Tired of allocating huge amounts of your IT budget to managing desktops when it could be done more effectively and at less cost via the cloud? Take advantage of this primer on DaaS (Desktop-as-a-Service) and see if a NaviSite DaaS solution is right for your customers.
Download NaviSite's DaaS primer here.
No ‘One Size Fits All’ DaaS
While the basic idea of DaaS— delivering a secure virtual desktop on nearly any device—is simple, NaviSite has found that no two DaaS implementations are ever exactly alike. Different users have very different DaaS needs: top managers may need access to a fully-loaded desktop while seasonal or contract employees may require far fewer applications. Engineers need a DaaS solution designed for high-end graphics while IT staffers need one optimized for application testing. A major consideration is the objective of the organization: Is it in a highly regulated industry where information access needs to be tightly controlled? Or is it a business that caters to a diverse public (e.g. a retailer) and wants to control what’s available on kiosks and other public computing devices? To address all of these variations, NaviSite designed its DaaS solution so any organization can easily support a wide range of implementations, all tied to the same Active Directory and managed via a single administrative portal.
One of the benefits that attracts organizations to NaviSite DaaS is its security. IT departments have invested huge amounts of time, energy, and money into firewalls, the SSAE16, HIPAA and other controls, but all of this literally goes out the door if the data leaves on a tablet or a thumb drive. With DaaS, that can’t happen: the data is in the data center, not on the device. If a device is lost, no problem, the data is still secure. If an employee leaves the company, that employee’s DaaS account is disabled. NaviSite DaaS is typically embraced warmly by security teams when they realize that it takes out much of the risk while still allowing users to have more flexibility.
DaaS vs. VDI
The idea of “virtual desktops” has been around for years. Initially, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions showed promise as a way to meet this need. However, it soon became apparent that on-site VDI requires costly capital expense for infrastructure that is also complicated to set-up and maintain. DaaS has grown in popularity because it fulfills the promise of VDI—virtual desktops on-demand on virtually any device— without the hassles of building and managing on-site infrastructure.
Persistent or Non-Persistent DaaS
When evaluating DaaS options for your organization, one decision you will need to make is whether a user requires a “persistent” or “non-persistent” desktop. A persistent desktop closely mimics a full-fidelity, traditional desktop giving users the same experience every time they log on. In a non-persistent DaaS implementation, no user activity is maintained between logins. As part of its DaaS solution, NaviSite supports both persistent and non-persistent implementations.
Privacy and Persistence
Persistence has big implications for the privacy and security of data. To keep persistence, the DaaS solution must be set up to manage personal information, individual settings and other user-specific data. That’s not the case in a non-persistent set up. When a user logs off or “ends a session” on a device that is managed by a NaviSite non-persistent DaaS implementation, none of the data remains on the device. Implementing a non-persistent DaaS solution is a critical way in which healthcare organizations, financial institutions and others can help ensure the privacy of data and comply with regulations.
DaaS and Mobile Device Management
The mobility/BYOD revolution has been a major factor behind the growth of DaaS. That’s why the NaviSite DaaS offering encompasses Mobile Device Management (MDM). MDM, which can also be acquired on its own, enables granular control of individual devices ensuring even better security, compliance and data integrity. The Navisite MDM solution includes:
- Device Management – Managing access to enterprise assets, encrypting sensitive data as required, enforcing compliance and security standards, and more.
- Application Management – Distributing, tracking, updating and securing critical applications, over-the-air, on an array of end-user devices.
- Content Management – Providing a secure, streamlined way to share, sync, and edit enterprise- and user-generated content.
- Containerization and Workspaces – Establishing a complete and controllable separation of corporate and personal data.
Graphics Intensive DaaS
Because of the sheer amount of computing power and storage they require, high-end graphics workstations—the kind used by engineers, architects, media professionals and others—pose unique implementation challenges in any IT environment. But DaaS also offers huge advantages for graphics-intensive applications: a DaaS solution can deliver the processing power needed for these applications, with little upfront capital investment. NaviSite offers a DaaS solution optimized for 3D graphical workloads. The NaviSite solution uses NVIDIA GRID technology enabling enterprises to take advantage of the many benefits of a cloudhosted PC and still maintain a high quality graphics experience.
Disaster Recovery and DaaS
DaaS and Disaster Recovery (DR) may not seem immediately related, but they actually go hand-in-hand. The reality is that desktop support is the weak link in many DR plans, which cover servers and networks, but don’t address desktops at all. Maintaining a separate DR facility for desktops is expensive, requiring heavy CapEx and OpEx investments. A DaaS solution can lower these costs and establishes the basis for a faster recovery. In addition, DR capacity in a DaaS solution can be used for other purposes during normal operation.
Scalability the DaaS Way
At some point, every successful business confronts the challenge of effectively scaling resources to meet demand. A new product or new division takes off, but the success occurs between capital cycles and the data center is under-resourced. DaaS makes it possible to meet the demand more quickly and cost-effectively, rapidly spinning up virtual desktops rather than adding on-premise hardware. Designed as a multi-tenant, virtual desktop solution, the NaviSite DaaS solution is equipped for massive scalability via a grid architecture.
The Chromebook Connection
As Chromebooks gain traction in the market, there is an increased need for the ability to serve business critical Windows applications, data and desktops on them. NaviSite’s DaaS solution, with its self-service provisioning, multi-data center management, multi-desktop model support, role separation, grid-scale and security, neatly plug the gap. This will serve to accelerate the adoption of Chromebooks in the enterprise segment.
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About the Author
NaviSite, Inc. is a leading international provider of enterprise-class, cloud-enabled hosting, managed applications and services. NaviSite provides a full suite of reliable and scalable managed services, including Application Services, Cloud Desktop Services, Cloud Infrastructure Services and Hosting Services for organizations looking to outsource IT infrastructures to help lower their capital and operational costs. Enterprise customers depend on NaviSite for customized solutions, delivered through an international footprint of state-of-the-art data centers.
Learn more about Navisite and Desktop as a Service (DaaS) at TBI's July Boot Camp.