When was the last time someone raved about how great their virtual GPU workstations performed? Pretty much never? Over and over, we’ve heard the stories from the trenches: Using traditional VDI to deliver high-performance workstations typically fails the performance, simplicity and “CIO, CAD manager, and design engineer” test. Workspot Workstation Cloud, with GPU-accelerated Windows 10 Desktops running in any of the 54+ regions of Azure around the world, passed these tests, then exceeded our customer’s expectations and even some of our own. A great way to hear this story is directly from our customer, so we created a couple of videos that share their journey, starring our customer IT heroes from Mead & Hunt.
Time to Shatter Performance Barriers
Here’s the backstory. In theory, virtual desktops make good sense for organizations of all sizes, but customers have always complained about performance, among other things. Some users can get by with a solution that makes them 20% less effective (on a good day), but people in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms simply cannot compromise on performance. For CAD pros and BIM experts, the performance of their apps, such as AutoCAD, Revit, and SOLIDWORKS is everything. Can you imagine trying to design a highly complex building structure or a medical device and waiting one minute or two minutes for it to render each time you make a change? This is why these highly valuable professionals have always been tethered to their office desks – that’s where their $10,000 liquid cooled workstations live, and it has been the only way to get decent performance out of these apps. Until now. Andy Knauf, CIO of engineering firm Mead & Hunt has auditioned VDI solutions – old and new – so he brings a plethora of lessons learned to share with his industry colleagues. After these unsuccessful forays into virtual workstations, Andy and the team were skeptical of Workspot to say the least. Here’s what happened when he took the well-educated risk of trying virtual workstations – again.
Physical Workstations Out. Cloud Workstations Take Center Stage!
“Workspot-provisioned workstations on top of Azure are able to provide the same experience, and more often a better experience than we get locally, because the data is in the cloud next to the workstation.” Workspot Workstation Cloud blew past the other solutions they had tested and exceeded all expectations. That’s why Andy plans to stop investing in physical workstations going forward; he’ll avoid the significant costs associated with replacing them every 3 years. “Seeing the simplicity of Workspot – I was totally blown away,” says Rebecca Yu, CAD Manager at Mead & Hunt. “It was the first time that we finally had something where we could use these sorts of tools and have them work flawlessly.” For Mead & Hunt users, Workspot changes everything. They are finally free to work remotely for the first time, whether at home, a hotel, at a customer site, or a project location.
Business Agility – Now Able to Reach a Global Audience
When you watch the videos and read the case study you’ll see that beyond their desire to accommodate a mobile work style for engineers, Mead & Hunt has specific corporate growth objectives that required a completely different approach to IT. With all the IT changes they tested and validated over the years, including the recent Workspot implementation, their guiding principle was to prove business value. Through their persistence in seeking new technology that continually improves efficiency and collaboration, Mead & Hunt has achieved a new level of business agility that enables them to pursue projects anywhere in the world.