Here at Leostream, we have been in the “providing access to desktops and applications that don’t live at your desk” space since the early-2000s. That space has been called many different things since then, but the idea has stayed the same. First, it was called VDI, and everything lived in your on-premises datacenter. If you wanted VDI, most people went straight to the big guys, like VMWare and Citrix.
However, where VMWare and Citrix offered a one-size-fits-all VDI stack, customers came to Leostream when they realized they needed more control, flexibility, and cost-management than VMware or Citrix could offer. If you wanted Linux, or multiple display protocols, or remote access or anything outside the VMware or Citrix “box,” you needed Leostream (still do, in fact!). That’s why the Leostream Connection Broker has been the industry-leading broker since 2003.
When I joined Leostream in 2012, a new era of “VDI” was brewing. “The Cloud” was happening. No one understood what it did or how we would use it yet. All we knew was it was going to be big, and everyone was going to move there, so pack your bags! Though, at the time, it seemed far-fetched that you would ever host highly sensitive enterprise resources in a public cloud. Public as in “public transportation” or “public restroom”? No, thanks.
So, why does this tale from tech years past matter now?
Well, it’s 2018, and AWS has become so wildly adopted in the enterprise space they have Super Bowl ads. And today, just like back in early VDI days, customers are coming to us to do what the one-size-fits-all “Workspace-as-a-Service” solution providers cannot.
When you buy a WaaS solution, you pay a flat, monthly, per-user rate for a Windows 10 desktop in the cloud. They build the compute costs, brokering, and display protocol into whatever flat rate they charge you. It doesn’t matter if you use the desktop for 5 minutes or the entire month, you are still paying the same flat rate.
Now, the reality is you will most likely not be running high-powered GPU-enabled instances 24/7 (unless you have robot employees who never eat or sleep) and you will not need those instances for every desktop. Nor will you need a high-end display protocol for every user. In fact, there are plenty of free and open source display protocols that meet the needs of task workers just fine. The Workspace-as-a-Service providers can’t account for that though, so you are left with a one-size-fits-all solution (with a one-size-fits-all price tag).
It’s like the prepackaged frozen dinner of cloud computing. All the main ingredients – cooked and ready to be heated in seconds! Great for a quick and easy bite, but probably not exactly what you wanted for dinner and certainly not what you would feed a crowd.
On the other hand, Leostream is more like a Blue Apron or a HelloFresh. We send you the basic ingredients and instructions to build a homemade cloud-hosted desktop and application solution that you can customize and scale to meet the unique needs of your entire organization.
We do all the heavy lifting on the management end so that you can pick and choose the details such as the cloud compute, client devices, and protocols yourself. These are the details that matter when you are building an environment that can scale to meet the needs of an entire enterprise. Combine your on-prem resources with cloud resources for a hybrid cloud environment. Mix-and-match display protocols and client devices to suit the needs of the use case. The Leostream Connection Broker ties it all together in a neat little package that is just as good or even better than a premade workspace. And, because you control the details, you control the cost.
Not to knock frozen dinners (Lean Cuisines Swedish Meatballs will always have a special place in my heart). They have their place, as does Workspaces-as-a-Service. Do you have less than ten non-compute intensive workers who want quick and simple remote access to a cloud desktop? Sure, then Workspace-as-a-Service is probably right for you.
Do you have a medium to enterprise-sized business with hundreds or thousands of employees with a range of desktops and applications needs that require varying degrees of compute, different types of access, different client devices, and different display protocol needs? Or, are you an MSP and those types of organizations are your customers? Then you need to look into to building something more customizable and robust. Leostream is the ideal solution to facilitate that type of environment both on-prem and in the cloud.