Cloud Computing/Hosted Desktops most forgotten advantage – one application update and everybody gets the update

How can cloud computing or hosted desktops allow one software install to affect all users? Read on.

Background

We were contacted by one of our resellers last week as he needed to apply a Sage patch for all his users (around 10) on his hosted Sage platform. Firstly he wanted to know how he could get the users to do this as they are not administrators – this is a security step we take for all our hosted applications and hosted desktop customers which reduces the risk to viruses and malware as the users can’t install anything on the remote desktop without contacting either us or their reseller who manage their server and applications. Secondly he was concerned that this would be time consuming installing the patch for all the users. At this point I was confused but after speaking to the reseller over the phone I then realised that he was missing something about the solution we offer.

The Solution

In a usual client server environment the PC’s have the Sage software installed (in the case above this would be 10) and the Sage data is saved on a server. To update all software would required each PC to be visited and the patch applied hence the reseller thought this would have to be done for all users on his cloud computing/hosted desktop. However this is NOT the case and something that we had overlooked as a massive selling point/advantage to customers that we just took for granted. In our hosted remote desktop/hosted terminal server environment there is only one copy of the executable (in this case Sage.exe) and once the patch is applied this is applied for every user on the system – the next  time a user launches the hosted cloud application they will get the application with the patch applied. So 10 users running Sage needs just one update on the system for everybody to get the fix. Something we took for granted but is a massive bonus for systems and applications that are patched/fixed on a regular basis.

Technical bit here – stop reading now if you aren’t interested in how it works!

Although there is only one copy of the application executable when we interrogate the system what we actually see on the server are multiple copies of the executable running under the name of each user on the system. E.g. user1/SBDDesktop.exe, user2/SBDDesktop.exe etc. So the system runs multiple copies of the application (in this case Sage) but there is only one copy of the application and associated DLL’s to update for the administrator of the system.

Hopefully this has explained one of the major advantages of our hosted applications and cloud computing desktop solution that we just take for granted.

Categories: Hosted Applications, Remote Desktop

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