As desktop as a service (DaaS) continues to mature, companies are getting more choices when it comes to where they want their virtual desktops hosted. While cloud delivery is the most common among DaaS providers, some vendors offer the additional options of on premise and hybrid delivery. Each option has its pros and cons and needs to be carefully considered before deploying your DaaS environment to ensure the best results for your unique use case and requirements.
Continuing the overall shift to cloud technologies, companies are really looking heavily to the cloud these days to host their virtual desktops. There are many benefits when considering the cloud, the major one being that you are looking to an as-a-service provider that specializes in hosting this type of workload.
By engaging with a DaaS provider, the heavy lifting of implementing VDI is removed from internal IT teams, meaning they have more time and recourses to focus on business-driving initiatives. Opting for cloud delivery also enables you to push capital expense (CAPEX) over to an operational expense (OPEX) model.
Some of the things that keep businesses from pushing their virtual desktops to the cloud are certain security or business requirements that prevent data from living outside of the organization’s four walls of control. Another hurdle can be certain applications that may need to sit closer to their databases or application servers. Additionally, organizations that have made recent CAPEX investments into hardware may choose to wait to move to the cloud until these systems have fully depreciated or have been reallocated to other projects.
Companies that encounter some of the hurdles mentioned above in the cloud overview are good candidates for an on premise option to support their virtual desktops, even in a DaaS model.
There are some advantages to deploying DaaS onsite, especially when there is available space in the company’s existing data center and the business has already made significant investments in its network, firewall and security footprints. Having the ability to place a DaaS environment behind systems that have already been customized to match current security policies can potentially save time and effort. Choosing a DaaS vendor that has on premise options provides all of the advanced features and management of the cloud plus the added benefit of not having to have the necessary expertise in-house to run a DIY VDI environment.
For all the benefits of an on premise deployment, there are of course some drawbacks as well. If there is no room in the current datacenter or the space has a premium cost, an on premise deployment may not be an attractive option. With on premise deployments there are also higher minimums of virtual desktops that have to be met before the cost matches the cloud deployment model. This goes for growth as well, you may not be able to grow in smaller increments with this option.
Another hindrance is seasonality or fast growth. Using the cloud gives organizations the ability to utilize hardware that is already available, rather than waiting for the hardware to come in and be added to the on premise hardware stack. By using the cloud, you have the ability to spin up virtual desktops for a contracted period of time then spin back down, without having to pay for hardware not being utilized in the off season. This level of flexibility is not as easily achieved with on premise solutions.
A hybrid deployment option (where some virtual desktops are delivered from an on premise environment while others are cloud-based) has some really attractive benefits. Companies that need certain workloads to stay on premise can meet those requirements while cutting back on the overall burden by pushing other workloads without the same limitations into the cloud. Ideal use cases for the hybrid model include seasonality, off-shore employees, work at home initiatives, BYOD and supporting third party contractors.
Another way to take advantage of a hybrid deployment would be around disaster recovery and business continuity. Companies that already have an on premise VDI deployment either as a DIY or DaaS solution may need a more cost effective way of making these services available in the case of a disaster. Businesses may need to meet certain RTO/RPOs that are too costly to achieve with existing on premise environments.
Choosing Your DaaS Delivery Model
A well implemented virtual desktop and end user computing solution is custom tailored to specific use cases and needs, and that includes selecting the right delivery method. Having a range of delivery options allows highly regulated industries to implement secure virtual desktops without the need for time and resource intensive in-house VDI builds. (Or with Dizzion’s independently verified compliant solutions, you can achieve a compliant virtual desktop environment with any delivery method.) When considering virtual desktops, asses which delivery option would work best for your needs and find a DaaS vendor that has experience in that delivery method.