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Community Blog What Is Cloud Desktop

What Is Cloud Desktop

Cloud Desktop is a cross-platform application that can be accessed through a thin client or any other device connected to the network

Cloud Desktop is a cross-platform application that can be accessed through a thin client or any other device connected to the network. Compared with the traditional PC, the large main box has been replaced with some small boxes. It is a cloud terminal, and the mouse, keyboard, monitor, and network cable can be plugged into the cloud terminal.

Cloud Desktop Definition

What is a Cloud Desktop? We must first answer the question of what is cloud computing. There are many definitions of cloud computing. What everyone widely recognizes is the definition of cloud computing on Wikipedia, that is: Cloud computing is a new way of resource utilization on the Internet, which can provide on-demand computing for mass users relying on heterogeneous and autonomous services on the Internet. The resources of cloud computing are dynamic, easy to expand and virtualized, and provided through the Internet. Cloud Desktop is a cloud that meets the above definition of cloud computing.

Looking at the introduction page of IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud (IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud), we can see that the definition of desktop cloud is: You can access cross-platform applications and the entire customer desktop through a thin client or any other device connected to the network.

The Business Value of Cloud Desktop

There are many business values of desktop cloud. In addition to the above-mentioned access to the desktop anytime, anywhere, there are some important business values as follows:

Cloud Desktop is Centralized

In the overall cost of using traditional desktops, management and maintenance costs account for a large part of its entire life cycle. Management costs include operating system costs, hardware costs, data recovery and backup cost, and applications installation cost, etc. In traditional desktop applications, these tasks basically need to be done once on each desktop, and the workload is very big. For those industries that require frequent replacement and update of desktops, the workload is even greater. For example, for the training industry, they often need to configure different operating systems and running programs to meet the needs of different training courses. For hundreds of machines, this workload is already very large, and this kind of work is more frequent.

In the Cloud Desktop solution, management is centralized. IT engineers manage hundreds of virtual desktops through the control center. All updates and patches only need to update a "basic mirrors". For the training center mentioned above, the management and maintenance is very simple. We only need to configure a few basic mirrors according to the different courses, and then students of different training courses can connect to these different basic mirrors. And if we want to make any changes, we only need to do it on these basic mirrors. As long as you restart the virtual desktop, students can see all the updates, which greatly saves management costs.

Cloud Desktop has high security

Security is a very important aspect of IT work. For enterprises, data and intellectual property are their lives. For example, the credit card account of customers in the banking system, the user details in the insurance system, the source code in the software enterprise, and so on. How to protect these confidential data from being leaked is a challenge that many companies’ IT departments often face. For this reason, they have adopted various security measures to ensure that the data is not used illegally, such as prohibiting the use of USB devices, prohibiting the use of external e-mails, and so on. For government departments, data security is also very important. Not long ago, a government official's laptop was lost in the UK. As a result, confidential documents were obtained by reporters. The official had to take the blame and resign.

In the Cloud Desktop solution, first of all, all data and calculations are performed on the server-side, and the client-side only displays the changed images, so there is no need to worry about the client-side illegally stealing data.

Cloud Desktop in Application of environmental protection

How to protect our limited resources and how to consume less energy is a question that scientists from various countries are constantly exploring. Because the resources on our planet are limited, if they are not protected, they will soon fall into the dilemma of no resources available. The world is thinking of ways to reduce carbon emissions, and many measures have been taken for it, such as the use of cleaner energy sources like wind energy. But the power consumption of traditional personal computers is very large. Generally speaking, the power consumption of each traditional personal computer is about 200W, even when it is idle, the power consumption is at least about 100W. Calculated on the basis of 10 hours per day and 240 days of work per year, the power consumption of each computer desktop is about 480 degrees, which is amazing. In addition, in order to cool the heat generated by the use of these computers, we must also use certain air-conditioning equipment, which consumes a lot of energy.

After adopting the cloud desktop solution, the power consumption of each thin client is about 16w, which is only 8% of the original traditional personal desktop, and the heat generated is also greatly reduced.

Cost reduction of Cloud Desktop

The cost of IT assets includes many aspects. The initial purchase cost is only a small part of it. Others include the cost of management, maintenance, energy consumption, and the cost of hardware upgrades throughout the life cycle. From the above description, we can see that compared with traditional personal desktops, the cost of desktop cloud management, maintenance, energy consumption is greatly reduced.

Cloud Desktop’s initial hardware investment is relatively large because we have to buy new servers to run cloud services. However, since the update cycle of traditional desktops is 3 years, and the update cycle of servers is 5 years, the cost of hardware is basically the same. But due to the greatly reduced soft cost, and the soft cost occupies a very large proportion of the TCO, the overall TCO of the cloud desktop solution is greatly reduced. According to Gartner's estimates, the TCO of cloud desktops can be reduced by 40% compared to traditional desktops.

Architecture of Cloud Desktop

Thin terminal

A thin terminal is a device that we use the desktop cloud. Generally, it is a device embedded with an independent embedded operating system and can be connected to the desktop running on the server through various protocols.

In order to make full use of existing resources and maximize the application of IT assets, the architecture also supports some transformations to traditional desktops and installs some plug-ins to enable them to connect to desktops running on servers.

Network access

The desktop cloud provides various access methods for users to connect. Users can connect through wired or wireless networks. These networks can be either local area networks or wide area networks. When connecting, they can use ordinary connections or secure connections.

Console

The console can configure the server running the virtual desktop, such as configuring network connections, configuring storage devices, and so on. The console can also monitor some basic performance indicators of the runtime server, such as memory usage, CPU usage, etc. If you need to monitor more resources, we can use IBM's Tivoli-related products.

Authentication

An enterprise-level application solution must have a security control solution. The more important thing in the security scheme is user authentication and authorization. In desktop clouds, users are generally authenticated and authorized through products such as Active Directory or LDAP. These products can easily add, delete, configure passwords, set their roles, give different roles different permissions, modify user permissions and other operations.

Application

There are some specific application scenarios. For example, the users used are call center operators. They generally use the same standard desktop and standard applications and basically do not need to be modified. In this scenario, the cloud desktop architecture provides a shared service method to provide desktops and applications. This can provide more services on a specific server.

Sever

In cloud desktop solutions, more application methods are to distribute various applications to virtual desktops. In this way, customers only need to connect to a desktop to use all applications, as if these applications are installed on the desktop. The experience provided to users under this architecture is exactly the same as using a traditional desktop.

Related Blog

How to Create Virtual Cloud Desktop using Apache Guacamole

Apache Guacamole is a free and open-source web application that lets you access your dashboard from anywhere using a modern web browser. It is a clientless remote desktop gateway that only requires Guacamole installed on a server and a web browser supporting HTML5. With Alibaba Cloud, you don't need physical hardware to keep a desktop but you can use its virtualized hardware to create as many cloud instances as you want. Guacamole is the best way to keep multiple instances accessible over the internet. Once you add an instance to Guacamole, you don't need to remember the password as it can securely store the credentials. It also lets you share the desktops among other users in a group. Guacamole supports multiple connection methods such as SSH, Telnet, VNC, and RDP.

Related Product

Elastic Desktop Service

EDS enables quick and convenient creation and deployment as well as centralized management and O&M for desktop environments. You can quickly create a secure, high-performance, and cost-efficient cloud desktop without making large hardware investments upfront.
EDS is widely applied in fields such as finance, design, video, and education that have high requirements for secure data management and control and high-performance computing.

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