Hosted VDI or virtual desktops for individuals: Any suggestions?

I’m still hunting for a virtual desktop solution for me, personally.

I really would like an instance of Windows sitting in the cloud that I can access whenever I want. I’d ideally like it to include Microsoft Office and I plan on sticking DropBox, Box, Evernote and a whole load of other systems on it. Oh, probably LogMeIn as well, so I can easily access it from anywhere without having to have an RDP (“remote desktop”) client installed.

I’ve been looking at this area for sometime. Back in December I posted about Desktop as a Service (“DaaS”) and then followed up in January asking for more suggestions. I’ve tested out Desktone and CyberLink ASP. Both are excellent. Both aren’t really geared to sell to an individual or a small SME (say 3-4 users).

Do you think there will come a time when we’ll see desktop as a service delivered for individuals?

Or will it be quicker to simply buy a dedicated server and configure it myself?

That’s what I’ve done so far. Yesterday, I ‘spun’ up a cloud server on my Rackspace account running Windows Server 2008. It was live in about 10 minutes. I logged in via RDP and installed everything I needed. It’s brilliant. Only it’s £0.16 per hour, plus bandwidth. That’s £3.84 per day or £115.20 per month. Not too bad but you need to allow a few pounds for bandwidth as well. That compares to a configuration I searched from Serverbeach (1x Xeon 2.66 Ghz Quad-Core server, 250gb hard disk, Windows 2008 Server, 2TB bandwidth, physically located in Portsmouth UK, only £136/month).

Is the sad reality that I’m better of doing it all myself with the likes of ServerBeach (or Rackspace Cloud as I am at the moment)? 1and1 will give me a Windows 2008 Business server with 2GB of RAM, 250GB hard disk and Dual Core AMD for £48.99/month. That’s cheap!

There are some promising movements in the market. Nivio is looking smart. I’ve had an initial play with that. CloudOn is absolutely brilliant when you want to edit an Office document on your iPad using Excel/Word/PowerPoint.

As a geek, I want just a little bit more though.

I think at the moment I should probably just buy a dedicated server!

What do you reckon?

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