Incomplete Thought: The Opportunity For Desktop As a Service – The Client Cloud?
Please excuse me if I’m late to the party bringing this up…
We talk a lot about the utility of Public Clouds to enable the cost-effective and scalable implementation of “server” functionality, whether that’s SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS model, the concept is pretty well understood: use someone else’s infratructure to host your applications and information.
As it relates to the desktop/client side of Cloud, we normally think about hosting the desktop/client capabilities as a function of Private Cloud capabilities; behind the firewall. Whether we’re talking about terminal service-like capabilities and VDI, it seems to me people continue to think of this as a predominantly “internal” opportunity.
I don’t think people are talking enough about the client side of Cloud and desktop as a service (DaaS) and what this means:
If the physical access methods continue to get skinnier (smart phones, thin clients, client hypervisors, virtual machines, etc.) is there an opportunity for providers of Infrastructure as a Service to host desktop instances outside a corporate firewall? If I can take advantage of all of the evolving technology in the space and couple it with the same sorts of policy advancements, networking and VPN functionality to connect me to IaaS server resources running in Private or Public Clouds, isn’t that a huge opportunity for further cost savings, distributed availability and potentially better security?
There are companies such as Desktone looking to do this very thing in a way to offset the costs of VDI and further the efforts of consolidation. It makes a lot of sense for lots of reasons and despite my lack of hands-on exposure to the technology, it sure looks like we have the technical capability to do this today. Dana Gardner wrote about this back in 2007 and it’s as valid a set of points then as it is now — albeit with a much bigger uptake in Cloud:
The stars and planets finally appear to be aligning in a way that makes utility-oriented delivery of a full slate of client-side computing and resources an alternative worth serious consideration. As more organizations are set up as service bureaus — due to such IT industry developments as ITIL and shared services — the advent of off the wire everything seems more likely in many more places
I could totally see how Amazon could offer the same sorts of workstation utility as they do for server instances.
Will DaaS be the next frontier of consolidation in the enterprise?
If you’re considering hosting your service instances elsewhere, why not your desktops? Citrix and VMware (as examples) seem to think you might…