If your Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) provider is only focused on hosting virtual desktop, they are failing you. If you only provide a desktop environment to your customers – you will annoy them. If a desktop-as-a-service price only includes the cost of standing up a virtual OS instance that offering should be ignored.
To many, DaaS means outsourcing a service to make use of a virtual desktop infrastructure. Yet increasingly, internal IT departments are being encouraged, directly or indirectly, to consider their core desktop provision as a service: not simply “something that just gets done”, like toner cartridge replacement, or fixing the CEO’s son’s friend’s daughter’s laptop; on a Friday; just as you’re going home.
A “desktop service” incorporates many things. The delivery of an operating system environment: but there’s more. The provision of applications. Access to data. Creation of user accounts; the granting of access rights. Access to services such as email, file storage. Understanding what applications are used and when. The ability to print. A desktop service has a range of components that are key to delivering an environment that is reliable and cost effective.
RES Software have recently released a number of updates, new releases and patents that help put the Service into desktop-as-a-service. When considering your own enterprise desktop environment, or enhancing your DaaS offering – what tools are you using to automate delivery? Does the updated RES portfolio assist?
OnLive is on the verge of making a game-changing move in the VDI space. The game focused application delivery company announced their OnLive Desktop service at CES this year. OnLive Desktop claims to deliver a seamless Microsoft Windows desktop experience with cloud-accelerated web browsing and full Adobe Flash. The marketing talks of “instant-response multi-touch gestures“, “complete and convenient viewing and editing of even the most complex documents” and “high-speed transfer from cloud storage or Web mail attachments“. Sounds like something a CFO would bite your hand off for.
Still, delivering a ubiquitous desktop environment is a complex undertaking. Desktone tried punting to end users and then thought better of it. The default position when delivering desktops is to deliver a Microsoft Windows workspace: that’s what most users need and want to run their applications. However, a “use any device” model gets hampered by Microsoft’s VDA yearly license cost, and further constrained by the lack of a viable way of policing/validating VDA assignment. VDI can leave an enterprise open to Microsoft beating them with a stick for a host of additional end device licenses.
Have OnLive taken an impressive application delivery model and tried to apply it to windows desktops without necessarily thinking licensing through? Will the scalability and experience that Onlive have mean that VDI vendors should re-think their technology? Will the buzz that OnLive has created mean an new level of engagement with Microsoft, perhaps even a shotgun wedding? Will Onlive Desktop be the technology that prompts Microsoft to get its licensing-of-vdi house in order, properly enabling a Desktop-as-a-Service market: what better way to laugh in the face of Apple than to have most iPads running Windows 8?