Why haven’t all end user computing applications, the ones you and I use every day, moved to the Cloud?  Why is moving to the Cloud so hard?  After all, we’ve been to the moon and back.  My son has a phone in his back pocket more powerful than the computer I had ten years ago, and when I buy any new device (even my refrigerator), it connects to some intelligent network after I type in my Wi-Fi password.  When we’ve made this much progress, why do sales folks hesitate when a customer asks if they can get a Windows desktop application into the Cloud?

To answer these questions, we need to accept that desktop and application virtualization, which is the only way to move end-user applications to the Cloud, cannot follow the server virtualization path.  This is because there are significant differences between server and desktop workloads.  Servers are typically in the data center and pretty much all the users of server apps tend to share a similar experience. In contrast, desktop users are distributed and depending upon their workload, can have very different experiences.  Users leveraging servers in the data center can depend on significant resources (high speed network connections, massive redundancy and access to a highly skilled IT staff), while desktop users tend to be resource constrained.  When a server app goes down, often all the users are down for the same reason and one IT person can solve that problem.  When 3 desktops go down, they may go down for 3 different reasons.  Three calls get made to three different IT support staff and you may need 3 different IT people to solve the problem or one IT person to solve 3 different problems.  From environment to hardware to software to support structure, the environments are completely different.

Data Center Desktop
Environment Homogenous Heterogenous
Resources Lots of them & concentrated Constrained
User Experience Same Based on workload
Support Issues Same problem, all users Different problems

At Sphere 3D, we realized that you can’t innovate the delivery methods for end user applications in the Cloud without innovating the technologies as well. This likely explains why VDI adoption is well below that of physical desktops and represents a great untapped market for us, as does the virtualization of the applications that run on those desktops.

When it comes to network, server and full desktop virtualization, our partners have created some fantastic solutions. Where those virtualization components work well, we left well enough alone. Where we saw room for improvement, we focused on enhancements. For example, while our V3 platform leverages some exciting hypervisor technology from our partners, we have chosen to augment this technology with innovations of our own, such as accessing local storage rather than network storage and new methods for site to site failover. Our approach provides blazing fast performance and has allowed architectural innovations that were not possible until now; as a matter of fact, today’s press release speaks to some great innovations that we are bringing to market around VDI.

As for applications however, we believe that the underlying technology could benefit from a new approach. We did not write layers of code on top of code to mash a square peg into a round hole, instead we removed existing code and replaced it with our own so that the technology organically fit the use case. With our container approach to application virtualization, Glassware 2.0®, we simply removed the hypervisor and the guest OS from the virtualization stack and put applications in containers. That change, while seemingly small to some, brought profound consequences for how we provide tools for creating a Complete Cloud for our customers. After all, many Windows desktop apps today literally don’t virtualize or are not economical to virtualize, given various complexities and prohibitive cost structures. If you wonder what that translates to, the majority of end user applications are currently NOT in the Cloud. With all the advantages of cloud deployments, it would reason that this is not by choice.

If you look throughout history, almost every successful technology product has gotten progressively smaller, faster, simpler to use and more distributed. The physical desktop was a great innovation and still serves us well today, but the laptop was a necessity for distributed deployments and mobility. In both form factors, overall performance is great and they both got smaller, faster and simpler to use. They now come in an infinite variety of shapes that fit how we use them, whether we’re a 3D animator, a teacher, or a radiology technician. They’re mobile enough that we can access our compute locally in a coffee shop or on a plane. Why should we settle for a virtual desktop that’s slower than its physical counterpart, less flexible in terms of workload and less mobile? We don’t believe you should or have to.

At Sphere 3D, we’ve spent many years investing in technologies to create a portfolio of App & Desktop Virtualization and Distributed Storage products to fulfill our vision of the “Complete Cloud for Everyone”. Some of these include our own application containers like Glassware 2.0® for Windows applications, our Desktop Cloud Orchestrator™ which creates a whole new level of flexibility for VDI, and our SnapCLOUD™ virtual storage which provides enterprise grade storage from the Cloud.

We’ve listened to our early customers who said they wanted solutions that fit within their existing infrastructure and leverage their existing investment in systems and people. We have begun to integrate our entire technology stack with other existing virtualization and cloud technologies so that we can take an existing infrastructure and make it run faster or add features (multi-site and app containerization). Of course, we can also provide new deployment options that are attractive to a broader range of customers that are not well served today.

We are not trying to be the engine, but the oil that makes it all run smoothly, along with a number of performance parts that can increase performance. Join us as we show you how our products fit your business needs and align with your existing technology decisions. Join us in putting 100% of your data and applications in the Cloud. Join us in creating the complete cloud for everyone.