Cloud Solutions come in many different forms and each has its own set of pros and cons. It is less about which infrastructure is good and more about which solution is best for getting the job done. One thing is for sure though, cloud solutions are constantly evolving to varying needs.
DaaS and User Experience
Another key trend in the latest cloud offerings is that they are highly geared towards delivering a positive user experience. Initial Cloud Solutions were more oriented towards the efficiency side but the realization is growing that a positive user experience will ultimately translate into higher productivity.
Intro to DaaS
Desktop as a Service or DaaS is a rapidly growing cloud solution. In this arrangement, the user is given access to a dedicated desktop environment that is housed in the data centers of the Cloud Service Provider (CSP). All the data, applications and personal preferences of the user reside with the CSP.
If we sum up DaaS in a few words, it is highly uniform yet versatile and gives sufficient room to the end user to customize the experience as per individual need. Let’s cover some of the key benefits associated with the implementation of a DaaS model of cloud.
This is one of the major advantages of adopting DaaS across an organization. The entity does not have to maintain an elaborate IT infrastructure in-house. This generally includes servers, workstations and switches. In contrast, all the hardware is physically maintained at the premises of the CSP.
Since bulk of the hardware is the responsibility of the CSP, the organization does not have to bear the ongoing expenses of maintaining the hardware in optimal working condition. An entity also does not need to maintain a large workforce of IT technicians to resolve and troubleshoot the hardware.
DaaS Solutions are highly productivity oriented. Users can access their individual desktop even from remote locations. In this way, employees can remain productive even while travelling or from home. As the desktop is virtual, the user can kick off the pending work right from where it was discontinued.
Also Read: 4 Reasons Why Organizations Embrace DaaS
The latest DaaS solutions are very flexible from the standpoint of end user. A user can access the virtual desktop from multiple devices such as tablet, laptop or desktop. Some cloud desktops even allow access from smartphones which is great for people who want to be productive while on the move.
DaaS infrastructures are maintained by the Cloud Service Provider. This scope of maintenance extends beyond the physical hardware and also applies to the data and applications. Since the very repute of CSPs is at stake, a security breach cannot be afforded by the cloud provider.
Also Read: Secure Your Data with DaaS
In a DaaS deployment, not only does the desktop environment reside with the CSP, so does the all-important data. Even if a device that was used to access the virtual desktop falls into the wrong hands, the data will remain safe with the CSP. The security is further enhanced by adding an additional layer of authentication before access is granted.
As hardware is the sole domain of the CSP in DaaS infrastructure, they ensure that their hardware is in line with the latest technology. Similarly, the software and applications offered by CSPs are also generally updated with the latest security and productivity patches. Both factors work in tandem to deliver a superior user experience.
DaaS solutions are highly scalable and this feature makes them a strong contender among other cloud solutions. The organization can easily scale up its virtual desktops within a few minutes, without having to deploy additional hardware resources. Scaling down is also as simple as the former and does not entail any fixed costs.
Pay as You Use Model
Organizations that employ DaaS have to pay on a metered or usage basis model. This applies to both the number of virtual desktops and the productivity software or applications in use. Each additional instance of the virtual desktop, productivity software or application will result in an incremental cost to the entity and vice versa.
Usage Scenarios of a DaaS Solution
Let’s cover a few situations that would make a strong case for employing the Desktop as a Service (DaaS) infrastructure.
- An entity that does not want to invest and maintain an elaborate IT hardware on premises.
- Full time IT technicians are minimal as there is no compelling need.
- Most of the workforce can remain productive without showing up for work each day.
- The workforce of the company in on the move at most times but needs to remain connected.
- An organization whose bulk workforce comprises of remote workers.
- There is frequent seasonality in the operations of the company.
- Data security is a concern for the organization but it lacks the requisite expertise to secure its critical data in-house.
- Organizations that are not comfortable with localization of their data or proprietary applications and want to maintain them centrally.
- The employees of an organization want to access their work using multiple device platforms and operating systems.
DaaS vs. VDI
Without going into the minor details, it is quite evident that the advantages offered by Desktop as a Service (DaaS) are superior as compared to the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). VDI solutions are both capital and labor intensive, making them a difficult proposition for small and medium sized organizations.
How to Maximize your DaaS Solution
Now that we have made a case in favor of the DaaS infrastructure, let’s cover a few aspects that would maximize the efficiency of your DaaS solution.
In DaaS, you can promptly create more instances of a virtual desktop or productivity application. But bear in mind that each additional instance will carry fees. Although this cost is variable in nature, it is still a burden on the resources. Organizations should deploy additional virtual desktops only where required.
As the operating system and applications run from the data centers of the CSP and only instructions and interface are with the user, the reliance on the network is high. So, the organization has to maintain its communication / data network in optimal condition. Bandwidth issues will also affect the efficiency of the network.
Physical Location of Data Centers
When finalizing a DaaS provider, the physical proximity of its data centers must be an important consideration. This is particularly true when heavy or resource intensive applications will be executed on the network. If this factor is ignored, it will result in frequent crashes and frustrating lag times.
As critical data will reside with the CSP in case of a DaaS infrastructure, it will create security concerns for the organization. Therefore, depending on the sensitivity of the data, the organization must ensure that sufficient cyber security measures are in place.
The aspect of data security is also critical from a legal standpoint because many data breaches now entail legal and penal ramifications. Before selecting a CSP, the entity must ensure that it meets the minimum cyber security standards enforced for the particular industry.
Desktop as a Service or DaaS is a highly efficient, flexible and scalable cloud solution. After factoring in all the pros and cons, it can translate into improved efficiency and reduced costs for the deploying organization. Today’s CSPs are happy to customize their solutions for your entity, so why just settle for the orthodox cloud solution.