Virtual Desktops
Virtual Desktops, sometimes referred to as “Cloud Desktops,” are the next major improvement vastly approaching the computer network landscape (actually, this new technology is already in production today – we use it here at Promethius).  We’ve been in business for over sixteen years, and we think this technology will be the biggest “game changer” we have ever seen.
Let’s start with the basics.  A Virtual Desktop is actually a fully functioning computer (operating system, software, file storage, antivirus, etc.) in the cloud.  When you migrate to a cloud desktop, essentially, the “guts and brains” of your workspace move from your local computer up into a virtual, hosted infrastructure.  Your local “computer” becomes nothing more than a keyboard, monitor/display and an internet connection.
It may take a few minutes to wrap your head around how this works, but I believe an understanding of the HOW is far less important than an understanding of the WHY.  When we understand this, we can see how virtual desktops will really change our day-to-day technology EXPERIENCE.

Let’s start with hardware cost.  You might have noticed that if we move to a paradigm that requires my local computer to be nothing more than a keyboard, monitor/display and internet connection, then we need a lot less “computer” than we did in the past.  Our own experience shows that we reduce our ongoing computer hardware cost by as much as 80%!!  This savings alone helps virtual desktops almost “pay for themselves” out of the gate.
Rest assured that the user experience is identical to having a “traditional” computer.  Our virtual desktop users literally can’t tell the difference between virtual desktops and their “old computer.” 
While cost savings is appealing to just about anybody, what we all really want is great support and a great user experience.  We don’t want the inevitable slowdown that nearly every new computer succumbs to.  We don’t want to wait for a computer technician to arrive on-site to diagnose and treat a problem.  We certainly don’t want to wait the hours or sometimes even days to get a computer replaced after a catastrophic collapse (e.g. virus infestation, hard drive failure, etc.).
Because Virtual Desktops are “in the cloud,” our technicians can reach them, service them, and yes, even rebuild them from the ground up, in a matter of minutes.  The biggest change cloud desktops will bring is a massive increase in stability and support response-time.  
We guarantee a 15 minute response on all virtual desktop service calls.  That’s unheard of in the Managed Services industry, but we can back that up because the technology cuts through all the traditional time-wasting hoops of the past.  We can almost instantly get right to the heart of the problem and resolve it very quickly.
Let’s take the example of the most common complaint in the history of computer support: “My computer is slow.”  Before virtual desktops, we could generally improve a computer’s performance by two approaches: ram upgrades and computer rebuilds.  In both cases, much time is spent ordering parts, traveling, loading software, etc.  It could be days before the issue is resolved.
Now let’s handle the same complaint for a Cloud Desktop computer.  Again, our two options are the same: upgrade specs (ram, etc.) or rebuild the computer.  Would you believe that we can perform an entire spec upgrade to your computer during your lunch break?  We sure can.  And how about a total computer rebuild?  It takes us about 15 minutes to get that done.
In fact, rebuilds are so easy that we do this on a regularly scheduled basis for all our virtual desktop customers; about once a month.  Imagine getting a fresh, newly installed computer once a month!
These are just a few of the many reasons we see Virtual Desktops becoming the “new normal.”  In future articles, we’ll explore some of the other compelling reasons to make the jump to virtual.  Spoiler Alert: If you have compliance concerns like HIPAA or PCI, moving to virtual desktops is an absolute no brainer!!
Until next time.