One of the top trends of 2014 was Desktop as a Service (DaaS), an alternative to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that provides many of the benefits of virtual desktops without needing a localized hardware deployment. Advances in technology and software allowed many organizations to begin using DaaS.
The inexpensive deployment and scalability of DaaS made 2014 a time of fast growth for the solution, and it appears this trend will continue next year. Here are some of the top Desktop as a Service trends to look for in 2015.
Decreased Use of Windows
Because most applications rely on a Windows environment to run, many enterprises use Windows as their primary operating system. However, Windows licenses are notoriously expensive.
Furthermore, the Windows problem is aggravated by Microsoft ending support for Windows XP (one of the commonly used operating systems even a decade after its release). On April 8 of last year, Microsoft stopped shipping new security updates and patches, effectively killing Windows XP as a viable option for an organization’s computing needs.
The obvious solution is to migrate to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. But system administrators are hesitant to do this for several reasons:
- Licensing for Windows 8.1 is expensive, despite Microsoft loosening its licensing around virtualization for software assurance customers and enterprise editions
- Windows 8 adoption has been slow (to say the least), and with Windows 10 on the way, there’s hesitation to invest in an operating system that’s not popular among many users
- There’s no way to know when Microsoft will ends its support of Windows 7
Cloud Applications and Chromebooks
Advances in cloud computing, HTML5, virtualization, and mobility mean creating customized solutions from the ground up is faster and cheaper than ever before.
All of these factors will contribute to many organizations (especially SMBs) finding alternatives to Windows for their DaaS solutions. Many large organizations (such as Google and the U.S. Department of Defense) are already using Linux desktops.
Some organizations might not turn to traditional operating systems such as Linux at all. Chromebook sales exploded in 2014; though full numbers for the year are not yet available, many analysts estimate that Chromebook shipments doubled year over year. This is proof users are willing to adopt devices that don’t rely on a desktop.
Cloud applications that run in browsers make operating systems virtually irrelevant and give organizations more options on their hardware choices. As Nvidia and Google demonstrated last year, even Chromebooks could be enough to deliver some organization’s DaaS needs in 2015.
Greater Access on More Devices
As users rely on multiple devices more frequently (such as tablets, smartphones, and Chromebooks, to name a few), there will be a greater need for customers to access their desktops in a variety of ways.
By making desktops available through browser applications, as well as smartphone and tablet apps, users will enjoy greater flexibility on how they work. Employees won’t be tied to terminals in an office to access virtual desktops; they’ll be able to pull out their smartphones and access data on the train to work or from a conference hotel room.
Increased Security – The Most Important 2015 Desktop as a Service Trend
The recent Sony hack, among many others, has reaffirmed the need for security in all organizational computing systems, including desktop virtualization. While DaaS has been criticized by some as being less secure since data is held offsite, the truth is there are solutions to ensure data remains safe from hackers. DaaS providers will place a greater emphasis in keeping sensitive data secure.
Additionally, even though DaaS solutions are much less susceptible to malware and viruses than VDI or other infrastructures, DaaS providers will recognize the need customers have to know their data is safe and employ greater threat detection both at endpoints and at other places in the system.
The need to boost protection from hackers and then demonstrate this increased safety to customers will make increased security one of the most important DaaS trends in 2015.
Will 2015 be the Year of DaaS?
With all of these changes on the way, DaaS is shaping up to be an excellent solution for many organizations’ computing needs in 2015. Its ease of scalability, fast deployment, and customization position it as an alternative to expensive localized infrastructures.