to understand in the case of DaaS (Desktop as a Service) offerings that provide Cloud PC for large organizations only. A performance reduced specifically by the RDP protocol that limits video usage and impossible to use other than office automation, specifically in terms of CAD, BIM or DAO.

However, these brakes are missing and everyone will soon benefit from a PC in the Cloud with no usage restrictions. The drivers of this development are threefold: technology, usability and security.

On the technological side, the evolution of the streaming protocol and better management of graphics cards now enables a user experience similar to a physical workstation with indeterminate latency and 2K or even 4K resolutions. . It is therefore possible to run the most demanding software (such as Revit, Catia, …) on any machine without infrastructure or installation. Therefore, it is the high-end workstation, the most expensive and the most complex to manage for the company, which is now led by the diffusion of Cloud PC.

Regarding uses, the generalization of hybrid work and multisite is also arguing in favor of PC diffusion to the Cloud. Containment has presented the difficulty for IT departments to ensure continued quality on remote physical workstations. With virtualization, all you need now is an up-to-date browser and a proper connection to find the perfect setting even on the move.
On the security side, the advantages of a PC in the Cloud are immense. They make it possible to apply protection protocols more strictly, to prevent and combat intrusions and prevent any loss of sensitive data even in the event of equipment theft.

If, in this favorable context, we add the requirement for digital sobriety and the extension of the lifespan of the equipment, the PC in the cloud has very good prospects.

So how does this translate into practice?

From now on, it is possible to use a PC in the Cloud as easily as a backup service. All elements (CPU, GPU, data, license, etc.) are attached to a personal account and all you have to do is connect to your personal account from anywhere and any machine to benefit from your Cloud PC and its performance. At the end of the session, there is really no data left in the receiving terminal.

In terms of services, the contribution is clearly significant: possibility of managing a fleet of PCs in the Cloud and a group of users, automatic management of backups and restores, immediate upgrade of capacity PC in the Cloud to increase performance or reduce costs, remote control of the station through support or in the context of collaborative work.

Like Drive, the transition to the Cloud should be gradual but definite

That is, the most demanding users in terms of performance (such as design offices) and flexibility (such as training centers) have begun a complete transition. From 2021 to 2024, Gartner expects the global DaaS market to grow by nearly 253%. And we are only talking about BtoB here because end consumers, especially those most concerned about security and climate change, should join the movement at large.

So when (and how) will we finally use cloud PCs? The answer seems more and more accurate: soon … and all the time!

Since 2020, Loïc Poujol has been Associate Director of Weytop. A former student of Sciences Po Bordeaux, he held several positions such as Operational Director of innovation structures (Cinet group, Bottin Gourmand group, Openbridge) and was also co-creator of Futurs.io (Maltem group) consulting agency, of production and communications focused on blockchain and innovative tools. His knowledge of new technologies, his business vision and his management style are assets to support the start-up Weytop’s approach to digital and environmental transformation of companies.

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