Frame lands $16M round to deliver virtual desktops from the cloud


Employees at Adobe Systems Inc., Siemens AG and Autodesk Inc. don’t depend on any one device for their work.

Instead, they use cloud-based virtual desktops provided by their companies with the help of Frame Inc., a five-year-old startup that secured $16 million in funding on Wednesday. The financing came courtesy of Bain Capital Ventures, Microsoft Ventures, CNTP and In-Q-Tel, a fund associated with the U.S. intelligence community.

Their investment will help Frame generate more demand for its namesake desktop virtualization offering. The platform lets organizations set up device-agnostic workplaces for their employees with less effort than what traditional on-premise alternatives require. Readymade integrations provide the ability to easily connect with outside security and file storage tools, while an administrative console enables operational staff to quickly spin up new instances.

Frame makes it possible to deploy a virtual desktop in one of several dozen cloud data centers operated by Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Corp., the two leaders of the infrastructure-service market. According to the startup, this feature helps companies avoid becoming locked into any one particular platform. If a firm that normally uses Azure wants to take advantage of a new AWS data center in a region where Microsoft does not yet have a presence, they could do so without making any major configuration changes.

Frame provides a set of programming interfaces to help companies identify the most suitable infrastructure option. They enable developers to compare performance and other key metrics using relatively simple commands, while doubling as a means of connecting the startup’s platform with systems not supported out of the box.

One of the main uses for the latter feature is aggregating data into a back-end system for analysis. According to Frame, companies can track most of everything from how many virtual desktops are running at a given time to the amount of hardware resources they consume.

The startup will need to keep adding such as value-added features if it wants to keep up with the other players in the cloud-based desktop virtualization segment. One of them is Amazon, which joined the fray in 2014 with a service called WorkSpaces. Citrix Systems Inc. followed suit last year by launching a managed version of its popular on-premise desktop virtualization software.

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