How next-generation remote desktops are giving power users more flexibility [Q&A]

Driven by the pandemic, telecommuting has become normalized in many offices. But while it works for many tasks, it is not that useful for advanced users.

Think of architects, 3D developers, game developers, and designers who rely on high-powered computing to get their work done. They can’t easily take home a $ 50,000 workstation to do their work.

We spoke with Benjy Boxer, CEO of the remote desktop company Parsec, to find out how next-generation remote desktops can solve this problem and allow almost anyone to work remotely.

BN: Remote desktop technologies have been around for a long time for low-computing applications. What’s the challenge for power users or people who must have access to high-powered workstations?

BB: Yes, remote desktop technologies have been around for a long time, remember the days of Microsoft Virtual PC? – but they were designed to serve the widest possible uses, primarily for low-compute applications. Think about basic office functions like accessing files remotely and operating software like Microsoft Word. This was the consumer wave of remote desktop use.

Over time, large service organizations began to use remote desktop technologies to remotely troubleshoot customer computers remotely. In both scenarios described above, these extensive remote desktop utilities worked fine.

Where the traditional remote desktop falls short is in replicating the experience of working on a high-performance workstation. The moment input latency or video fluency becomes an essential part of a job, the remote desktop breaks down. This is especially important for professionals in creative fields (game developers, architects, 3D designers, etc.) whose jobs depend on interactive 3D applications running on high-powered workstations.

The fact is, as much as these creatives would like to have computational power at home, it is simply not practical, nor is it economically feasible for employers because hardware of this caliber can run into the tens of thousands of dollars when considered. the main computer, peripherals, external hard drives, etc.

Now meeting the needs of a creative professional is great, but things get even more complicated when collaborative tasks are included in the mix. In an office, reviewing a final rendering or matching an engineering project is as simple as walking to the workstation and sitting around it together. But the traditional remote desktop has lacked smooth collaboration functionality. It just wasn’t designed for that.

The market has traditionally lacked a remote desktop solution that has the performance these creative professionals need, as well as the controls, automation, and security capabilities for IT to confidently deploy these technologies across the enterprise. And without that, it is impossible to adequately serve the high performance computing needs of the average business. And if these people who need access to their high-performance computer can’t do that work from anywhere, they are trapped, tied to their desks, watching their colleagues have the freedom to work from anywhere. Having a remote desktop available for the high-performance creative class gives them freedom and flexibility while diversifying where a company can hire.

BN: How has COVID impacted the lives of these advanced users?

BB: Today, many employees feel liberated by the urge to work from home; creative professionals are no exception. In fact, many claim that working from home inspires greater productivity and creativity. Interestingly, we carry out a study last year which found that 78 percent of our game developer clients and 92 percent of our animation and computer graphics clients were happier working from home.

For many of these professionals, the pandemic was their first real experience working from home. And now they want it all the time.

Across all industries, we see distributed work becoming a basic expectation of any job search. If companies don’t meet that demand, the best talent will look elsewhere. And these creatives are no exception.

Working from home, or by the beach in Thailand, felt like freedom for many of these professionals, but reality set in when they had to rely on consumer computers. Just think of a game developer running a game engine on a low-end PC. Sure, it will run, but lag, low resolution, and uneven mouse or gamepad control would greatly hamper the developer’s ability to do their job at peak performance.

BN: How have the needs of IT teams changed as they work to support these users? What are some of your unique challenges?

BB: The pandemic hit her hard. An already overwhelmed and understaffed group found themselves underwater at the height of COVID-19, struggling to keep employees productive remotely, while keeping company assets safe.

Pre-pandemic, our focus was on consumer games, but once we all drifted away, the demand on the business side from industries like television production, CGI design, architecture, 3D design, etc., started. to flow. That’s when we launched ‘Parsec for Teams’, but it still couldn’t scale for large enterprise use.

We started hearing feedback from our clients’ CIOs and IT departments that they needed greater security and more controls to provision and manage the virtual cloud and physical workstations from anywhere, so that they could scale the solution to their needs. great work force.

To give you an interesting example, in the last year, we’ve powered two major gaming events: Ubisoft Forward and TriBeCa Games. These companies used Parsec to offer remote demonstrations, making their events accessible to attendees who couldn’t be there in person. The keyword here is accessibility.

Low latency aside, these companies chose us because we could scale for any size of deployment, which is critical for large game releases. Our Parsec for Teams API offers granular controls, automation and integration capabilities to allow mass access to demos, making these massive deployments possible.

BN: There are some interesting trends that cross like ‘The metaverse’. What is the future there and what will play a role in its creation?

BB: It’s impossible to guess what ‘The Metaverse’ will actually look like. It will not be created by a single company, but will be the result of thousands upon thousands of creators contributing to interactive 3D projects that are just ideas right now.

Our role in the metaverse is simple: empower creators to actually build those worlds. Take advantage of next-generation technologies like AR and VR to truly merge the online with the physical. It’s about offering more 3D content, which requires a lot of computing resources. But making the Metaverse a reality will require more 3D assets, delivered in real time. This is where we come in. We connect the creators who build these projects on the lowest latency technology out there. Parsec allows you to build these new 3D worlds from anywhere.

And this idea of ​​The Metaverse extends far beyond games; 3D environments have made their way into other sectors such as engineering, retail, construction, manufacturing, etc. This is where all industries are heading. This is a job that is happening now, and we are incredibly excited to be at the intersection of it.

Image Credit: HayDimitry/

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