What is DaaS: One thing that drives innovation into technology is efficiency. The advent of cloud computing technologies brought more efficiency, agility and flexibility to business networks. DaaS is a notable example of this cloud revolution.
What is DaaS - Overview
Desktop-as-as-Service (DaaS) is a form of virtual desktop infrastructure where desktops are hosted in the cloud and delivered to remote users on-demand. To be more specific, the backend of VDI is hosted in the cloud. DaaS is also referred to as hosted desktop services and is normally delivered by a 3rd party provider. It runs on a multi-tenant architecture and is offered on a subscription basis. The service provided handles data storage, security, backup and upgrades which means the complexity of VDI is eliminated while benefits are realized. Since customer data is saved during login and logoff sessions, end-users can login to their desktops from anywhere, anytime and from any device.
DaaS is extremely beneficial for businesses that want to deliver VDI power to their users and do not have the budgets and expertise to do so. Without making huge investments, businesses can lay hands on world-class hardware and software. At the same time, help-desk becomes more efficient as virtual desktop replacements are rolled out quickly. Parallels, VMware and Citrix are the leading providers of hosted desktop services.
Benefits of DaaS/Hosted Desktops
- Can be easily deployed and managed.
- Reduces hardware costs and operating expenses.
- Costs lesser to manage and maintain.
- Easily scalable and delivers higher performance.
- Networks are more flexible and secure.
- Helpdesk becomes more efficient.
There are different types of DaaS options available to organizations. You can choose non-persistent virtual desktops where the user profile and data is not maintained, and is removed once the session is terminated. When you buy persistent virtual desktops, you can save user profiles and data between sessions. However, the price differs accordingly.
What is DaaS - Industry Stats
The hosted desktop market is quickly growing, owing to mobile work force, ubiquitous internet access and device diversity. According to 451 Research, DaaS had a $2 billion market as of 2014. This value was 30% more than the previous year. In addition, this industry was expected to grow at that pace in the two years that followed. Moreover, a recent IDC study predicts that hosted workspace as a service will reach $661 million by 2016.
On the other hand, ResearchFox reports that the DaaS market was only $250 million in 2013. However, it is expected to grow at 28.7% CAGR till 2018. According to a recent survey of Citrix, Financial services are the leading vertical market for DaaS with 31% adoption rate, which is followed by healthcare and manufacturing vertical markets with 12% each. The survey also reports that 53% of businesses are interested in bundled services where DaaS offering is augmented with applications, mobile device management and file sharing services.
Why businesses should consider DaaS?
BYOD networks, virtual offices and Windows EOL are the three important aspects that make businesses turn towards VDI. In a virtual desktop infrastructure, businesses can use legacy systems and still run latest applications on them to optimize costs. At the same time, they can remotely publish apps to any device. However, VDI was not as successful as IT experts expected. The reason for this was the complexity of managing VDI. Businesses had to invest on physical data center infrastructures. Additionally, most businesses did not have the budgets and expertise to deploy and manage complex VDI networks.
By embracing DaaS, you get all the advantages offered by VDI while eliminating all challenges which are handled by the cloud provider. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about the hardware, software, SLA and network performance as these aspects are handled by the service provider as well. By leveraging a global network of datacenters, you can enjoy optimal network performance to boost your business revenues.
What is Dass - Challenges
Though DaaS provides numerous benefits over VDI, it comes with certain challenges.
What is Daas - Calculating Overall Costs
For businesses that have a smaller group of remote users or use fewer applications, DaaS can be economically beneficial. You don’t have to make upfront investment for the infrastructure; it typically costs $25-$40 per user. However, organizations that have large clusters of users have to compare the local VDI expense with DaaS costs that pile up in the long run. When power users go for a higher configuration, the price goes up to $100 and above per user. In addition, you need to calculate the cost of applications used.
What is Daas - Storage Challenges
While DaaS is beneficial for organizations with a reduced number of remote users or for a temporary location, VDI is beneficial for organizations that have large clusters of users connected through a local LAN and a VDI host server. Most enterprises leverage both models to make the best of both worlds. However, this fusion creates new storage problems as you need to connect cloud users with the local data center infrastructure so that they can access file data, which becomes a challenge. As a workaround, you can either create a VPN tunnel from the cloud to the datacenter or copy data to and fro from corporate file servers to the cloud. Another challenge is data separation. Businesses need to ensure that employees’ office data and personal data are not mixed.
What is Daas - Performance Issues
Another challenge is the periodical latency issues that affect performance of the network; especially for organizations that run high-end graphical applications and streaming media, latency issues can be a concern. These companies need to work with service providers to eliminate these performance issues. At the same time, there is no offline access which means you have to be always connected to the Internet.
What is Daas - Security Challenges
With data being the most valuable asset for any company, sharing resources in the cloud is a concern for businesses. It is important for organizations to check the credibility of a service provider before signing the contract. On the service provider part, higher security standards have to be maintained. In addition, organizations are required to comply with data governing regulation imposed by local authorities.
What is Daas - Business Continuity
The very purpose of DaaS is to securely provide 24/7 access to corporate resources. It means your cloud network should always be on. Moreover, virtual desktops should be accessible from any device, OS or platform. However, in a DaaS environment, you don’t have control over backend infrastructure and have to rely on the provider for reliability, scalability and service levels. Considering the outages with AWS, you’ll have to opt for a robust SLA.
What is DaaS - Licensing
The most important challenge is DaaS licensing as Microsoft makes it difficult for organizations to host its OS on cloud desktops. This is especially difficult when using Windows 8 or 7. For instance, an end-user who has a license to access Microsoft applications from an iPad in the office cannot use the same iPad at home. This is why cloud providers use server software. However, it only allows minimal customization option for end-users.
From a licensing standpoint, a typical desktop as a service (DaaS) arrangement built on a desktop version of Windows is BYOL - Bring Your Own License. However, the service provider can't acquire the license for you; hence you’ll have to buy one accordingly. Nonetheless, Microsoft has now simplified the question of which license you have to buy, but that's only half the battle for service providers. We still need Microsoft to allow multi-tenancy, or the ability to run instances of Windows that belong to different companies on a single virtualization host.
DaaS Market Trends for 2015 and ahead
The present trends in the DaaS segment prove that managed service providers have a bright future. MSPs have to do their ground work to identify market requirements and design a service offering accordingly. For instance, financial services sector has a higher DaaS adoption rate; hence MSPs need to concentrate more on this segment. They have to consider bundled packages that also handle MDM and other cloud needs. In addition, MSPs need to consider the following trends and realign their strategies accordingly.
Alternate for Windows Desktops
The new trend in the DaaS segment is the search for an alternate workstation. Firstly, investing in local hardware to continue supporting the evolution of OSs such as Windows XP, 7, 8 and 8.1 has become expensive and time consuming. Secondly, with Windows 10 on the way, businesses do not want to invest much on a version that they don’t know how long it will last and how efficient it works. This is why businesses are looking for DaaS solutions not tied up to hardware limitation; they want one free to run applications they need from anywhere.
The increasing popularity of Chromebooks make it a good choice as a desktop alternate. We can define Chromebook as a smart thin client; all Google applications are available 24/7. Additionally, Chromebooks can run windows virtual application and desktop, making the operating system irrelevant. Chromebook, together with Raspberry Pi, thin client and tablet, offer a new set of device that organizations can use to deliver DAAS.
With the explosion of smart-phones, businesses are now experiencing a diversified audience. There are multiple devices operating on multiple platforms and technologies. Optimizing your DaaS offerings to these devices is a challenge. Businesses need to concentrate more on providing a consistent end-user experience across all devices.
More emphasis on Security and High Availability
One of the main concerns of a multi-tenant DaaS environment is security. Government regulations and increasing hacking attacks are making service providers to put more emphasis on securing customer data. At the same time, speed and performance cannot be compromised. As a result, service providers are now concentrating on offering secure networks but with a high availability.
Overcome the DAAS Challenges with Parallels RAS
Parallels RAS is one the most efficient RD broker connection for RDS & VDI in the market. Parallels RAS supports a range of mobile platforms including iPhone and Android. Regardless of the device, end users enjoy a rich native experience. A Cloud provider that chooses Parallels RAS for their DAAS offering eliminate the cost and complexity of deploying VDI networks as well as provide the ability for businesses to deliver desktops quickly via Remote Desktop Services (RDS). Moreover, the operational cost is significantly lower when compared to other solutions on the market such as Citrix or Vmware.
With the vast range of mobile devices and platforms currently used, it has become difficult for organizations to provide installation and configuration instructions to end users. Parallels RAS makes it easy for service providers to install, scale, configure, and deliver DaaS to organizational users with a simple invitation email. From the management console, administrators can send installation and auto-configuration instructions to end users, choosing either a single recipient or a group from the Active Directory. Parallels RAS is a one-stop solution for your VDI/RDS needs.
What is DaaS - References
What is Daas: Data as a Service | Wikipedia
What is DaaS: Hosted Desktops | citrix.com