Traditional desktop sales began to decline four years ago, as shown in a business report by CBS News on Dell's trading figures for 2012. The report pointed out a clear reduction in PC shipments while server sales were up 18%. This fact alone shows that the market was moving away from "traditional" PC-based systems. The reason was obvious: the rise of tablets.
Decline in workstation sales
But this rise of tablets alone does not explain why power users are now curtailing their use of traditional workstations. Tablets cannot deliver the hardware graphics acceleration needed for GPU-hungry applications, such as CAD, so this does not truly reflect the cause of this market shift. A 2016 report carried out by Jon Peddie Research further confirmed this trend. It shows consecutive decline of 12% which translates to a 1% year-on-year drop for both workstations and professional GPU systems.
Desktops and Workstations are replaced by Cloud-based Desktops and Workstations
Heavy-duty virtual desktops
So a reason for this steady decline can also be found in the increasing use of cloud-based technologies, such as GPU-accelerated DaaS -- for both everyday and heavy GPU environments. This trend will continue to increase as workstations from the cloud, including GPU acceleration, become more powerful than the PC-based technology that you and I use day-to-day. Originated with vdi solutions, the cloud now offers clear benefits over traditional work centre-based systems:
- Avoid expensive software and hardware upgrades - as you access all your software centrally and on demand from the cloud, you reduce the need for CAPEX funding for rising hardware costs associated with software updates.
- Ride the peaks and troughs of demand - large projects will often increase your demand for IT services and tie up more capital. Once a project is complete, expensive hardware can lie idle and unproductive. With GDaaS, you can buy as much vGPU time as you need, and access this resource via simple workstations, which reduces the overall cost of the project. You can also extend the lifecycle of your older workstations beyond five years or more. By accessing remote GPU resources, you dramatically reduce the need for new CAPEX spending every 2 or 3 years.
- Enhance Mobility - not all work takes place in the office. It is often necessary to make GPU power available to mobile users. In the past, this meant carrying around heavy and expensive laptops with associated risks of damage and data loss. Cloud workstations have changed this, as all the processing is now carried out remotely. Data and high-level graphic content can be accessed and manipulated on a tablet or any other simple device. This provides a financial advantage, and reduces the risks that come with mobile hardware usage.
- Make it Easy on Your Staff - on large projects, you may need to bring in temporary staff who will need IT access. A complete cloud-based system lets you offer BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) options. Not only does this reduce your capital investment, but it also allows your team to choose their preferred tools for accessing data.
- Protect the Environment - Cloud workstations operate remotely and require very little hardware at the user node. This reduces the amount of dangerous chemicals and metals that will eventually need to be re-processed. Less power is consumed per user, which reduces your company's energy footprint.
Advantage for the end-user is that he/she can now work anywhere on any device, without compromising in graphics and computing power.
The economy of sharing
You have already seen the advantages of sharing cars and hotel rooms, so sharing CPU and GPU processing power is the next logical step. You can do this via cloud platforms that deliver your IT and computing resources, which is more cost effective and reliable. You also benefit from the ability to select a range of resources -- from a simple virtual desktop with a touch of NVIDIA GRID GPU to a full-blown, on- demand CAD suite. It is quite simply your choice.
We firmly believe that the future of IT lies in cloud-based workstations that will eventually replace the more traditional office-based systems. Factual data shows that this is already happening, and we see no reason why this should change.
Technology company Cloudalize gives you the opportunity to test this ground-breaking technology via a free trial. Click below to request a free trial.