Welcome to the Club – Amazon enters Desktop-as-a-Service market

There is a lot of buzz in the virtual desktop industry lately. The big legacy on-site VDI companies suddenly woke up to a new reality. Amazon has announced a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering on AWS called Amazon WorkSpaces on November 14th. Although you might argue, that Amazon is a big competitor to our own product we are welcoming this new addition to the market with open arms.

Firstly it’s always exciting when new vendors enter into our fairly young market since it validates our mission and vision. Secondly all the REAL Desktop-as-a-Service Technology providers have different angles and different strengths within their technology or offering. So there is plenty of room for all players.

tocario’s history shouts DaaS

Hosted virtual Desktops are in tocario’s DNA. Coming from Hewlett-Packard we have seen so many VDI and Server Based Computing installations at big enterprise customers, that the founders decided to bring VDI to the next level in 2011 by bringing together VDI, Cloud and Mobile Technology. We believe that hosted virtual desktops are the future of desktop computing. Not only in the corporate world but also for small and medium sized companies all over the world. In a mobile world users need anytime, anywhere and any device access to their business environments with their individual operating systems, applications and data.

Not all Hosted Desktops are created equal

It is important for customers to evaluate the different Daas or HVD offerings in the market. I do not want to point any fingers to where the other players in the market have their weak points – everyone has weak points. So let’s talk about the strengths tocario is offering to customers.

Are we talking about a Service or a Technology?
DaaS is a pretty simple Technology to use and to implement into your company (at least much easier than installing onsite VDI). But  before you even move one finger as a customer you have to pass the great marketing and buzz test. The companies in the market try to confuse you by using all these buzzwords (VDI, DaaS, HVD, Cloud Desktops…) – but what are they really talking about? All the buzz can be divided into two different categories: Technology and Service offering. When companies like VMware, Citrix, Desktone or Microsoft talk about VDI or DaaS they are talking about technology. This is out of the rack technology for onsite usage – so old school VDI in a new fancy dress. When Amazon or we at tocario talk about DaaS we are talking about a service offering that is based on a technology specifically developed for hosting desktops in a cloud.
We at tocario are even combining those two aspects by not only offering Desktops-as-a-Service with deskMate, but also offering our specifically designed technology for Hosted Virtual Desktops to other Service Providers or large customers for onsite installation.

Do users want to be limited to Windows 7?
tocario deskMate supports the virtualization of all x86 Operating Systems (Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Linux, DOS, OS/2…) that could be required by any organization. With the unique and patented technology tocario is the only company that can provide the virtualization of legacy applications in the cloud. This offers unique advantages to our customers by being able to put legacy applications into the cloud as a SaaS Service, or by being able to build Test- and Development Pools for all kinds of applications. In addition, tocario deskMate will support all major client devices including tablets and zero clients.

The standard deskMate comes with a Windows Server in Desktop Experience mode due to Microsoft licensing regulations. But from a certain number of desktops we are able to offer full Windows client desktop version. With this real advantage you are able to seamlessly use all the applications you are used to from your local desktop.

What does security and privacy look like?
In times of Tempora and Prism data security and data privacy is becoming a key inhibitor for cloud services all over the world. This is especially true for European or German customers wanting to use cloud services hosted by US companies. Security is at the core of everything we do at tocario AND we are NOT an American company. Everything we do is “Made in Germany” and “Hosted in Germany”, which means we are bound to one of the strictest regulations on security and privacy. Even more: We try to go beyond every regulation and be even more secure. Try to find a DaaS Service anywhere in the world where you are able to encrypt your virtual hard disk. (If you find anyone except tocario it is likely it uses tocario technology)

If customers sometimes fear that any cloud is unsafe and opt for the expensive and heavy onsite VDI all I can say is: Use your Hosted Virtual Desktops as if they were on-site. Just reference your data into the “cloud” – meaning: you work with the data in your own datacenter without it ever leaving your network. That is cool technology!

Conclusion: What this means for customers

At tocario, we welcome Amazon’s entry into the DaaS market since we share a common vision for delivering desktops through the cloud. Their entrance is a strong validation for our DaaS approach and the use of hosted virtual desktops. However, we believe that for specific customer needs you need specific customer solutions. So in terms of legacy virtualization, data security and data privacy we are sure we have the better offering – oh, and we have an awesome roadmap for 2014.

Anyways, welcome Amazon – and thank you for putting Desktop-as-a-Service into the spotlight.

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