Desktop as a Service Rush Intensifies - Win-Win for Customers and Providers?

By Doug Barney

Microsoft and Citrix have been serving up virtualized Windows apps over the network for over two decades. For much of this time, the apps were provisioned via servers, right there in corporate data centers.

The basic technique also works over the cloud. Some call it VDI, while other say it is desktop as a service (DaaS), which is driven by VDI. The big platform players, Microsoft, VMware and Citrix, have lined up, and so have the service providers, including independenceIT, Desktone and Xtium.

DaaS can be confused with certain SaaS offerings, such as Office 365 and Google Docs/Apps, as they all deliver a full set of desktop services. What makes DaaS different is that it puts forth the operating environment as well. Think of it as one level above straight SaaS.

Xtium Tosses Hat in DaaS Ring

MSP Today is particularly keen on a couple players, Xtium being one. The company’s new service is based on Desktone, Inc. software.

Desktone has a bevy of other partners, including MSP powerhouse Dimension Data and Dell.

These services, being largely independent of the client device, are perfect for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scenarios.

“DaaS is a natural complement to our existing cloud offerings, and completes our solution continuum from the data to the desktop and everything in between,” noted Shawn Fichter, head of product and marketing, Xtium, during the recent announcement. “Through the Desktone partnership we can remove the burden of desktop management from IT teams, and provide a secure, highly accessible, always-on solution for mobile devices, tablets and standard workstations for the entire workforce.”

independenceIT Sees MSPs as Leading DaaS Charge

And then there is independenceIT, which has been delivering DaaS for more than a decade.  Its tool is called Cloud Workspace and delivers virtual editions of popular Microsoft applications such as Office and Exchange.

In recent weeks the provider revamped its suite. The tool works with all major hypervisors and can manage with the help of N-able (now owned by SolarWinds), LabTech, and Connectwise.

The 451 Research Group sees a bright DaaS future, saying that interest is “at a fever pitch.”  Gartner, meanwhile, sees a nearly $3 billion market emerging as the chart below indicates.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

MSPToday Editor at Large

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