Creating a virtual workstation

A virtual workstation is a cloud-based workstation that users can access from anywhere by using an internet connection. The concept of remote computing dates back to the 1960s with so-called dumb terminals. But a virtual workstation that's built using modern cloud infrastructure is a powerful, economical alternative to an expensive workstation at the user's desk.

With a virtual workstation, there is no capital expense. You can customize the size and power of the virtual workstation to the exact specifications required for a particular task. You only pay for the resources used, when they're used, and you're billed by the second.

You don't pay for electricity to power the workstation or for the HVAC to keep it cool. You also don't have to pay a staff of IT professionals to build physical workstations, upgrade motherboards, add RAM, or swap out disks; all of this is managed by Google Cloud.

Choosing a virtual workstation

When you create a virtual workstation, you can choose from resource configurations such as number and type of CPUs, amount of RAM, type and size of disk, and whether or not to attach GPUs. You can also choose your operating system, like Windows or Linux.

Your intended workload can help you determine how to build your virtual workstation. The following table lists options for creating a virtual workstation.

Task Tutorials Use cases
Creating a virtual workstation CentOS 7

Windows Server 2016
Workloads that don't require graphics, or have low graphics requirements. These workstations are useful for migrating legacy business applications to the cloud. The tutorials for this option use Teradici Cloud Access Software to stream the desktop to a client for viewing.
Creating a virtual GPU-accelerated workstation CentOS 7

Windows Server 2016
Workloads that include graphics-intensive applications that require hardware acceleration, high color accuracy, and support for external peripherals. The tutorials for this option use Teradici Cloud Access Software to stream the desktop to a client for viewing.

These workstations are used in industries such as media and entertainment, architecture, science, and manufacturing.
Setting up Chrome Remote Desktop Debian

Windows Server 2019
Workloads for users who need only a low-cost way to access a cloud workstation from a Chrome browser, or workloads where bandwidth or security limitations prevent the installation of third-party software.

Creating a virtual workstation using Google Cloud Marketplace

If you don't want to build your own virtual workstation using one of the tutorials listed earlier, you can use a preconfigured virtual workstation solution on Cloud Marketplace. These solutions offer a quick way to create a virtual workstation that have features like graphics drivers and remote desktop software already installed.

Solution Available deployments Details
NVIDIA Quadro Virtual Workstation Ubuntu 18.04

Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2019
Includes the latest NVIDIA Quadro-certified graphics driver for any GPU.
NVIDIA Gaming PC Ubuntu 18.04

Windows Server 2019
Includes the latest NVIDIA gaming graphics driver, limited to the NVIDIA T4 GPU.
Teradici Cloud Access Software (Graphics) CentOS 7

Windows Server 2016
Includes the latest NVIDIA GRID driver and Teradici Cloud Access Software.
itopia Cloud Automation Stack Windows Server 2016 & 2019 Automates the provisioning and deployment of Windows virtual workstations with cloud-native orchestration of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS).