Is Desktop as a Service the next big thing for SMB?

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is the use of a combination of virtualization technologies. Desktop operating systems and applications are run in a virtual machine using virtual processing software, the virtual desktop's access to its data is facilitated through the use of storage virtualization technology and individuals can access their virtual desktops using access virtualization technology. Suppliers have started to make virtual desktops available as a service offering.

DaaS would appear, on the face of it, to be a low cost, but flexible option for those not wishing to deal with a personal computer on every desktop. It also appears to solve software installation, software maintenance, data sharing and remote data access problems as well. Why hasn't its use skyrocketed?

Small businesses, one would think, would flock to this type of offering because it would become possible for them to easily provide support for new or seasonal staff. This approach would also simplify purchase of desktop hardware and software. It would also reduce the cost of updating and supporting software.

Concerns about performance, reliability as well as putting corporate data into the hands of a service provider all come to mind as inhibitors to DaaS adoption.

Suppliers are addressing these concerns by making the infrastructure software that supports DaaS available to enterprises and service providers alike. Companies can now deploy DaaS in-house, in the clouds or use both approaches depending upon the individual, the workloads or other categories.

It would be wise for small business decision makers to consider this approach as a way to reduce their overall costs for desktop systems while also maintaining control of their data. Seeking out the help of partners, such as IBM, VMware, Microsoft, or Citrix should make the adoption of this approach simple.

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This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I've been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

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