Access Your Desktop Anywhere with Alibaba Cloud EDS

In this article, we are going to learn how to access your desktop anywhere with Alibaba Cloud EDS. You can download the PDF version here.

As part of the Alibaba Cloud Community Day, Roopu Cloud was invited to participate, and Pablo Puig delivered a webinar talking about how to access your desktop anywhere with Alibaba Cloud EDS.


This is the outline for this article. The objective is to cover everything you need to know about the Alibaba Cloud Elastic Desktop Service or EDS.

1. What are Remote Desktops and why do you need them?

2. How Do Remote Desktops Work?

3. What Can Remote Desktops Offer You?

4. What is Elastic Desktop Service (EDS)?

5. EDS Architecture

6. What are the Features of EDS?

7. What are the Benefits of EDS?

8. What are the Common Use Cases?

9. How much does EDS cost?

1. What are Remote Desktops and why do you need them?

In the past, if you wanted staff to work remotely, they would need to use a VPN to get access to corporate data and applications. The risk is that when businesses open up their network to employees using VPNs, company files can be leaked from company file shares to personal desktops. That is a big GDPR problem. You don’t know exactly where your data is being saved and stored – it’s out of your control.

It is important to prevent data leakage to uncontrolled personal desktops that are not managed, or that don’t have the appropriate security in place such as anti-virus software, web filtering, and encryption. Without the ability to manage the user’s endpoints, the risk increases of suffering a data breach or ransomware and virus threats. You need a way of keeping data within the secure confines of your corporate network.

Remote desktops replace the need for VPNs. They enable easy, secure remote working from any device. With remote desktops, you log in and authenticate with your corporate account to access business systems and data from anywhere, anytime – securely.

Common reasons why organizations start to use remote desktops are the following:

  • Their resources are struggling to cope with higher demand due to rapid growth or acquisitions
  • They want improved security and compliance
  • They have specialised workloads they want secure, reliable access to from anywhere
  • They want to improve business continuity and enable flexible working

2. How Do Remote Desktops Work?

If you’re working from home on your personal desktop, once you’ve logged into the remote desktop, all business data and applications become completely separate from your personal data. It’s a secure desktop. You’re not sharing anything between your personal and corporate environments.

Any corporate policies that have been rolled out still apply in the remote desktop. You still have access to your usual applications. It’s just like walking into the office, booting up your work PC, and away you go. Except you don’t need the hardware. We can add extra layers of security too, like multi-factor authentication (MFA) where a user is only granted access by presenting two or more evidence.

3. What Can Remote Desktops Offer You?

Secure remote access to the right applications that people need, from anywhere, at any time.

Instead of a company having to go out and buy laptops, business owners can tell staff they can use their own devices. They can very quickly and easily create a secure environment for users.

You also only pay for what you use. If you have users or a business process that requires advanced computing resources, for example, dedicated graphics or high-performance computing, you can provide these in a separate host pool. That way, you only pay for the compute time that you consume. You no longer need to purchase expensive hardware because you’re essentially renting on demand.

Remote desktops are particularly useful for heavily regulated industries like financial services or the public sector because it’s a very controlled environment. You can apply a lot of policies and ensure you have the appropriate security in place like anti-virus software, web filtering, and data encryption.

4. What is Elastic Desktop Service (EDS)?

Elastic Desktop Service (EDS) is an efficient, secure, and easy-to-use cloud-based remote desktop solution provided by Alibaba Cloud. As Alibaba Cloud states, EDS is a managed, Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution, that helps to quickly create and manage cloud desktops to provide a secure and flexible office system. In other words, it enables you to access your desktop anytime anywhere. You can use EDS to provision either Windows or Linux desktops.

5. EDS Architecture

EDS users are classified into the following types based on responsibilities and requirements:

  • Administrators: They can manage cloud desktops in a centralized manner. For example, administrators can manage workspaces, desktops, policies, images, networks, and storage.
  • Regular users: They can use the EDS client to connect to cloud desktops.

The following figure shows the architecture of EDS:

6. What are the Features of EDS?

Elastic Desktop Service(EDS) provides the following features:

  • Efficient and cost-effective management
    • Allows you to centrally manage cloud desktops
    • Provides CPU- and GPU-based specifications and you can create cloud desktops as needed
  • Secure and reliable data
  • Secure and convenient access
    • Allows you to connect to cloud desktops over the Internet and internal networks or by using dedicated lines.
    • Uses security gateways to implement network isolation and ensure secure access.
    • Allows you to access cloud desktops anytime, anywhere by using the EDS client installed in operating systems such as Windows and macOS.
    • Supports USB redirection. You can connect peripherals such as USB flash drives and printers to cloud desktops.
  • Integration with AD systems of enterprises
  • Integration with cloud services

7. What are the Benefits of EDS?

Simplify desktop delivery: EDS is used to provision either Windows or Linux desktops in just a few minutes and quickly scale to provide thousands of desktops to workers across the globe.

Cost-efficient: You are charged on a pay-as-you-go basis, just for the Desktops you launch, which helps you save money when compared to traditional desktops and on-premises VDI solutions.

Security: EDS is deployed within a VPC and integrated with Resource Access Management (RAM) and Active Directory (AD) for secure account management. No user data is stored on the local device. This helps improve the security of user data and reduces your overall risk surface area.

Global available: EDS is available in all Alibaba Cloud regions, including China, EU, and the US, and provides access to high-performance cloud desktops wherever your teams get work done. 

Centralized management: You can manage a global deployment of many thousands of desktops from the Alibaba Cloud console. And you can rapidly provision and de-provision desktops as the needs of your workforce change.

Ease of use: EDS helps to eliminate the complexity in managing hardware inventory, OS versions and patches, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), which helps simplify the desktop delivery strategy.

8. What are the common use cases?

Use case 1: Provide cloud desktops for remote employees

The rapid growth of remote workers is placing pressure on IT to provide fast, easy access to corporate applications and data from remote. EDS helps remote employees access the applications users need by delivering a cloud desktop accessible anywhere with an internet connection using any supported device.

Use Case 2: Provide cloud desktops for multi-branch collaborations

You can remotely connect to office desktops over the Internet to easily manage desktops from different branches distributed across regions. EDS allows you to connect to multiple AD systems. This meets the IT management requirements of large enterprises and improves collaboration efficiency.

9. How much does EDS cost?

When you use EDS, you are charged for the following resources:

  • Cloud desktop resources: When you use a cloud desktop, you are charged for computing resources (vCPUs, memory, and vGPUs) and storage resources (system disks and data disks). Cloud desktops support the subscription and pay-as-you-go billing methods.
  • AD connectors: If you want to connect EDS to the Active Directory (AD) systems of enterprises, you are charged for AD connectors when you create workspaces. AD connectors use the pay-as-you-go billing method and are billed based on the unit price and usage duration.
  • Public bandwidth: If your cloud desktops require Internet access, you must enable the Internet access feature for the workspace within which your cloud desktops reside. You are charged for the public bandwidth on a pay-by-traffic or pay-by-bandwidth basis.
  • Shared storage: If you want to share files among cloud desktops in the same workspace, you must create an Apsara File Storage NAS (NAS) file system for the workspace. You are charged for the NAS file system based on the amount of used storage.

There is currently also an offer provided by Alibaba Cloud only available for first-time users and only valid on one desktop. New Alibaba Cloud users can get a cloud desktop with up to 4 cores and 8GB of memory for only $0.1 for the first week.

In my opinion, this is a good opportunity to test this service and determine whether it meets all your requirements and expectations!

About Roopu Cloud

If you have any questions or concerns about Alibaba Cloud, you can contact us. We are experts in building and implementing cloud solutions in the Alibaba Cloud platform as well as in other Chinese cloud platforms. Let us help you!

Other related posts:

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top