As you know and are probably tired of it, Microsoft is heavily promoting Windows Virtual Desktops (WVD) either on its own or through partners like CloudJumper, Nerdio and others.
If you go to any Microsoft event, EUC event or even the AA or WeightWatchers local meetings, there will be someone there presenting about WVD. Seriously. So it is natural that companies and ISVs started investigating this as a delivery solution for their applications and it was just a matter of time before we would start getting requests to get WVD going for customers, what we did.
Companies providing access to their software on a subscription basis and currently under a Microsoft SPLA agreement did get quite interested for obvious reasons like not having to deal with the whole RDS infrastructure on their own. The issue is, as of today, there is no way for these companies to leverage WVD due to the cumbersome licensing. RDS SALs do NOT get access to WVD and having to resort to VDA or M365/O365 licensing is far from ideal. Remember in many cases all the actual users run is the hosted/provided app they are paying for. They could not care less about any Office or extra Microsoft feature.
That leads me to the title of this post. As I have learned over the years by building Terminal-Services.NET (sold to 2X) and as the technical adviser to the CEO at Parallels (for close to five years), is that building a broker is far from being rocket science. WVD at the end of the day is a broker, an Azure app one (like the gateway and web access).
Now if Amazon or Google build a WVD clone for their cloud, to front face VMs running RDS Session Host or even Windows 10 Multi-user (my take here is, Microsoft will NOT be able to enforce this to Azure only due to legal/monopoly reasons – trust me on that), companies will be able to use any cloud they want, without having to resort to doing ‘IaaS’ for the RDS components. I will even name it ‘Remote Desktop Brokering System’ or RDBS for short.
If WVD does take off as many are betting on, I will go further and bet that other cloud providers will have no other choice but to build something similar. You may say that Amazon already has ‘Workspaces’ and ‘AppStream’ what negates the need for a WVD like brokering solution. Even though both solutions do have their use cases, they are far from being like WVD or even like a regular RDS solution. Some may argue that RDS Session Host (shared desktop) is a dead product but reality is people have been saying that for the past five years at a minimum (remember the yearly prediction, ’20XX is the year of VDI’?) and RDS, like a zombie, keeps going. On top of that, not sure if this counts for anything, but almost every single WVD deployment we have been involved with is to deploy shared desktops and not single user W10 (and let me add that most are actually on Windows Server and NOT Windows 10 MU).
What do you guys think? Would it be good to have a similar solution for other clouds, where you have all the known RDS components (broker, web access, gateway) provided as a service and all you need to get going is the workload VMs? Or is that really dead?
Before you say multi-user RDS is indeed dead, remember a lot of people thought the Coronavirus was nothing to worry about and here we are, all locked up at home with 10X more cases in the US in just a week…