Posted by Renee Schmidt

Imagine running Windows 7 on an iPad… sounds cool?  It’s real!  Cloud Desktops make it possible.  A Virtual Cloud Desktop is a personal, centralized computer located in the Cloud. Using any Internet connected device or thin client (i.e. an iPad), you can access your desktop from anywhere in the world.

What you see on your screen is a virtual image of the processing taking place off-site.  Since the processing is not local to your device, you can run complex applications that are otherwise unsupported by the device (ex: run Adobe Photoshop right off your iPad!).

I carry my iPad in my purse everywhere I go.  My iPhone 4 on Verizon acts as my tether.  With my Desktop in the Cloud, I can work from anywhere with a Verizon signal.  Sounds amazing?  It is!  Cloud Desktops have revolutionized my life!

Many people gripe that the iPad’s virtual keyboard is uncomfortable, so the idea of using it as a full-time computer doesn’t sound realistic.  Logitech and ZAGG had an answer in mind when they teamed up to create this thin, eye-catching keyboard case that I wrote about a few weeks ago.

[nggallery id=5]

This super thin case is really light weight, adding only about ¼” to the iPad 2.  Pair this keyboard case with a Cloud Desktop and you have a robust workstation (weighing only 3lbs) in your bag at all times!

What are the Benefits of Cloud Desktops?
Hardware: Can run on any internet-connected device and requires only a thin-client (ex: access your desktop from an iPad).  Preferred to having the OS running local to the machine (which requires an expensive/robust workstation with unnecessary surplus of processing power).
Software: Software runs in the cloud; the end-user need not worry about the purchase of per workstation licensing (ex: Windows, Office, Adobe, etc.)
Elasticity: Ability to increase/decrease processing power infinitely, as needed (as opposed to increasing via purchase of additional memory; limited)
Reduced Management Costs: Cloud Desktops make technical support virtually obsolete (whereas physical desktops require management and, in the event of failure, they may need to be rebuilt)
OS Compatibility: Cloud Desktops make your Operating System (OS) completely agnostic of the hardware you are running it on, enabling you to run any OS on any internet connected device (ex: run Windows on a Mac and  visa versa).
Remote Access: Because your Cloud Desktop can be accessed from anywhere in the world –you have ultimate flexibility in your workspace.

I’ve created a clear and concise video demonstration / tutorial of how to use an iPad and iPhone 4 (as a tether) to carry your desktop with you everywhere you go.

Bulky, expensive and robust physical desktops are rapidly becoming obsolete.  Thanks to Virtualization technology, Cloud Desktop Providers NYC are lowering overall technology costs, enhancing efficiency, boosting productivity and changing the way we compute.  This Cloud Desktop was provided by Madison Technology.  If you would like to learn more about Cloud Computing, click here.

  • Hmmm… you may wish to re-think this statement:

    “Software runs in the cloud, no need to buy per workstation licensing (ex: Windows, Office, Adobe, etc.”

    Microsoft requires a licence for every device from which its software is accessed, whether or not it runs locally or in the cloud. And that includes personally owned devices that are purchased by the user (BYOC anyone?) but used at work. The company is responsible for both the licence and the software assurance as soon as the user enters the corporate premises. The company is responsible to report, licence and pay for support for this type of use. Failure to do so would mean that a publicly traded firm would incur a Sarbanes Oxley violation. Not good.

    So, if a client has a thin client or pc at the office, and a thin client at home, an IPad, and possibly a laptop (not all that unusual a mix) Microsoft demands four device licences (assumes the portable devices are used at work).

    One other point: the cost per user for server hosted virtual infrastructure is extremely high -servers, network and storage, plus software costs from the VDI vendors plus additional Microsoft licences.

    There are better alternatives.

    All the best

  • What I mean to say is the end-user is not responsible for the purchase of licensing; that is the responsibility of the VDI vendor.

    • The VDI vendor? By VDI vendor do you mean VMware Citrix Microsoft, or the managed service provider?

      Microsoft does not provide licences for “rent”. The licences are in the name of the user/corporation that uses the software.

      This has a HUGE impact on the cost model of any VDI based solution regardless if it is to a thin client, thick client or tablet device. Many companies are expecting to be able to reduce their Microsoft bill with BYOC, but Microsoft has changed their license models to account for this. Companies are responsible for accurately reporting their license use, and risk legal action or non-conformance to regulatory statutes (i.e. SARBOX if publicly traded on US equity exchanges) if they under report.

      • I mean the managed hosting provider.

      • Another minor, but significant point: per the terms of Apple’s MAC EULA, you cannot run Apple based software on non-Apple branded hardware. Hence, you cannot run Apple software on PCs as you claim in the blog.

        You can however, use a PC as a terminal services client. This is a standard Unix service, but the software must operate on the MAC.

        There is a way to deliver a “Mac desktop in the cloud”. Solution is called OPUS from Orchard Parc, and runs on enterprise class virtual infrastructure but still requires a Mac for local execution of apps from either Apple or Windows (Linux too). Solves the problems associated with VDI – significant capital and operating expenses to deploy and support.

        • Joe Guma

          There are many ways you can slice and dice your comments and technically Derek you may be right to the point but look at this from this perspective. Vmware View Client supports PCoIP for iPod while there is no such support Mac, what does this tell you? You are looking at the future of the computing, that’s right. Sooner or later you will place your PC in the dumpster and tablet will become your primary computing device. So you may get hanged here and there on small details but reality is, we are coming full cycle and it started with mainframe. Btw, yes you can run Apple software legally on non apple hardware, it’s called Mac OS X Server. Wmware and VirtualBox among others support it right out of the box.

  • I like CloudOn for working with Word and Excel files; and they integrates very smoothly with my DropBox as well.