By Lisa Gecko
One of the interesting developments with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is the adoption of desktop as a service (DaaS) by cloud service providers (CSPs). As businesses continue to embrace the cloud, forward-thinking CSPs are looking to offer as many cloud-based solutions as possible to appeal to a broad spectrum of clientele. With the addition of virtual DaaS, CSPs continue to challenge the status quo, offering companies an alternative to rigid platforms, energy waste, expensive PC upgrades and the security issues involved with on-site and remote network traffic.
Virtual DaaS is the outsourcing of VDI to a CSP, offering integral changes that address power consumption, security, hardware longevity, manpower and environmental issues. Put simply, the desktop environment is no longer contained on multiple machines, eliminating security threats, IT maintenance headaches, and in general, outdated technology. Instead, the desktop environment with all of it’s applications, remains protected entirely within the CSPs infrastructure.
Taking a look at cost-effectiveness, there are a few key points to explore. With a virtual DaaS, in-house employees will no longer require expensive big-box PCs that need to be maintained and upgraded regularly. The typical end-user will utilize far less expensive thin client hardware, or personal laptops and other devices. Even with current in-house and remote hardware, a move to virtual DaaS will extend the life of older PCs and laptops, which will no longer be required to struggle with operating system (OS) and application upgrades. Organizations can take their time upgrading to newer thin client hardware, which is a welcome rarity for essential IT improvements.
Continuing with fiscal benefits, thin client hardware draws approximately one-tenth the power of the average PC. Even without a thin client upgrade, current PCs will use significantly less energy utilizing virtual DaaS considering they will no longer be burdened with the brunt of the processing. This translates into less heat, and a substantial reduction in air-conditioning, especially for larger office spaces. This isn’t even considering the reduction in data center cooling and energy consumption with the majority of the processing relegated to the CSP. Or the lack of expensive servers required to house a virtual DaaS.
Upgrading an OS or company-wide mission-critical application even without major setbacks, has always been a time-consuming and arduous process. This can become very costly not only in man-hours, but in potential system downtime and work latency. With a virtual DaaS this is no longer the case. A virtual PC is not device dependent, therefore any software or OS upgrade is universal. The individual “personal” computer no longer exists. The days of IT professionals marching from computer to computer performing the same tasks on multiple PCs are thankfully over. With virtual DaaS after a major upgrade is integrated, there is no need to perform any tasks at an employee level, in-house or remote. Their machines are effectively the same, all of which are accessing data and applications through the CSP without storing anything locally.
Virtual DaaS also offers a great deal of flexibility, which in turn, translates to more savings. Scalable volume and processing power is one of the fundamental cloud solutions that is applicable to many services including virtual DaaS. The ability to not only eliminate energy waste that in some cases is upwards of ninety percent in traditional in-house data centers, while having the flexibility to scale virtual resources based on fluctuating need, is a tremendous benefit to any organization. Virtual DaaS should prove to be one of the more stimulating developments in cloud solutions yet.
The added upside of virtual DaaS vs. an on-site DaaS is that it is already operational, providing a fluid transition requiring no additional in-house expertise for implementation. Small to mid-size businesses (SMBs) will find the upgrade to be cost-effective and green, with some very enticing short and long-term benefits. Larger corporations, especially those with sensitive data transmissions via internet connections, will appreciate several security concerns that are addressed with the implementation of DaaS—specifically the much-needed intelligent, secure approach to remote access. Large or small, organizations will find significant advantages with a virtual DaaS solution, not the least of which is the bottom-line.