Why DaaS delivers simplification — and safety Posted on September 26, 2013 by Tim Burke As the end of Windows XP support looms ever closer, I’m getting more questions about DaaS — desktops as a service. And for good reason: With cloud-based desktops as a service, you can tick several boxes at once and save money in the process — as much as 20%-to-30% over five years when you move from a physical desktop infrastructure to DaaS. Of course, since DaaS is a hosted service, you avoid the upfront CapEx of a homegrown virtual desktop infrastructure. But three other major benefits may be even more important to some organizations: DaaS relieves IT staff of the time- and cost-intensive burdens of desktop management. Desktops (and laptops, tablets, and smartphones, too) can be provisioned (and de-provisioned when necessary) in minutes rather than the hours or days needed for physical desktops. Security is built into the service, as are timely upgrades and patches. DaaS provides uninterrupted access to a leading-edge desktop environment without having to invest in or maintain a leading-edge infrastructure. That means significantly fewer IT resources are required to run desktop operations, and PC refresh cycles can be extended because thin DaaS client hardware lasts longer than its fatter cousins. DaaS “builds in” desktop disaster recovery. Since DaaS infrastructure (servers, software, network, storage) resides in your service provider’s secure, highly available, carrier-class data centers rather than at your site, it won’t be affected when your site suffer a disruption. This may matter more than you’d like to think, given that every year one in four enterprise IT systems suffers outages of four hours or longer. Fortunately, a service provider with a grid-based DaaS platform of secure, high-availability data centers can easily host your desktops across multiple geographies. In fact, as long as your service provider understands the importance of cloud customization, there are a number of ways you can put DaaS on DR duty Reserving DaaS DR capacity with your provider for some or all desktop users. Should your physical desktop environment be disrupted, you can quickly set up your account and provision your desktop images to whatever devices your users are relying on. DaaS DR backing up VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure). If in-house virtual desktops make more sense for your business, you can use DaaS whenever your infrastructure gets disrupted. Or just run DaaS all the time! Since your service provider can provision your users’ desktop images to just about any device anywhere, your enterprise is always ready to meet trouble head on.