DaaS, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and Managed VDI-Differences explained

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Most IT people are familiar with the above mentioned terms. However, we use them in a  very imprecise way. As a result,  today’s decision makers complain about the difficulties they have to find the right solution without beeing fooled by wrong promises and benefits. Therefore the following article discusses on-premise technologies (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure), the outsorcing of on-premise technologies (Managed VDI) and true Cloud Computing offers (like True Desktop-as-a-Service) and shows differences at a glance:

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Desktop virtualization goes back to the years 2005 / 2006 and its adoption had a meaningful impact on the complete IT sector.  Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is characterized by complete desktop workplaces that are virtualized in a central data center. As a result, each user accessses their individual desktop configurations via a local area network.

This offers enterprises several advantages:

  • a simplified administration through the IT department
  • reduction of operational expenditures
  • increase of data security

With the help of VDI, enterprises are able to manage their IT resources more efficiently. In this context, both technology providers Citrix and VMware are global players. They sell their software virtualization licences to companies for using VDI within their own data centers. Furthermore, they sell solutions packages to outsorcing partners and data center operators, so that they can create their own offerings for end customers.

Managed VDI

With the hype around cloud computing and IT outsorcing, managed IT business became a very attractive field of business for many service providers. Managed VDI is based on existing VDI technologies and is optionally extended with a management software. Several end customers are provided directly from the provider’s data center. Through a economic perspective, it’s a valid approach for customers and providers to expand IT outsorcing into other sectors. Nevertheless, in the course of the cloud hype, an excessive dilution of the terms happened, primarily driven by diverse marketing departments.

VDI outsorcing and Managed VDI offerings are claimed to be “cloud desktops” or even “Desktop-as-a-Service”, though elementary cloud criteria are not fulfilled. This misleading usage of those terms generates a massive confusion for end customers, resellers or even the sales people. End customers have to check service offerings very carefully, so they don’t suffer from wrong promises caused by imprecise buzzwords.

True Desktop-as-a-Service technologies

DaaS is a quite new development within the field of desktop virtualization in combination with cloud technologies. This evolution of virtual desktop technologies is optimized for the usage in flexible and shared environments. The user is able to access his desktop from everywhere, at any time and from multiple devices. In this context the question arises, what the real differences between a true Desktop-as-a-Service technology, VDI outsourcing or Managed VDI are? The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) outlines five essential criteria for cloud computing and true Desktop-as-a-Service:

1.  multi-tenancy

As within a cloud many users share common resources, multi-tenancy is an obligation. Simply spoken, settings and data from one client musn’t influence the settings and data from the other client.

2. pay-as-you-go

Customers only pay for resources the really use. This is why the billing of cloud services is set up as a subscription model.

3. on-demand self-service

The provision of resources is done automatically and without the interaction with the service provider.

Us enterprise Desktone made the first step from desktop outsorcing to a real DaaS technology. They extended VDI-technologies  with a management layer, adding multi-tenancy and a self-service management to the solution. Last year, VMware acquired this company and currently implements VMware’s virtualization product Horizon View. Therefore tocario is at the moment the only European provider in the DaaS technologies market, which is completely autonomous from existing VDI technologies within its technology concept. The company offers a full technology kit for Desktop-as-a-Service offerings. Solution partners and service providers are abte to access “True DaaS technology” as preconfigured solution from tocario’s data centers or by licencing the technology to use it in their own data centers. 

International analysts predict big growth opportunities for the market.The leading business information portal Visiongain from London claims DaaS to break through the 10 billion dollar mark for the year 2023. 

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