06: Virtual Desktops & Telecommuting | PRG Technology Solutions | Real Technology. Real Solutions.

06: Virtual Desktops & Telecommuting

Pay close attention to what you are about to read, because the way we all work on our computers is about to change.

For the past 20 years, organizations have equipped their employees with dedicated computing resources (i.e. desktop and laptop computers), which were expensive, difficult to maintain and which would rapidly become obsolete. Those days are quickly coming to an END.


With the global proliferation of cloud computing, more and more organizations are shifting their compute resources to “the cloud”. What does this mean to YOUR ORGANIZATION? It means that you can provide your employees with the latest user technology, STOP spending huge amounts of technology capital every few years to update your aging hardware and START managing your technology with a monthly, per-user operational cost model.

In a partnership with such companies as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Hewlett Packard (HP), LG, Samsung BusinessNCS Technologies, ClearCube Technology, iocorp and 10ZiG Technology, we have created an Enhanced Virtual Desktop (EVD) program that allows you to replace aging desktop and laptop computers with Zero Client Devices that connect to virtual desktops inside Amazon WorkSpaces. As a result, your employees can experience an Enhanced Virtual Desktop via their Zero Client Device, or from any device (PC, Mac, iPad, Android Tablet, or Kindle Fire HD), anytime and anywhere.

What Is “Enhanced Virtual Desktop”?

Enhanced Virtual Desktop (EVD) combines:

The powerful Amazon WorkSpaces Desktop-as-a-Service platform
Zero Client Devices that enhance the virtual desktop user experience
Monthly operational cost model

Enhanced Virtual Desktop (EVD) videos:

Amazon WorkSpaces Virtual Desktop
Amazon WorkSpaces
Virtual Desktop
PCoIP Zero Clients on Amazon WorkSpaces
PCoIP Zero Client Devices
for Amazon WorkSpaces

Features of “Zero Client Devices”

Stripped-down device with Zero operating system
Hardware accelerated PCoIP technology for a dramatically enhanced user experience
Ultra-simplified installation and maintenance of the Zero Client hardware (truly Plug-and-Play)
No data exists on the Zero Client Device (only encrypted “pictures” are sent from the virtual PC to the local device)
Significantly improved data security since your data never passes through the local Zero Client device
256-bit encryption of the PCoIP stream between the cloud and your local Zero Client device
Instructions in flash memory boots the device to your Amazon WorkSpaces login screen
Low rate of hardware failure (no moving parts)
Low power usage makes this a “green” device
Many users can log in from a single hardware device to access their unique virtual desktop
Available in an All-in-One, laptop or standalone (requires a separate monitor) configuration

Telecommuting via Amazon VPN

The days of having to commute to and from work every day are rapidly coming to an end. Every year, there are more and more companies allowing at least some of their employees work remotely (from home). For these organizations, our Enhanced Virtual Desktop solution makes a great deal of sense. You can allow your remote employees to telecommute utilizing Amazon WorkSpaces and Zero Client Devices, without spending a lot on capital investments and without sacrificing security.

In some cases, your remote employees maybe only need email and web access, so standalone Amazon WorkSpaces will be sufficient to meet your requirements. However, in many cases, you will need your employees to have access to the company resources that reside on your “local” network. This can be accomplished via two secure approaches from Amazon Web Services (AWS).

For organizations with less than 10 employees utilizing Amazon WorkSpaces, we recommend implementing the AWS Virtual Private Gateway to connect your Amazon WorkSpaces with your local network (via the AWS Virtual Private Cloud). This solution allows you to utilize existing bandwidth and router(s) to establish a secure VPN connection (via IPSEC tunnels). It is important to emphasize that this solution requires 1-2Mbps of bandwidth (up/down) for each Amazon WorkSpace user, so you will need to budget your bandwidth accordingly.

For organizations with more than 10 employees utilizing Amazon WorkSpaces, we recommend implementing AWS Direct Connect to link your Amazon WorkSpaces with your local network (via the AWS Virtual Private Cloud). This solution requires that you have a private circuit from an approved AWS Direct Connect partner (e.g. Verizon, AT&T, Level 3 Communications, XO Communications) that connects your local network directly to the AWS cloud network. This solution requires additional cost, but provides a dedicated private VPN which is more efficient and more secure.

We typically recommend that our clients start with the AWS Virtual Private Gateway solution utilizing existing bandwidth and router(s), and then upgrade to the AWS Direct Connect solution once the number of Amazon WorkSpaces users justifies the additional expense.

Traditional VPN Model
Traditional VPN Model

AWS Model
AWS Model

Operational Vs. Capital Expenditures

Cloud-based “as-a-service” offerings are transforming how organizations consume technology
Large, up-front capital expenditures are being replaced by low, manageable, monthly operational costs
Amazon WorkSpaces provides a robust and secure virtual desktop solution, ranging from $25 to $60 per month
Zero Client hardware devices can replace aging desktop/laptop computers for as little as $10 per month