Nerdio has launched a management tool that makes it easier to provision large numbers of virtual desktops on the Microsoft Azure public cloud.
Company CEO Vadim Vladimirskiy said that now that Microsoft is finally encouraging organizations to embrace desktop virtualization in the form of its Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) service, there is a need for tools to manage all those desktops.
Nerdio Manager for WVD fills that gap by providing support for, among other things, dynamic host pools that automatically grow and shrink depending on workload and desktop images that can be employed across thousands of users.
Vladimirskiy said Nerdio Manager for WVD runs natively on Azure, which among other things allows all the data it collects to remain within the geo-boundaries of the selected Azure region. No additions to an Azure subscription are required to store that data, he noted.
Fresh off raising an additional $8 million in funding, Nerdio is riding the coattails of a relatively newfound enthusiasm at Microsoft for virtual desktops. While the concept of a virtual desktop has been around for the better part of two decades, Microsoft has only been encouraging IT organizations to embrace virtual desktops since the WVD Service became available on Azure in the last several months. Previously, Windows licensing restrictions tended to make virtual desktops less economically attractive.
Rather than organizations relying on Citrix or VMware for virtual desktops, Microsoft is now making a case for employing its Azure cloud service to subscribe to virtual desktops as a less complicated alternative that also supports both Windows 10 and Windows 7. That means IT teams that embrace Windows 7 on Azure will be supported by Microsoft.
It’s not clear to what degree Windows desktops will move into the cloud now that Microsoft has embraced the concept. In addition, it’s also worth noting that rivals such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) now provide similar desktop virtualization services. What is clear is many fewer instances of Windows will be running locally as more organizations determine it might be easier for them to manage Windows desktops via the cloud than on each individual machine. At the same time, many organizations are also looking at ways to more easily enable remote computing to help limit potential employee exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
Whatever the path forward, it’s not likely large enterprise IT organizations will make the jump to WVD or any other cloud service all at once. IT administrators may find themselves managing a hybrid desktop computing environment for many years to come. There are also, of course, organizations operating in highly regulated industries where virtual desktops running on a public cloud are simply not an option.
Nevertheless, it’s apparent the time when IT administrators had to spend time visiting individual desktop machines is coming to an end. The management of both virtual desktops and physical endpoints is becoming more automated with each passing day. The only real question is what degree of automation can be achieved based on where the desktop actually resides.