This morning, I ran across an interesting article over on techtarget.com talking about the advantages of the cloud-hosted desktop model. Among other things, it listed some of the reasons why businesses are deploying DaaS, which align quite well with what we’ve experienced:
- IaaS – Businesses are finding that as they move their data and server applications into the cloud, the user experience can degrade, because they’re moving farther and farther away from the clients and users who access them. That’s reminiscent of our post a few months ago about the concept of “Data Gravity.” In that post, we made reference to the research by Jim Gray of Microsoft, who concluded that, compared to the cost of moving bytes around, everything else is essentially free. Our contention is that your application execution platform should be wherever your data is. If your data is in the cloud, it just makes sense to have a cloud-hosted desktop to run the applications that access that data.
- Seasonality – Businesses whose employee count varies significantly over the course of the year may find that the pay-as-you-go model of DaaS makes more sense than building an on-site infrastructure that will handle the seasonal peak.
- DR/BC – This can be addressed two ways: First, simply having your data and applications in a state-of-the-art data center gives you protection against localized disasters at your office location. If your cloud hosting provider offers data replication to geo-redundant data centers, that’s even better, because you’re also protected against a catastrophic failure of the data center as well. Second, you can replicate the data (and, optionally, even replicate server images) from your on-site infrastructure to a cloud storage repository, and have your hosting provider provision servers and desktops on demand in the event of a disaster – or, although this would cost a bit more, have them already provisioned so they could simply be turned on.
- Cost – techtarget.com points out that DaaS allows businesses to gain the benefits of virtual desktops without having to acquire the in-house knowledge and skills necessary to deploy VDI themselves. While this is a true statement, it may be difficult to build a reliable ROI justification around it. We’ve found that it often is possible to see a positive ROI if you compare the cost of doing a “forklift upgrade” of servers and server software to the cost of simply moving everything to the cloud and never buying servers or server software again.
It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the entire article on techtarget.com (note – registration may be required to access some content). And, of course, it’s always nice to know we’re not the only ones who think there are some compelling advantages to cloud-hosted desktops!