From Emergency Access to Usable Systems and Productive Home Workers
We are currently seeing unprecedented, enterprise wide, deployments of virtual desktops- as organizations seek to rapidly enable their workforce to work from home. This was a logical reaction to ensure basic business continuity, but it is quickly becoming apparent that businesses require more than basic functionality to maintain operations and usability in the medium term.
Corporate VDI issues
Virtual Machine and Server farms for VDI platforms often number in tens, sometimes in the hundreds for larger corporates to support the workload of their numerous user bases. Corporate LAN’s where VDI platforms are in use are always chewed up with hundreds and sometimes thousands of video feeds all running down to desktops and thin clients.
In response to Covid-19, corporates very quickly brought up every rack mountable server, every cloud available bare metal and hydratable resource to ramp up their virtual desktop infrastructure. On top of this, corporations have spent vast sums increasing their corporate bandwidth. The assumption being that all of this data will travel just as happily over public infrastructure as it does on largely gigabyte, high speed LAN’s. Unfortunately, the maths just runs out. With so many remote WAN video connections to the corporate network, network infrastructure like switches and routers are just starting to buckle. So we throw more cash at that- Cisco and Broadband providers have never had it so good. That doesn’t remove the fact that every organisation is trying to do the same thing and ultimately, bandwidth is finite.
Home User VDI issues
Essentially streaming an interactive video feed into someone’s home is also running into another issue. Covid-19 means everyone is at home competing for online services, so everyone wants a piece of the home bandwidth. Partners are also working remotely, the kids are at home playing online video games or watching online videos from YouTube, Netflix, Apple and Amazon.
What is worse, everyone in the street is doing the same thing. As such contention ratios at broadband providers are choking. As a result, the remote user experience is at best intermittent and worst unusable.
Flynet has had hundreds of calls from VDI users in the last few weeks, who in competition for bandwidth, are experiencing vast number of dropped connections to their corporate services, mainframe, iSeries, Unix based ERP or core business system.
What can Flynet do to help?
Flynet can enable you to safely remove a significant proportion of your business-critical application traffic from the virtual desktop payload- that is the terminal emulator that connects to your corporate mainframe, iSeries of Unix systems.
These critical business systems can often be the most frequently used desktop application. High usage on these systems is crippling VDI servers at the moment and driving the demand for huge VDI server farms. In addition, removing the desktop emulator from the VDI payload can also dramatically reduce VDI (Citrix or DaaS) licensing.
There is also massive benefit to the network and the user. Flynet’s secure, pure HTML emulator uses just HTML traffic to deliver data to the client, dramatically reducing the bandwidth needed at the corporate and local user level. On top of this we put our data on a diet only sending data that changes. Resulting in the Flynet connections being less than 1% of the original terminal connection feed and less than 0.1% compared to the video feed of a Citrix/ DaaS solution.
This allows users to operate efficiently in their home environments. Productivity should not be underestimated. Home working needs to be practical and at a time when there is so much competition for bandwidth and time, as all spheres of our lives are brought crashing together, we need to enable our users to get online and efficiently complete their tasks without disrupting their households or communities.
Corporate system owners have rallied like never before in the last few weeks reacting to Covid-19, this is a triumph. Now we are moving into the new, hopefully temporary, BAU. With that in mind let’s look at the architecture of the quickly strung together solution and make it more usable and more sustainable.