IT professionals get panicking at the thought of managing legions of hybrid workers permanently; desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) might be accurately what you require.
Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) contributions have been around for a long while. Still, the post-pandemic hybrid work inclination has breathed some enthusiasm into a technology that’s been chiefly niche until now.
Regrettably, the DaaS acronym is one you can run into in some software-as-a-service (SaaS) areas, like database-as-a-service or data-as-a-service. The desktop variant is all about virtualizing your standard corporate PC. DaaS providers assist desktops the identical way cloud players like Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), or Microsoft Azure let their clients generate virtual servers.
What is Desktop as a Service (DaaS)?
DaaS customers can define how they need their desktops configured, the cloud services they desire them to talk to, and the permissions or user roles required to access them. That’s not a minor list of characteristics, and some services are a lot denser to set up than others. Once those fundamental setup chores are done, though, your representatives will be ready to log in to their corporate desktops the same way they’d log into any other web service, such as a Salesforce CRM or Gmail.
Upon login, they’ll see a wholly configured desktop but driving on a yielded server in the DaaS provider’s data center. Well, fundamentally race there. To enhance performance across the internet, most DaaS providers set up some level of regional caching on the hardware with which users log in most often, but this is insignificant. So you’re using a desktop that’s virtual and operating around elsewhere.
DaaS is based on better technology, called virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), revealed by specific vendors. Citrix was one of the explorers, though much of its technology was incorporated into Microsoft’s platform. VDI serves the same as DaaS, except it’s intended to operate in a customer’s data center. And while that customer’s employees can reach a VDI desktop over the internet via VPN, the technology is designed to be applied on a local area network, preferably the web.
Because DaaS services are established to run over the internet, the technology seems like a comprehensive solution for hybrid workers. That’s because IT professionals trying to maintain desks during the pandemic found out they were facing an almost hopeless task. So when employees were in the office, they used PCs that IT had acquired and configured to be efficiently managed on-site. They were also created to use on-site network support, like printers, a network area, and a business-class internet gateway.
Flip that to a COVID landscape, and IT pros instantly found themselves managing bandwidth problems on a network. But, regrettably, they didn’t command and use network hardware they hadn’t purchased and known nothing about as far as management features were concerned.
Many businesses had already shifted much of their software portfolios into the cloud as webs, such as Gmail, Microsoft 365, or Salesforce, to name just a few. In addition, many users shifted from their company-purchased hardware to their home PCs. After all, their business notebook had a much smaller screen and customarily fewer horsepower than the multi-display gamer rigs they had at home. Furthermore, they required their user titles, passwords, and a web browser to get to most or even all the software they employed through work, so why not?
It was evident for the user and complex for the IT pro since now they had no management agent and no visibility into what was running on those PCs. That included other software and potential security problems, like malware the home user didn’t know, was on their PC.
Combine all that, and most IT pros defaulted to performing without their usual management tools and explaining one problem at a time, then proceeding to bed and appealing for the pandemic to end. That’s happening gradually, but to most IT pros’ dismay, the small thing is holding around in the form of hybrid work. Employees want the versatility to work partially or even wholly from home permanently, and they require it in significant numbers. Unfortunately, one problem at a time isn’t working to engage in that scenario.
With DaaS, an IT pro understands all the management benefits of a corporate PC, but they can serve it up whenever and wherever their users like. So, for example, employees can log in on their company-owned notebooks or their home PCs and get a whole Windows adventure. Or they can log in using a remodeled web browser interface on Apple macOS, iOS, or Google Android devices.
What makes IT comfortable is that now they recheck the PC. Apps and services, security and permissions, patching and updates, it’s all in their realm once more. It’ll be even more comfortable than before since now it’s all in software, so the administration is easier to automate if users want to use their home hardware, acceptable. IT doesn’t care what else is controlling on that PC since their DaaS desktop is separated from the hardware layer on the PC and preserved in a data center from any malware the home hardware might have. They also don’t care what other software users connect on their hardware since they don’t need to support it. IT just puts together an allowlist of software that’ll be included in their DaaS desktops, and if a user calls about something else, well, sorry, that’s not on our list. It doesn’t solve all of IT’s hybrid work problems, but it does solve a big chunk of them. Of course, the home router and bandwidth issues can still be problematic, but at least IT can focus on those now and leave their desktop problems in the hands of the DaaS vendor.