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DAAS - Cloud Desktop

What is DAAS?

Desktop as a Service provides a useful solution that can bring greater flexibility, ease of administration and cost savings to organizations. Here are the three currently available DaaS providers compared.

Is it any wonder that enterprises keep searching for ways to reduce the need for IT to maintain fleets of complex, component-heavy PCs when there are ways to offload and centralize so much of their maintenance and expense? Traditional desktop infrastructure, while by no means dead, grows increasingly less appealing for environments in which local processing is unnecessary. Virtualization has become the new frontier, and Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is gaining ground in this space.

DaaS offers a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that is hosted by a third-party cloud service provider and is typically based on a monthly subscription fee model. DaaS utilizes a multi-tenancy architecture, which means that a single instance of an application is served to multiple users, referred to as "tenants." The service provider is responsible for managing the cloud and the underlying infrastructure, and the level of service can vary depending on company needs. Some companies may wish to have more control over their own security, for example.

The end result of this infrastructure is that users can access their data and applications from nearly any device, anywhere. It also provides increased data security, easier platform migration, improved disaster recovery, and new desktop provisioning in minutes instead of hours. DaaS also has the ability to help alleviate compliance issues and yield cost reductions for many organizations.

What types of organizations are right for DaaS?

DaaS is typically best for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). It most certainly makes sense for companies on the smaller end of the spectrum that require quality IT services but lack the need and finances for a full-time systems administrator. With an average entry-level cost of about $35 per user per month, some companies will see significant savings, particularly in a BYOD scenario.

Large VDI suppliers recently released the results of a survey answered by over 700 of their service providers revealing that 70 percent of their customers had fewer than 100 users, and 40 percent had less than 50. The results also showed that 22 percent of respondents reported providing DaaS services to larger companies, some of which had more than 1,000 users. If the results of this survey are to be taken as a snapshot of the industry, it seems clear that SMBs are currently the main drivers of sales, although companies such as VMware and Citrix are now touting more robust enterprise integration.

Other types of businesses that can benefit from this technology include startups, businesses with seasonal employees or high turnover, or firms with a large number of remote users. DaaS allows these types of businesses to easily scale up or scale down as needed. Another sector is cash-strapped companies running legacy operating systems like Windows XP. In order to avoid the immediate capital expenditure required to upgrade all of their PCs to run a current OS, they can serve Windows 7 or 8 from the cloud on their XP machines. Potential candidates can also include any organization that has a need to free up resources to focus on their core competencies.

Why not enterprise-level customers? "Larger customers can afford the overhead associated with standing VDI up, but smaller firms cannot. Therefore, they turn to cloud services as an alternative. 

There is also the issue of scalability. As the number of users increases, so does the complexity of IT needs. All of a sudden, you need more memory, faster processors, different applications for various departments, and so on. Furthermore, DaaS works best when service providers are nearby, which may not work as well when a company has multiple locations situated away from the service provider. Larger companies, even those in a single location, may find that their needs cause the cost of a DaaS solution to meet or even exceed an in-house solution.

Let Halo Communications Group assist in navigating the various providers in the marketplace.  Some of our partners include:

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