Desktop Virtualization creates a software based or virtual instance of a conventional desktop environment that is physically disconnected from the end user’s login device. The login device used by the end user may be a smartphone, tablet, laptop or another desktop PC.

What is Desktop Virtualization? Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

Also Read:

As per the needs of each deployment environment, desktop virtualization can take different forms. A defining characteristic though is the physical separation of Operating System (OS), compute and storage from the end user. Desktop virtualization is typically implemented for centralization and ease of access.

Centralization implies that all virtual desktop images or instances are maintained at a single location, typically a server or a data center. The end user will login to the Virtual Machine (VM) either via the internet or a private network. All work is executed and saved over the central location for future use and access.

The other main reason behind Desktop Virtualization is ease of access. As the image of each Virtual Desktop is maintained over a central location, the user may access this image from any location and end point device. All inputs to the VM will be given by user via the end point device.

Although the focus of our post is Desktop as a Service or DaaS, let’s briefly discuss the three main types of desktop virtualization models namely Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Remote Desktop Service (RDS) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS).

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

This deployment model gives each end user a dedicated Virtual Machine (VM) running its own Operating System (OS). Each VM is hosted over a central server or data center. A software layer called the “hypervisor” manages the allocation of resources to each VM.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Remote Desktop Services (RDS)

In RDS model, users access their remote desktops via Microsoft Windows Server operating system. So far as end user experience is concerned, both VDI and RDS deployments are same. A main advantage of RDS over VDI is that it can support as many simultaneous users as the server can handle, making it a cost effective solution.

Remote Desktop Services (RDS)

Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

In a DaaS model, VMs are hosted and delivered over the cloud maintained by a third party Cloud Service Provider (CSP). As infrastructure, software and applications are outsourced to a cloud provider, the deploying organization has little to worry about and can focus more on core business operations.

Characteristics of DaaS

In addition to the hardware, all the software installation, configuration and maintenance is also the sole responsibility of the CSP. There is a whole software layer over the hardware that manages all the VMs and allocation of computing resources across those VMs.

In many DaaS deployments, an additional application layer is also added over the operating system (OS) and software layer. This layer is used to run and manage productivity applications and enterprise software. In a DaaS solution, the hardware, software and application layers are solely managed by the CSP.

As the complexity of a DaaS solution increases, so does the usage cost that is paid by the cloud tenant. Still, if an organization weighs those costs with the one time and recurring costs of maintaining this entire infrastructure on premise, the cost of DaaS would be much more compelling to prospecting entities.

Benefits of DaaS Model

Let’s discuss some of the core benefits of a DaaS virtualization model.

Manageable

Manageable

A DaaS solution is very easy for an organization to manage. You just have to define the specs and requirements for your VMs and the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) will take care of the rest. For varying workloads, an entity can procure different classes of VMs.

Cost Efficient

Cost Efficient

When you deploy DaaS, you no longer have to maintain an elaborate IT infrastructure in house. All you need is basic end point devices and a strong connection that bridges you to the computing and storage resources of the CSP. An organization saves both capital and revenue nature expenditures be deploying DaaS.

Productive

Productive

Inherently, a DaaS solution is highly geared towards productivity. Employees can access their VMs from the comfort of their homes or even while travelling. Over a VM, you can kick start your task or project right from where you left it on the last logout.

Flexible

Flexible

As the VM of each user is virtually available over the cloud, the end user can access that VM from multiple device platforms. Most DaaS solutions support login via smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop. This flexibility in terms of login device and time is a compelling advantage of the DaaS virtualization model.

Security

Security

In a DaaS model, all the business critical data is stored centrally in the data center of the CSP. Access to this data is granted to users after passing through a series of authentication protocols. Even otherwise, it is much more feasible to secure a central data repository than countless end point devices.

The other major advantage of DaaS is that no business critical data is stored over the end point devices used to login to the DaaS solution. As a result, even if an end point device such as employee laptop is lost or stolen, there is no threat of losing business critical data or any unauthorized use.

Scalable

Scalable

A DaaS solution is both cheaply and rapidly scalable. As the workload increases, an entity can increase the number of VMs in a matter of few minutes. No additional hardware would be required and the only cost of scaling up would be additional usage fees to be dished out to the CSP.

Similarly, scaling down is also just as easy. Any excess VMs can be instantly deleted, resulting in reduction of usage fees payable to the CSP. As the workloads of an organization change, the DaaS solution can accordingly be scaled up or down virtually instantaneously.

User Experience

User Experience

As DaaS is a highly versatile and flexible solution, end user experience is generally quite good. Users access their VMs as and when comfortable over the end point device of their choice. A positive user experience in turn bolsters employee motivation and retention levels, thus improving organizational efficiency.

Conclusion

DaaS infrastructure can be widely applied to many organizations across different industries. An important aspect of any DaaS solution is to choose the CSP carefully and wisely. When selecting a CSP, an entity should look beyond its immediate needs and also duly consider the future requirements.