Checking out Workspot’s flat-rate DaaS, which has compute built into the price

Thanks to licensing changes for CSPs and Windows 10, a whole new range of Desktop-as-a-Service business models are now possible.

Updated April 15, 2018

Recently I’ve been checking in on various DaaS providers, and for today I’m writing about my latest conversation with Workspot. I spoke to Brad Peterson, Workspot’s VP of Marketing, who readers know for his many keynote appearances during his time at Citrix.

Last month, Workspot was in the news when former Citrix CEO Mark Templeton joined their advisory board; just last week, Harry Labana was announced as chief customer experience officer. Rounding out the personnel updates, Tarkan Maner, Andre Leibovici, and Barry Philips also joined Workspot’s advisory board, and Workspot hired a new VP of business development, Tarun Pandit.

On the tech side, Gabe Knuth wrote an extensive overview of Workspot’s DaaS 2.0 offering when it was announced in December 2016. For a quick refresher, it provides desktops as a service running in Microsoft Azure, with everything is managed by Workspot. The desktop workloads run in Workspot’s Azure tenant, and customers don’t even have to touch Azure to manage their environment. (Though it’s likely that customers will also have their own Azure tenant to get file or app servers close to their desktops.) Workspot sells this with a risk-free trial period, and they help with the implementation.

Of course, when DaaS 2.0 was announced, production use was still a few months off, awaiting the arrival of licenses that allowed Windows 10 to be run on shared hardware. This opens up a whole new set of business models, and as a result, one of the new things we can talk about today is how exactly Workspot is selling DaaS 2.0. They’re offering flat-rate contracts, with compute included—there’s no need to directly pay for the compute used by your desktops. Brad said that three-year contracts are popular, and likened it to simply buying a PC. Customers must still bring their own Windows 10 licenses.

My first question was what would happen if all of Workspot’s customers used a lot of compute. Would Workspot be stuck footing a huge Azure bill? Naturally, Workspot is relying on the ability to load-balance among its customers. Brad also pointed out that while customer contracts are fixed, Workspot can buy more compute for their money from Azure as time goes by.

The ‘think of buying a DaaS desktop like buying a physical PC’ idea is interesting, too. On the one hand, it seems like the opposite of the flexibility you would want from the cloud (though you could always upgrade your contract). On the other hand, if a predictable, flat-rate price is what makes some companies more comfortable going to DaaS, then this model is great.

Workspot is the one of the first providers that I’ve had a chance to talk to that’s doing this particular model, so we’ll see how it goes. Brad hinted that they’d have more interesting reference customers to talk about in the next few months.

And of course, this business model is only one part of the huge DaaS conversation that’s shaping up in 2018. There’s a lot to talk about regarding use cases—especially GPU-enabled ones—so stay tuned for more.

Correction, April 15, 2018: This article has been updated. The original version stated that Windows 10 licenses were included in Workspot's offerings. This is incorrect. Customers must bring their own licenses. The original title was "Checking out Workspot’s flat-rate DaaS, which has Windows 10 SPLA and compute built into the price."

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AWS Workspaces is the best product out there. $40/month. 
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AWS Workspaces offers a Win 2016 server instance dressed up as Win 10 desktop. The performance is not great in a large production environment. That is the reason for the lower price. You get what you pay for.
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What's the pricing? Don't see anything on the website
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Brad mentioned basic desktops (4 cores, 8gb ram, etc) starting at $50 with a contract. I'll ping them and see if they want to comment.
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I can't believe Mark Templeton joined their board. Citrix needs to bring back Mark as the CEO. He was the real visionary and defined the industry. 

How many companies do well with a CFO at the helm? Can he define the product vision? VMware and startups like Workspot will kill Citrix is a few years. 


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Lol. MarkT is 65 Downfall started after Mark bought XenSource. Mark bought Zenprise. Crap products. No marketshare.
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Mark bought netscaler. You have to take risks to succeed. Not everything works but that’s because of execution and culture ingestion. xenSource was full of ego maniacs!
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NetScaler runs XenServer in SDX products so under the hood adding value if not in enterprise sales
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The whole market is dead the day Microsoft decides to change licensing. Msft increases RDCAL, XA is dead.. msft doubles VDI windows tax, XD ? VDI/DaaS is dead. So it’s not VMWare or Workspot that hurts Citrix. It’s the Microsoft relationship that has deteriorated after mark. Why do you think msft doesn’t offer a good product. They invest no money on this market. They have Intune, Azure and Office365 but can’t build DaaS?
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Calm down ctxsalumni! Were you let go in Jan? 

MSFT tried with Azure Remote App. It was a disaster. Failed to get even 100 customers. The PM leading the effort was demoted. Resources were moved to the Intune team. Brad Anderson had to plead to Citrix to save his face. Why do you think he shows up at every Synergy event and never attends VMWorld?

MSFT doesn't care about VMware or Workspot. It gets free RD-CALS for doing nothing from Citrix.

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Msft is RD Meh Infrastructure! Incompetent team and no respect for MVPs http://blog.wtslabs.com/?p=450
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VMW EUC is growing at 30% every year! Our DaaS will beat Workspot by the end of the year. VMware will support all clouds - Azure, AWS and IBM. No vendor lock-in.
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Surely vendor lock-in is a concern if dealing with fluctuations in cloud pricing; moving between clouds is not cheap - but with a flat priced product you don't have that worry? As Jack says there's nothing to stop you moving the actual azure VMs and desktops under something else.... 
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“The new AWS workspaces and App streaming 2.0 will put the nail in the Citrix coffin. Citrix continues to exist due to the installed base which will will soon migrate to other products very quickly. The ELT knows this and is desperately grabbing every last RSU to line their pockets before this titanic sinks into to icy cold waters of technology company oblivion“ From insiders: https://www.thelayoff.com/t/SvEzzKJ
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What is the VDI cost for on-prem deployments? I heard VDI on-prem can be done under $15/user
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With Nutanix AHV, it’s easily under $30.
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No one can beat the "Floridiots"
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I am surprised that Citrix is suing MarkT for helping a competitor
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Just a heads up that such comments from 'Wtslabs' are not from me, even though WTSLabs is indeed my company. No idea who is spreading such rumours. What I have to say I always do it in the open, not hiding behind a username anywhere. You guys know me enough.

CR
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Wow
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Gosh that's odd...
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Hi Jack,
you mentioned that the customer have to bring their own MS Client license? In a shared enviroment? As I know customers are not allowed to bring their on license in a shared enviroment.
Do you have any MS licensing documents about that?
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I'm really having trouble finding the answer for this one, and it was especially tricky when I wrote this up, as you can see by the footnote. I'm on a search for a good guide, or for a freelancer who wants to write this up; plus I'll ask Workspot if they have published documentation on this.
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