While desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) is nothing new, 2020 definitely put its stamp on approval on remote work and virtual workstations. As millions of employees were sent home to work, businesses and IT departments turned to DaaS to power on-demand computing resources, and there’s no going back. DaaS is ideal for modern working environments whether they are in-office, hybrid, and fully remote because they allow employees to securely access business applications and resources from any location using an internet-connected device. And, regardless of the network or device, they choose to connect from, as long as individuals have the right credentials they have access to powerful workstations. Remote desktops are also helpful for IT teams in setting up and meeting strict compliance and security programs. Because IT can institute common protocols and ensure virus software and other security processes are in place, leaders can have greater confidence knowing their organizations are protected and prepared for the future. So what do you need to know about getting DaaS right for your organization? Are their common questions surrounding DaaS you should be aware of? Let’s dive into these common questions so you’ll be in the know.
Is DaaS the same as a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure? (VDI) – In a nutshell, no. But both DaaS and VDI models share similar characteristics allowing for centralized management. A VDI environment enables desktop virtualization and includes centralized endpoint management. Usually, with this setup, organizations rely on on-premise data centers that provide access to back-end servers, and storage and endpoints are personal computers. A DaaS environment takes this concept a step further by decoupling the desktop and application software from the physical client device – sending the processing of data and storage to happen in cloud-based servers. DaaS and this style of resource allocation allow for on-demand resource allocation and a cloud-consuming model that’s more flexible and cost-effective.
So what’s better? VDIs or DaaS? Both are useful but consider that because VDIs are centrally located, your IT team is responsible! That means they need the expertise and capacity to manage the hardware, software, licensing, and deployment of these resources, plus they need to handle anything that goes awry. DaaS environments, on the other hand, are VDIs that are hosted in the cloud by a technology provider such as VMware, Citrix, Amazon, or Microsoft. Because these providers manage everything related to the virtual desktop experience, internal IT doesn’t have to worry about rackspace, hardware problems, or maintenance.
However, this isn’t to say setting up a DaaS environment is simply as easy as purchasing a DaaS subscription from these vendors (VMware, Citrix, etc.). These technology companies sell the bare bones DaaS infrastructure so customers can deliver virtual workstations to employees, but it takes specialized IT skills to set up, configure, and manage. Managed DaaS services from technology specialists are another option to consider. Managed partners will package DaaS back-end technology with support and on-going management. In many cases, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can customize an organization’s computing environment that includes ‘images’ of each virtual desktop based on specific user types, or roles of your employees. They’ll also manage the underlying infrastructure that powers your cloud desktops and deliver consistent, reliable access by hosting these virtual machines in a private cloud environment.
What about integrations or industry-specific application requirements? Organizations that require high-compute computing resources – healthcare, software development, government, design/engineering, manufacturing, etc – benefit from DaaS solutions because specialized software and applications are delivered from the cloud. DaaS products like those from Citrix also offer vertical integration to enable industry-specialized DaaS platforms. That way, for example, if a design or engineering firm requires users to run Autodesk AutoCAD on virtual machines, that industry-specific software is bundled into the DaaS machines. A technology specialist or MSP can take care of all of the licensing and implementation requirements, and deliver a one-stop-shop DaaS solution to any organization.
Remote work or mobile work shows no signs of slowing down, pushing the adoption of the DaaS model to skyrocket. Especially with built-in backup and recovery options and superior security capabilities that can keep applications up to date, provide tools for encryption, and identity management. Do you have questions about supporting a VDI environment or DaaS options? Call or email us. The Infinium team will cut through the clutter to find ideal cloud, data, or voice solutions so you can stay productive, profitable, and keep your competitive edge.