Announcing Spot PC: Simple and continuously optimized cloud desktops as a service

Speaking with thousands of organizations adopting cloud computing, it’s clear that the preferred way to consume cloud, from infrastructure to platforms to applications, is “as a service”. Customers want fully managed services, with security and SLAs built in.

Last month was very busy for Spot by NetApp, with the launch of several new “as a service” products, such as Ocean Continuous Delivery (CD), and announced our acquisition of Data Mechanics to accelerate our “as a service” Kubernetes Data Plane, Spot Ocean, for Apache Spark workloads.

We are not resting, not even for a moment – so today, I am very excited to announce the launch of a new “as a service” product – Spot PC. Spot PC is a new service that brings that approach to another key workload in the cloud—the end-user desktop.

Much has already been written about the increased interest in cloud desktops resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in the nature and location of work. However, the common solutions and technologies available to deliver remote desktops were never designed for the cloud—they are largely adaptations of virtual desktop technologies built for remote desktops hosted in an on-premises datacenter. As a result, today’s cloud desktop evolutions come with significant operations burdens and are far from being delivered “as a service”. They are time consuming and complex to set up, migrate to, and manage–compute, workspaces, data storage, user identity, policy, and applications all need to be integrated and scaled. Not only that, they also are expensive to deploy and operate—they are inefficient in their use of cloud resources and require significant effort for administration, management and troubleshooting. I saw this first-hand from my own experience in charge of the Israeli Army Virtual Desktop Infrastructure project, it was clear to me that it was designed for an on-premises world, and that our project couldn’t last long since it was really expensive and very inflexible.

Easy to use with an ultra optimized cloud infrastructure

We built Spot PC because we saw that by bringing together Spot’s technologies with NetApp technologies we could deliver a “desktop as a service” solution that is truly built for the cloud. With Spot PC, managed service providers (MSPs) and customers of all sizes can rapidly and easily deliver enterprise-ready cloud desktops that are secure, protected and optimized. Spot PC handles the operations to deliver automated deployment, streamlined management, and continuous optimization of the required compute, workspaces, data storage, application, and user identity components. Organizations can focus on delivering the best end user computing experience, without being consumed by complex operations burdens of do-it-yourself virtual desktop approaches or products.

To provide cloud desktops as a service, Spot PC brings together the following core capabilities in a fully-managed solution:

  • Rapid deployment: deploying a cloud desktop requires more than just provisioning a virtual machine. Spot PC streamlines onboarding and data migration to deliver a comprehensive implementation. It allows for Azure Active Directory (AAD) connect, Microsoft Azure connection, and IP scoping, includes full data migration from current virtual desktop environments to Spot PC, and can install and maintain applications throughout the entire application lifecycle.
  • Enhanced security: Spot PC automatically includes always-on Azure security solutions that activate real-time evaluation and mitigation of malware from the start to ensure critical protection.
  • Data governance and protection: regular backup of critical data with cloud backup services is integrated into Spot PC to protect data, while ensuring that compliance requirements for data residency and data sovereignty are met.
  • Continuous optimization: Spot PC automatically and continuously optimizes the use of cloud compute and storage resources to handle the roller coaster of demand, ensuring a reliable end-user experience at the lowest cost per user per month.
  • Rich observability: the Spot PC web console gives administrators a comprehensive operational view of performance data for session servers, user sessions, and data volumes together with real-time alerts on session server performance, abnormal user session responsiveness, and security vulnerabilities or attacks.
  • Cross-tenant management: with Spot PC, you can easily manage multi-tenant environments and switch between each customer’s tenant individually. Any red flags for servers, workspaces, and even individual sessions are visible. Spot PC includes session shadowing, enables the starting, or killing of processes and desktops, and even connecting to individual virtual desktop sessions.

Spot PC delivers all of this at a fixed cost per seat, per month, giving you predictable budgeting and forecasting at more than 50% less than alternatives (including do-it-yourself approaches).

Spot PC is a perfect solution to enable and accelerate adoption of cloud desktops. Spot PC delivers fully-managed cloud desktops at enterprise scale that are secured, optimized and easy for MSPs and enterprise IT departments to manage. And all built on top of the latest Microsoft technologies for virtual desktops and cloud PCs.

There’s more coming… I welcome you to join our Private Preview program.