Overview: Leostream Cloud Desktops
Leostream Cloud Desktops offers users a full personal-desktop-computer experience that is accessible on most modern browsers on any platform. Providing Virtual Desktop Infrastructure/Interface (VDI) for businesses, it is easily accessible and has no problems that plague traditional hardware platforms. The product is primarily focused on delivering scalable cloud-computing solutions to businesses. Leostream, a company started in 2002, is better known for connection brokering services. The Cloud Desktops is the newest addition of the company.
The Cloud Desktop is very easy to set up. There is a free trial period that does not require a user to enter credit card details, which is a great way to test the service risk-free. Note, however, that the service does not allow subscribers that sign up using public e-mail providers like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail etc.
Once in, the user will immediately notice the minimalist interface. As of the time of writing, the tabs present are: Desktops, to manage the desktop set up under the account; Events, a log of user and system actions; Images, an interface for managing operating systems and locations; and Account, for account management. There are no complicated options and there is supporting documentation to explain the account further. The speed of the system is dependent on Amazon EC servers. A number of factors may also affect the quality of user interaction, such as local Internet speed, method of connection, and desktop-size subscription.
Connecting to the Cloud Desktop is relatively easy. Leostream provides various options for connection. The best way to access the Cloud Desktop is to use the native Windows client. Other options include an iOS application, RDP clients, and modern browsers. The browser connection experience is not stable enough for a production environment that relies heavily on Internet usage.
The plans offered range from $20 to $160 a month. The main differences between the plans are the memory capacity, storage, and options for an always-on desktop. Memory ranges from 516 MB to 3.75 GB. There are two options for storage, 20 GB and 30 GB. This is substantial for a cloud desktop environment.
The default virtual desktop OS is Windows Server 2008 Edition. According to the documentation, the user can create and install custom images on the cloud desktops. The process of installing applications on the remote desktop is standard and no issues were encountered during testing. The limitation of application compatibility is dependent on the OS of the remote machine.
During the course of testing, there are times when the system becomes unresponsive and errors would come up. The cloud desktop Internet connection is fast, but can get intermittent at times.
- Multiple client support
- Remote desktop protocol clients
- Modern HTML5 browsers
- Native windows client
- iOS app
- Scalable desktop environments
- Desktop size subscription options
- Adjust memory and storage based on subscription
- Custom desktop images
- Create Standardized Desktop Images
- Third-Party application support
Leostream Cloud Desktops is very easily to manage and use. The Internet connection of the remote machine gets disconnected intermittently and may not be suited for a production environment that relies heavily on Internet usage. The system is responsive using the native client and RDP connections. Browser connections should be used as a fallback connection and not for primary usage. The reliance on a cloud environment may be limited, but there are solutions like third-party backups, if needed.
Overall, the service is a viable option for companies that need virtual desktops without the hardware constraints.
By Jason Yung
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