back to article DaaS-appearing trick: Netflix teases desktops-as-a-service product

Netflix has teased a desktop-as-service (DaaS) offering. It’s not, repeat not, a sign that Netflix has any ambitions to challenge Microsoft, Citrix, Teradici, Virtuozzo or VMware as a mainstream provider of virtual desktops. The Register offers that analysis because Netflix’s announcement of the service names it “NetFX” and …

  1. Dave 126 Silver badge

    There was an interesting Reg article a while back about the storage and network systems used by one of the many VFX houses that worked on Game of Thrones. If someone could dig out the link, it might make an interesting to juxtapose it against Netflick's Virtual Desktop service.

    My main takeaway from the older Reg article was that many productions use several VFX houses spread around the globe - either because of the scale of production or because different VFX houses have different strengths - and a lot of data needs to be shared between them.

  2. ThatOne Silver badge

    FX-workstation-as-a-service would be more fitting I guess

    > While it is possible to remotely access such machines, the experience of doing so is seldom sufficient for animators.

    It's a "weakest link" problem, and in this case there are three links: The real workstation on which the work resides, the network connection, and the local computer in front of which the user sits.

    Now the only part the Netflix system might be able to really improve upon is the network connection, and then only parts of it (it doesn't control the network all the way to the user's local computer). That's really not much, definitely not worth wasting money for.

    Which means that this offer's sole interest is in its collaboration features, where anybody anywhere can just log in and work with you without some overworked sysadmin having to set up temporary accounts, firewall rules and all that, and also the possibility to set up new workstations more or less instantly when hiring temps. Nothing to do with Covid-19 and remote working (except for the happy few who have fiber to the premises).

    1. matjaggard

      Re: FX-workstation-as-a-service would be more fitting I guess

      I disagree, the software makes a massive difference - probably more than each of the others alone once you're beyond a certain baseline. I've just tried video editing over RDP, TeamViewer and Parsec Gaming. The latter is great once each view has loaded but awful for a few moments after you switch to a file manager. Works well for video editing though if you can stay in one application most of the time, latency is tiny.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: FX-workstation-as-a-service would be more fitting I guess

        > I disagree, the software makes a massive difference

        Sorry, I missed your point. Software is indeed important, but anybody can buy/rent whatever software included in the Netflix offer. Why rent it through Netflix?

        Where that Netflix offer really shines, the thing which would save a company lots of money and hassle, is flexibility, adding/removing temp people for a project's time. Those companies grow and shrink constantly, IT has to follow somehow, and Netflix's offer seems to make this simple and painless.

  3. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo
    Paris Hilton

    So Netflix is granting some of its customers (on the content production side) access to high-end workstations?

    How is this different from a simple remote session?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      > How is this different from a simple remote session?

      Flexibility. As I said some post higher up, this offer has clearly nothing to do with Covid-19, it's simply a FX-workstation-as-a-service offer, and its selling points are the same as for all DaaS offers, but aimed to an industry which is especially changing and unpredictable: FX companies can double in size while working for a big contract (some blockbuster movie), and they never know beforehand what they'll need, as the director can (and will) change his/her mind at any time.

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