The best virtual desktop services enable IT administrators and other tech professionals to provision apps and virtual desktops to basically any device with an internet connection. Software and other programs are stored in the cloud, which means that you can access them from anywhere in a safe, secure manner.
Our Nutanix Frame review takes a close look at one of the world’s most popular virtual desktop services. We analyze the prices, usability, and extra features included with the service to help you decide whether or not you should use it.
Plans and pricing
If you do decide to go ahead with Nutanix Frame, there are three different subscription options to choose from. There are two user-based plans that enable a predefined list of registered users to access the system.
The most basic of these uses a pay-as-you-go price structure with monthly billing. Expect to pay $33 per user, per month, with a minimum of five users. Alternatively, sign up for a specified term. Three- to 60-month subscription options are available, and you can expect to pay around $24 per user, per month.
One thing to note here is that all term subscriptions have to be purchased through an authorized Nutanix Reseller. This includes the Max Concurrent User option, which basically enables you to provision a set number of virtual machines. Prices here start at $48 per month, with three- to 60-month terms available.
As an advanced desktop as a service (DaaS) provider, Nutanix Frame is backed by a suite of neat features. We’ve outlined a few of the most noteworthy below.
One thing that stands out about Nutanix is the fact that you can select from four different cloud networks to run your virtual desktop on. These include Google Cloud, AWS, Microsoft Azure, and the native Nutanix AHV platform.
The main advantage of running DaaS via a cloud network is that it enables you to access your virtual machine from anywhere with an internet connection. This is particularly useful if you need to use apps or access documents from different devices.
With Nutanix, you can access your virtual desktop directly from your browser. This means that there are no downloads required, making it a much simpler process. Any HTML-5-enabled browser should work, and popular options such as Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome are fully supported.
Finally, Nutanix Frame’s scalability stands out as excellent. The company claims that up to 10,000 users can be provisioned on a single account in less than an hour. We’ve seen nothing to suggest that this claim is incorrect, making it an attractive option for large businesses.
Interface and in use
To get started with Nutanix Frame, you can either sign up for a new plan or take advantage of the Test Drive feature to give it a try. The program is relatively easy to get started with when compared to some of its competitors, which is nice to see.
Once you’ve signed up, you will need to select which cloud infrastructure you want to use. Integrate an authentication app to ensure only authorized users can access your virtual machines, and then add your apps, files, and anything else you require. Select a delivery method, and then your virtual desktop will be accessible directly through your favorite web browser.
Nutanix offers a selection of support services, including 24/7/365 dedicated product support. These include 24/7 web and phone support, enabling the company’s technical team to help you with any issues that may arise. There’s also a Mission Critical Support program that’s designed for those who need their servers online at all times. This includes a range of advanced services, including a four-hour repair guarantee, but expect to pay extra on top of the standard subscription fee to access it.
Along with the various live support options, Nutanix offers various technical documents and self-help resources. These are largely designed to help you familiarize yourself with the program, but you will find plenty of troubleshooting guides as well.
Security concerns are one of the main reasons businesses use virtual desktop services such as Nutanix. Since your apps and data are stored in the cloud, you won’t have to worry about anyone accessing your devices and potentially stealing or compromising important data.
Instead, all files and user data are stored in secure data centers. They’re only accessed when you log in to a virtual machine, and all local data is deleted as soon as your session is finished. Different authentication methods can be integrated to prevent unauthorized access. You can also use techniques such as IP address whitelisting and two-factor authentication (2FA) to increase security further.
One of the most popular DaaS providers is Amazon WorkSpaces, which is backed by a range of attractive features and simple pay-by-the-hour pricing. Both Linux and Windows virtual machines can be created, and there’s even a simple free tier that includes up to 40 hours of access per month.
Another popular option is Citrix DaaS, which is suited to larger businesses with a mobile workforce. It’s available across Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices, and all data is fully encrypted and secure at all times. Note, though, that you will need to have at least 25 users to take advantage of this service.
As one of the more popular DaaS platforms, Nutanix Frame doesn’t disappoint. It’s a relatively beginner friendly option, enabling you to set up virtual desktops and machines in a streamlined, straightforward manner.
The user interface is attractive, your virtual machines can be accessed directly from your web browser, and there are flexible pricing options that enable scalability where required. At the end of the day, there’s a lot to like about Nutanix Frame, and we’d highly recommend testing it if you’re looking for an advanced DaaS solution.