Pushing the boundaries of DaaS and VDI
Delivering security and performance in the mobility era is no small feat. How can an organisation ensure their virtual desktop users can experience optimum graphics and performance-intensive applications over a remote network or from the cloud? Miranex are aiming to answer that question. We spoke to Edward Green, Director at Miranex, to find out how that translates into business outcomes.
Why did you start Miranex?
There was a clear gap in the market for a product or service that delivers high demand, high specification, high performance computing instances as a service to end ‘Power Users’ of graphics-rich and complex software. We set out to design and deliver an enterprise-grade system built for speed and integrity to provide the end user with a superb performance which can be used on any device anywhere, over the Internet.
Are you pleased with the outcome?
Absolutely! Our system can compete with the very best out there thanks to the thorough design and latest technologies being implemented. Our CTO Wolfgang Pinkhardt who has over 20 years’ experience in VDI environments, was the architect of the system incorporating the latest network, compute and storage solutions.
Why is ‘Well-Being’ one of your company beliefs?
We believe a person’s productivity it directly related to their well-being. We created a DaaS service to give flexibility to people to work from any location. Remote working isn’t the solution for all workers in all companies, but we believe to have the ability to work from any location is a huge benefit. It helps people to work on the move, from home, and at customer locations, freeing up more time to enjoy personal pursuits and to help cope with life demands.
Why are customers considering Miranex HPC Cloud rather than AWS, Google or Azure?
Three main reasons. Firstly we can provide the managed service that our customers want. Dealing with the larger cloud solutions can be difficult to navigate through unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Miranex can provide input at an early stage to design the system correctly and provide the most cost effective solution and provide the ongoing support as required. We’re also able to design and host bespoke solutions for specific customer requirements.
Secondly is data security. We know exactly where the data is at all times, and it’s always in the UK. We can encrypt data end to end, and have resilient security procedures to ensure data is always recoverable. We’re also able to provide multi-factor authentication login which our competitors do now.
Thirdly is pricing. We’re a smaller company and therefore don’t have the overheads of giant cloud providers. Our price per core per hour is lower than those currently found on AWS and Azure.
We saw you’ve been identified as one of the UK Top 101 Tech Start-up Disrupters, what is this list and what does it mean for Miranex?
Yes, we were really pleased to get this recognition. This is an initiative created by BusinessCloud. We were delighted to make the list and it has really helped increase our profile and get exposure in some great tech circles, much like working with TechNative and Cloud28+.
How did you discover Cloud28+?
A colleague in our office building overheard some of our discussions and had previously written for Cloud28+: he suggested it would be an ideal place to be located as a specialist cloud service provider. Since then our exposure has increased significantly.
How important are b2b ecosystem like Cloud28+ in bringing together relevant/specialist solution providers to deliver a customer’s precise digital transformation needs?
It’s really important for us. Cloud28+ is a global community, so it allows us to find the specialist products and services that we may need in one convenient place. We can now be more confident to provide difficult solutions to clients because we know there will be someone on Cloud28+ who can support us in delivering a complex solution. Secondly, it’s unique: there is no other forum or community online that helps bring cloud service providers together in the way Cloud28+ does.
Coming back to your platform, why would a company choose DaaS over a more traditional on-prem VDI instalment?
Well the simplest benefit of DaaS is that the customer does not need to buy, own or maintain the IT equipment, which they would do if they had an on-premis solution. This means they can keep the cash in the bank rather than investing in IT equipment that depreciates to zero after 3 years (in the UK). This is ideal for SMEs and start-ups who don’t have the resource to make large investments in IT equipment.
Scalability – with DaaS you can request as much compute power as you need for as long as you need it, whether this is a few hours or a few months. With VDI you’re more likely to design a system that will satisfy demands for 5 years or so, meaning that you’re over-investing at the start of the project.
Upgrade and evolve – we upgrade our systems with the latest software and hardware meaning the customer does not need to worry about this and they get to enjoy the enterprise grade solutions for a fraction of the price.
Where do you see the demands and growth area for HPC?
Three main areas at the moment for Miranex.
1) Engineering CAD and CfD applications for design and simulation of complex machines and products. We are working with global brands to provide persistent workstations enabling their customers to access extra compute capacity when needed for particular projects.
2) Media video and post production. There is considerable growth in Virtual Reality at the moment and this is pushing the boundaries of filming resolutions meaning much larger file sizes; hence a larger amount of compute power being needed. Moving these operations to a HPC Cloud system means each media company does not need to build and maintain their own mini-AWS, and they can concentrate on their core business.
3) Deep Learning and AI. We’re working with a top UK University in designing and hosting a deep learning statistical analysis tool which would make massive waves in how images are searched on the Internet. Basing the pilot on the cloud at an early stage will enable scale and growth to be easily achieved in the future.