NetApp today announced it has acquired CloudJumper, a provider of management tools for virtual desktops at a time when the rate at which Windows desktops are moving into the cloud is accelerating.
Anthony Lye, senior vice president and general manager of NetApp’s Cloud Data Services business unit, said NetApp will primarily employ CloudJumper as a software-as-a-service application that complements the Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) service provided by Microsoft on the Azure cloud. However, CloudJumper is also available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform.
CloudJumper has also been rebranded as NetApp Virtual Desktop Service (VDS) on NetApp Cloud Central, a control plane for managing NetApp cloud services, and integrated with Azure NetApp Files and Cloud Volumes.
Lye said that as NetApp extended the reach of its data management platforms into the cloud it became apparent even before the COVID-19 pandemic that large numbers of desktops were moving into the cloud, thanks to the general availability of WVD and end of life for support for Windows 7. The COVID-19 pandemic is serving as a catalyst to further accelerate that shift as organizations look to make their IT environments both more flexible and resilient, said Lye.
As more desktops shift to the cloud, it then only becomes a matter of time before those virtual desktops create the need for additional NetApp data management services that already reside natively on cloud platforms such as Azure, he added.
While there is general agreement that more desktops will be moving into the cloud, the rate at which that transition will occur is debatable, since many organizations have limited resources to invest in IT projects. However, Lye said there are also many organizations that will take this moment to accelerate their transition to the cloud.
The one thing that is for certain is the number of desktops deployed locally will decline steadily in on-premises IT environments. End users may still have a local device, but the amount of compute power required to access Windows desktops in the cloud should be substantially less. That’s critical as more organizations also are abandoning traditional desktops in favor of mobile computing devices that enable end users to work from anywhere. In fact, it’s not even clear to what degree the IT professionals supporting virtual desktops will need to be in an office when the management tools being employed all reside in the cloud.
Clearly, in terms of Windows deployments, the next year may be the most transformational in recent memory. The impact on IT professionals will be especially profound as the need to physically service individual endpoints becomes less required. Of course, the transition to virtual desktops has been a long time coming. More than a few organizations have embraced virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) with mixed success. However, now that virtual desktops have gone mainstream in the cloud, many IT organizations will soon be wondering why it took so long to actually make that happen.