Amazon has taken a big step forward in its application delivery strategy, taking to the stage at the April AWS Summit in San Francisco to announce the introduction of AWS Marketplace for Desktop Apps, a dedicated storefront for Amazon’s Desktop as a Service platform, Amazon WorkSpaces, through which customers can purchase off-the-shelf applications to run on their virtual desktops. At the same time, Amazon VP Andy Jassy announced the availability of a new admin tool, WorkSpaces Application Manager, which controls admin and user access to marketplace apps.
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During a recent briefing from a DaaS startup, I was surprised to hear the vendor report that he was seeing interest from enterprise customers looking to DaaS because they were unable to make the numbers work for a server-hosted desktop virtualization solution. This baffles me. I’m hard-pressed to think of many current circumstances where it is not possible to deliver a VDI solution for less than the cost of a comparable managed distributed desktop implementation. I’m even more puzzled that anyone believes that it is possible to deliver DaaS for less than the cost of VDI, at least not without some degree of legerdemain. I’ll come back to the question of cost comparison between VDI and distributed desktops and how to deliver low-cost, high-performance VDI next week, but for now let’s look at the DaaS vs VDI comparison.
In reviewing various DaaS services over the last few months, a common theme has emerged: Any and every service provider wants to deliver, or at least wants you to think that it can deliver, some sort of cloud workspace.
But just what is a cloud workspace, and how does it differ from DaaS?
I have spent a lot of time in the past month looking at DaaS platforms and providers. While pricing tends to be about the same across the board, product quality and service vary widely. Some are excellent, others less so. Amazon is a case in point: while it entered the market with some fanfare, it would appear to be suffering more than its fair share of teething troubles, with still some way to go before it is ready for prime time.
Cloud behemoth Amazon has found a new outlet for its NSA-scale™ disk farms in its new enterprise file sync and store service, Zocalo. After years of offering dumb cloud object storage with its Amazon S3 simple storage service, Amazon is climbing up the storage value stack with an enterprise cloud file store that will put pressure on Box, SugarSync, and the like.
VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) has long been predicted to be a growth area. This year, the technology has started to edge towards adoption in newer segments, segments in which it has not had significant traction in the past. But will this continue to be the case? Is VDI the computing environment of the future, or just a stepping-stone to another environment altogether?