Skip to content

6.5. Workstations

What is a cloud workstation?

A cloud workstation is a virtual computing environment hosted on remote servers, providing users with access to powerful computing resources over the internet. These virtual workstations typically include all necessary software and hardware capabilities required for specific tasks, which are maintained by the cloud provider. Users can access these resources from any device capable of connecting to the internet, ensuring flexibility and mobility.

Why should you use cloud workstations?

  • Improved Security: Cloud workstations benefit from the robust security measures implemented by cloud providers, which include data encryption, application firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and regular security audits.
  • Start in Minutes: Cloud workstations can be provisioned rapidly, often within minutes. This quick deployment allows users to bypass the lengthy installations and configurations typically required for local setups.
  • Share Common Setup: Cloud workstations enables teams to share a common development environment, ensuring consistency across all team members' setups. This homogeneity avoids the pitfalls of environment-specific issues and reduces the need for individual support.
  • Improved Collaboration: Cloud workstations enhance collaboration among team members by allowing multiple users to access and work on the same environment simultaneously. This feature is particularly useful for remote teams, making it easier to share progress, troubleshoot issues, and pair program in real-time.
  • Provide More Hardware Choice: Cloud providers typically offer a range of hardware configurations that users can choose from, according to their specific needs. This flexibility allows users to scale their resources up or down based on the project's demands without the need for physical hardware upgrades is particularly useful for MLOps.

Compared to local systems, cloud workstations offer greater scalability, reliability, and accessibility. They eliminate the need for upfront hardware investments and reduce the ongoing maintenance and upgrading costs. Moreover, they can provide access to high-performance computing resources that might not be feasible or cost-effective to maintain locally.

Which platforms should you use for cloud workstations?

Several platforms offer robust cloud workstation services:

  • GitHub Codespaces: Ideal for developers, it provides a complete dev environment within GitHub that can run in your browser or integrate with Visual Studio Code.
  • Cloud Workstation (GCP): Offers customizable compute instances that can be tailored for high-performance environments.
  • Amazon WorkSpaces (AWS): Provides a broad range of cloud computing options that can be optimized for different workloads, from lightweight tasks to compute-intensive applications.

How can you edit code together using cloud workstations?

Collaborative coding in cloud workstations can be enhanced through various extensions and tools. For instance,Visual Studio Code Live Share allows real-time collaboration, letting participants from different locations edit and debug code together.

Workstation additional resources