- Managed DaaS
- Happy End Users
January 2020 may still feel like a long time away, but IT teams that need to navigate a full transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10 by that deadline are starting to feel the pressure. The main challenge right now is that many of the company-issued desktops in use today aren’t compatible with the upgraded operating system because of insufficient RAM and processing power. Event endpoints that can support Windows 10 create a massive headache – will IT have to spend hours manually reimaging every device with Windows 10? That’s a lot of lost production hours across an entire company. Organizations that allow BYOD may have the same problem, but with even less control over the endpoints that need to be updated.
As a result, traditional PCs have seen an (unnecessary) sales spike that hasn’t happened since 2012. The reason this spike is unnecessary is because there’s a better way for organizations to accommodate this forced change that doesn’t require replacing every endpoint or hours of manual updates – virtual desktops via desktop as a service (DaaS).
Desktop as a service providers offer many solutions, features and benefits that can help organizations weather the OS change in a more forward thinking, digital transformation way. Desktop virtualization, particularly when managed by an outsourced provider, directly addresses many of the challenges IT teams are facing with this upcoming transition.
The fact that many existing endpoints can’t support Windows 10 requirements is driving the PC sales spike. But virtual desktops change that game. Virtual desktops separate the endpoint’s native OS from the virtual instance and can be run on any internet device regardless of the native operating system or processing power. This gives organizations a variety of hardware options, including:
Organizations with endpoints that are in good working condition but without the processing power and memory to support Windows 10 will be particularly interested in Dizzion’s zLink solution. zLink is an endpoint conversion option that wipes the underlying OS to permanently convert devices into thin clients that require little native memory. High performance virtual desktops can then be run on the “old” endpoints, allowing organizations to prolong the useful life of existing hardware and avoid joining the PC purchasing wave.
Ensuring business critical apps remain accessible and functional is key to maintaining productivity. Virtual desktops can also address this challenge by virtualizing and streaming apps in addition to the desktop OS.
Individual apps can be virtualized and streamed (within or separate from the virtual desktop), ensuring they’re still accessible despite the underlying OS. Streaming individual apps without a full virtual desktop is a good option for organizations that have already updated their endpoints but are struggling to ensure application compatibility.
Many desktop as a service solutions on the market are closer to platform as a service or infrastructure as a service solutions that leave you to handle most of the implementation in-house. But opting for a fully managed DaaS provider will give you the added benefit of virtualization experts to help with the transition to virtual desktops and Windows 10.
Because DaaS providers work with a range of clients, they’ve experienced and worked through a variety of hiccups and can use the knowledge they’ve learned with others to help your migration go even smoother.
Microsoft licensing is notoriously complicated, but this is another area where repeated exposure can work to your advantage. DaaS providers deal with Windows licensing on a regular basis and are well versed in requirements and options.
Some DaaS providers can also help you acquire the necessary licensing via a Microsoft Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA). As your needs evolve or Microsoft changes the requirements, your DaaS partner is there to help you adjust.
The end of life date for Windows 10 has already been released, meaning organizations will have to go through this entire process again before long. Because virtual desktops can run on any endpoint, when the next change comes upgrading will be relatively simple – without the need to buy new endpoints and work through compatibility issues all over again.
Because DaaS providers make their living off offering high performance desktops to a portfolio of clients, they’ll be well on top of this future change to ensure your process goes smoothly. The benefit of outsourced DaaS over in-house VDI means there’s someone else doing this heavy lifting to ensure compatibility and performance. DaaS lets you essentially transition much of the IT challenge to an outsourced provider.
Whisperings of a Microsoft “DaaS” offering – called Microsoft Managed Desktops – have been in the news lately, but without an official announcement or details it might be too little too late for organizations looking to start the switch now, particularly since this is an unproven service and few companies can afford to have their business critical desktops inaccessible. Plus, if ZDNet is correct, it sounds as if the service will be part desktop as a service, part device as a service, “[providing] customers the ability to lease a Windows 10 device that’s automatically provisioned for them and have the operating system kept up-to-date and more for a single monthly fee.” That still leaves organizations with a brand new collection of endpoint devices – something that can be avoided with existing DaaS providers.
Organizations interested in desktop virtualization as a way to transition to Windows 10 shouldn’t wait for Microsoft’s solution. There are DaaS providers currently in the market with proven track records of helping organizations across industries adopt virtual desktops and solve key IT challenges.
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