Organizations today whether big or small are highly geared towards efficiency, cutting costs and advanced security. One of the solutions that is more than adequate to meet both these goals is Desktop as a Service (DaaS). This is also commonly referred to as Virtual Desktops (VD).
How DaaS Works?
The entire data and productivity applications of an organization will be stored at a single location. This is known as a Data Center and it is the preference of a company whether to maintain a data center in-house or outsource it from a Cloud Service Provider (CSP).
Each employee / user’s interface will be maintained at a central location. The PC or device used to access this data is merely acting as a via media. Further, all the productivity applications that the user requires are also stored over the data center. The user will access this virtual environment, execute work and save it over the cloud.
Diminishing Trend of In-House Deployment
When any organization is weighing its options, it generally opts in favor of an outsourced deployment that is provided by a specialized CSP. The basic functionality of DaaS remains the same, whether it’s an on premises solution or managed by a service provider.
Benefits of Desktop as a Service – DaaS
An organization can harness multi-dimensional benefits by employing a DaaS infrastructure. Let’s highlight a few compelling advantages of Desktop as a Service.
Saving Capital Expenditure (CapEx)
It is one of most important reasons that in-house DaaS solutions are becoming a thing of the past. Without a CSP based solution, a company has to bear massive capital expenditures to procure the requisite hardware. It includes high value items such as servers, routers and gateways etc.
I.T hardware has a very rapid pace of obsolescence, which makes it a bad investment over the mid to long term. In addition to buying costly hardware, the company has to maintain a small army of IT technicians and professionals to extract optimum performance from this architecture.
In the case of DaaS infrastructure, all the hardware is the sole responsibility of the CSP. This results in massive CapEx savings for the deploying organization. The same financial resources can be diverted to the core areas of business to achieve better results.
Reduced Operating Expenses (OpEx)
DaaS providers will charge an organization on the “pay as you use” model. This implies that at any point in time, a company will never be subjected to idle capacity charges. Each entity will commission only the VDs that are actually required by its workforce.
Ease of Access
As the desktop environment resides virtually over a data center, the user enjoys freedom over how to access the virtual desktop (VD). A user can login to the system via smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop PC. This ease of access makes DaaS a highly attractive cloud computing solution.
The true potential of utilizing multi device access can only be realized if the VD is compatible with different operating systems. For instance a user’s smartphone may run iOS while the tablet may run Microsoft Windows. A VD solution is highly versatile as it can be used with login devices running Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS and Android.
A user is totally liberated from the worry of whether the device being used to access the VD is running the same operating system as that of the VD itself. This versatility is unmatched by even the most powerful solutions, which highly depend on a certain environment to work.
Virtual Desktops (VD) can be created and decommissioned in a matter of few minutes. Today’s DaaS providers will give an intuitive user management interface to the cloud tenant. Using this interface, a master user can create and remove VDs within minutes.
When there is a seasonal spike in the demand for a company’s product or service, it can easily deploy additional VDs to meet that need. This will not involve any time and resource consuming CapEx. The company will be charged only the incremental usage fee for the additional virtual devices that were commissioned.
Similarly, when there is a slack in the demand, any additional DaaS units can be retired within a few minutes. If these were not virtual machines, the company would have found itself stuck with additional hardware that can neither be used productively, nor can it thrown away as the company has spent a fortune on that equipment.
From the standpoint of data security, a DaaS solution is much more feasible and manageable to secure. In a DaaS infrastructure, all the business critical data and applications reside at a central location, called data center. Access is granted to this critical data only after a user passes through authentication protocols.
Data centrality is also very helpful in case a device used to access the VD is lost or stolen. As no critical data is stored on the standalone device itself, it poses no threat of data breach. Even if the login device falls in the wrong hands, the unauthorized user is very unlikely to gain access to the VD as user authentication would fail.
Modern Business Needs
A DaaS solution can be seamlessly integrated with the business model of virtually any company. It is highly flexible, versatile and scalable at will. It carries the additional benefit of avoiding capital expenditures and synchronizing operating expenses with the changing business cycle.
Instead of giving rise to a new set of challenges for a business, a DaaS solution will immediately start acting as an enabler towards business goals. Lastly, the inherent flexibility and versatility of VDs make them very intuitive and popular among today’s tech savvy workforce.
Cloud Service Providers (CSP) fiercely compete for customers which are mostly organizations of different sizes. In this effort, each DaaS provider goes the extra mile to satisfy the evolving needs of various customers. At the heart of customer satisfaction lies a resilient and reliable service.
This is manifested in the form of a seamless user experience in which service downtimes are virtually none these days. System maintenance and upgrades are performed by CSPs in the background, without compromising the quality of service at the end user level.
In-Built Disaster Recovery
A business with non-DaaS architecture will not only invest heavily in its primary hardware, it will also have to commission a fully operational Disaster Recovery (DR) site. This will enable a business to continue its core operations, even in disruptive scenarios such as floods, earthquakes or storms.
Most CSPs that offer DaaS will also provide a very effective DR solution, for a fraction of the cost of setting up an exclusive DR site. This will give a business and its customers added peace of mind in the event of unexpected circumstances.
The productivity of an organization’s workforce is either lost or severely marginalized if its employees can’t show up for work. This can be for a host of expected and mostly unexpected events, but it is something most organizations have to contend with.
A DaaS framework ensures that employees can remain equally productive, even if they cannot show up for work. A VD solution brings each organization within arm’s length of the envied goal of achieving maximum business continuity under extra ordinary circumstances.
Budgeting for future expenses is a daunting but unavoidable exercise. To the extent of operational matters, DaaS solutions make budgeting a far easier and reliable process. CSPs do not subject their cloud tenants to hidden expenses. The service / usage fees for each virtual machine and resident apps are predefined.
It is the hallmark of any DaaS infrastructure. Each virtual machine will be an identical clone of all other machines created for the intended task or process. The operating system will be consistent across all the VDs, which will result in a cohesive user experience.
The rate of IT hardware obsolescence is perhaps one of the highest. When a company employs DaaS, it no longer has to worry about its hardware lagging behind. In DaaS, the processing resources of the CSP are utilized, rather than the device used to access the VD.
In this way, on organization can get away without regularly upgrading its IT hardware. This is a great administrative and financial relief for any organization, as it can channelize these efforts and resources towards improving its product or service instead.
DaaS improves productivity in two ways. Firstly, the data centers of CSPs pack tremendous processing muscle. All processing and other resource intensive tasks are handled by the infrastructure of the CSP, improving productivity and efficiency.
Secondly, a user can access the VD from multiple locations and device platforms. This means that an employee can remain equally productive while working from home, some other remote location or while on the move. Employee productivity is an engine for a company’s efficiency and growth.
Even good organizations are facing the challenge of declining employee retention rates. Today’s workforce is becoming less focused on remuneration and more on work flexibility. The two key areas of flexibility employees seek today are flexible working hours and work from home.
A DaaS solution acts as a powerful enabler for both the above employee needs. Over the long run, a quality VD infrastructure will improve the employee retention rates for most organizations. Healthy retention rates ensure that the organization’s key projects remain on schedule and undisrupted.
Data breaches are becoming more common and organizations from virtually every sector are now a potential target. Without a DaaS solution, the data of a company is sporadically stored over countless devices. It is virtually impossible to secure each device individually.
Secondly, if the core business of a company is not IT based, it may also lack the requisite expertise to fully secure its data against today’s cyber threats. Most companies will otherwise consider this a major drag on costs and some may choose to ignore cyber security concerns altogether.
CSPs go the extra mile to make their solutions impervious to cyber threats. For the cloud industry, a higher level of cyber security can become a major competitive advantage. CSPs heavily invest and innovate in cyber security and offer their nearly fail safe cyber security solutions to cloud tenants.
Although this is not a purely commercial benefit of a DaaS solution but it surely goes a long way in achieving Corporate Social Responsibility. If a company employs an in house solution, it will be based on dedicated hardware. The company will have to maintain proper cooling to ensure the optimal performance of its hardware.
Imagine the millions of companies across the globe doing so individually. This will greatly increase the demand for electricity. More air conditioners mean higher carbon emission in the atmosphere. At the end of day, this will also reduce the physical space, as each company’s IT hardware would need a dedicated space.
On the contrary, a single data center of a CSP may be catering to the storage and processing needs of hundreds or thousands of businesses simultaneously. This is because DaaS architectures are designed on the philosophy of shared resources, rather than dedicated.
The benefits of a DaaS solution are so multi-faceted and compelling that even the most conservative organizations are seriously prospecting for such solutions. We do emphasize that each deploying organization must consider its unique needs and select the CSP that best serves these needs.
It is also not always true that only the biggest Cloud Service Provider (CSP) has the right solution for you. At times, the relatively smaller CSPs outperform huge industry names in the areas of solution customization and support. dinCloud has some of the most secure, efficient and customizable DaaS solutions in the market.