Now that Gabe has moved on, I’ve been catching back up with the desktop virtualization side of our space. Recently, Teradici reached out with word that some of their Cloud Access products were coming to the AWS Marketplace, and I chatted with Ziad Lammam, their VP of product management and marketing. From Ziad, I learned some even more interesting news—Teradici is working on their own cloud-based connection broker.
When I think of Teradici, I think of their longtime partnership providing their PCoIP protocol to VMware. (Apparently, people would sometimes even get confused and think that PCoIP was a VMware product.) But in the last few years, VMware started to push their own Blast protocol, and that’s meant some changes and, unfortunately, layoffs. However, Teradici also has their relationship with AWS Workspaces going back to 2013; plus they’ve been pushing their cloud offerings, Cloud Access and Cloud Access Plus, since 2016.
Last year, Gabe covered Teradici’s realignment of their products into the four subscription-based All Access SKUs. Cloud Access is for workloads without GPUs, and Cloud Access Plus supports GPUs. These now support workloads on Azure, AWS, and most recently GCP; as well as workloads on-premises. Their big selling points, aside from all the standard PCoIP differentiations, is that they support a bunch of state of the art cloud GPUs instances, as well as Linux workloads in public clouds. The other two SKUs are Desktop Access, for managing PCoIP clients if you have Horizon or AWS workspaces; and Workstation Access, for access to physical workstation hosts.
Just a few weeks ago, Teradici announced that Cloud Access was available in the AWS Marketplace. These offerings support Windows Server 2016 and CentOS 7 Linux workloads, and customers pay for Cloud Access subscriptions through Amazon. (If you pay by hours used, it’s 50¢ per hour on top of the EC2 costs; or you can still buy an annual subscription.) Teradici plans to add other marketplace offerings as time goes by.
What I keyed in on, though, is the connection broker that Teradici is currently building, called Cloud Access Manager. Previously, customers could connect to workloads directly or bring their own PCoIP compatible broker (they mentioned Leostream as an option). However, Cloud Access Manager was soft launched in private beta late last year; it’s currently in Technical Preview, and expected to be available in the first half of this year.
Aside from the broker functionality, other features include:
- Provisioning and configuring virtual machines, including scaling instances as necessary;
- Active Directory integration, user access management, and support for multi-factor authentication; and
- Monitoring usage and power state, and turning off machines when not in use.
- A few components, comprising the Connection Service, reside in the subscriber’s cloud subscription, but otherwise it’s all SaaS.
Cloud Access Manager will be included for no extra charge with Cloud Access and Cloud Access Plus plans. Currently it’s Azure-only, but there are plans to broaden support.
Given Teradici’s existing direction with cloud products, when I heard about Cloud Access Manager, I thought, ‘Of course, it makes perfect sense for them to offer their own broker!’ (In fact, Ziad said that Gabe was asking about this last year, so here’s the answer.)
There are longtime Teradici customers that are dedicated to PCoIP, and while some of them have made do with direct connections for years, this could be a good way for them to start running workloads in the cloud (which is helped along by all the cloud GPU developments of the last few years) and get the benefits of using a broker.
Overall, this fits into today’s trends of DaaS being viable for more and more scenarios, and there being a range of cloud-native options (like Workspot and Frame, too). It’s interesting to note how much this conversation has changed since Brian and Gabe wrote their book on DaaS. Back then, it would have been harder to imagine someone building a broker so quickly, but now the cloud makes it much simpler.
I’m not going to make a pronouncement about this being the “Year of DaaS” or anything, but over the latter part of 2017 and starting this year, we’ve certainly seen a lot of interesting developments. Our longtime vision of many Windows desktop apps ending up in the datacenter seems like it’s a step or two closer.