The ultimate promise of technology is to make us master of a world that we command by the push of a button. Volker Grassmuck observation is definitely an IT Administrator’s dream, if not the entire world’s. And perhaps the tool that presently comes closest to that observation is Desktops as a Service (DaaS), which allows for a centralized virtual desktop infrastructure and entails multiple benefits.

Virtualization is the New Agile

With the swiftly evolving nature of the corporate world, whether looking from an operational or purely technological perspective, physical desktop infrastructures no longer makes the cut when it comes to achieving the desired levels of organizational efficiency. From another perspective, a world rife with threats to data, each more perilous to enterprises than the predecessor, requires bank-vault protection. And let’s not overlook the actual resources. Talent comes with a diverse range of skill sets and multi-dimensional requirements for different tools and operability. How do you equip them with everything they need without crossing the red line on your budget?

The answer to all these scenarios is adopting something that allows for an organizational technology refresh without any massive financial or time input. Case in point, cloud-based VDI offers an alternative that removes complex implementation, the type that can seriously entangle your IT staff, and at the same times improves efficiency on a number of levels. Brett Waldman of IDC Research expects the DaaS market to grow at a CAGR of 86% through 2016. (Virtual Desktops: Simplifying Implementation to Save Time and Money, IDC)

What is DaaS? In Addition to Other Things, Making Most of Your IT Spend

The economic downturn of 2008 left a deep impact on the way corporate spending is approached. Though things are not as adverse as they were, ongoing economic volatility constantly weighs in on corporate spending, and eventually the amount of green bills allocated to every department. In this type of a cash-stretched environment, deploying solutions that allow competitive advantage on a small budget become mission-critical.

One of the primary reasons that cloud-based VDI is more of a case-maker than on-premise VDI is because of the sheer costs involved with setting up your own datacenter and device ecosystem. This is one reason that the logic for it doesn’t add up to small and medium organizations. Conversely, with DaaS, that part of the equation is for your cloud service provider to manage and boot the hardware bill. The serenity that accompanies with paying for nothing but a usage-based subscription and choosing all the applications you want is priceless.

Think purely from the finance guy’s perspective. The prospect of toning down on capital expenditure such as PC Hardware, and replacing it with an operating expense such as cloud-based VDI subscription charges is a good accounting horizon to aim for. With your cloud-based VDI provider worrying about the hardware, you save on critical costs typically associated with setting up your own data-center: server hardware, multiple licenses, networking hardware etc. And then the logistical costs such as physical facilities, HVAC & administrative, as well as training costs that are typically associated with getting your resources comfortable with the whole ecosystem. The deployment process itself can be rigorous since a lot of it is stuff that needs to be tested thoroughly before being given the green signal for good.

 

VDI Deployment & Maintenance With Manageability at the Core

The beauty of virtualization lies in the fact that there are single image files for use across a plethora of multiple device platforms and users. What this does is cut the extra (read: unnecessary) work when it comes to dealing with OS updates, as well as resource provisioning in terms of RAM, Hard disk etc. Consequently, cloud-based VDI extends the life of your hardware from a span of 3-5 years to a span of approximately 3-7 years. The easy deployment makes sense for small and medium businesses that could use critical means to enhance productivity, as DaaS allows for the provision of multiple Web-based applications that are accessible from anywhere via any device, significantly enhancing operational agility and efficiency.

Let’s take a look at another aspect of cloud-based VDI. In case of on-premise VDI, chances are that you could deploy a virtual desktop infrastructure that could well exceed your needs, especially in the case of the SMB sector. However, by using cloud-based services you only pay for what you need, and most importantly, scalability is a walk in the park. You won’t run into a dilemma if business increases with a sharp spike and your existing VDI capabilities can’t manage the load. Just add more users, tell your cloud-based VDI provider what applications you need, and you’re good to go.

Most importantly, if in the future you realize you need to scale down on a few resources, you’re not left sitting on a pile of hardware that you don’t know what to do with. The ability to scale up or down for short or long durations, still have the best-of-the-breed hardware & software, and pay nothing more than a monthly subscription: need we say more?

Got Seasonal Hikes? It’s Not a Nightmare Anymore With Cloud-Based VDI

The Holiday Season, Summer Season, Back-to-School Season and a range of other What-Not seasons have retailers on their toes all year round. From hiring a horde of temporary employees to making sure the stock levels are in place, everyone’s got a range of scenarios to manage. In this type of an environment, the last thing you need is for a system to crash owing to the sudden influx of load, or losing critical time to deploying extended and sophisticated hardware. And what if there was an infrastructure in place and the season got along well, but there’s no use for it in regular days? Why boot the pointless bill of maintaining such an extended and large infrastructure?

Enter cloud-based VDI into the scenario, and you have an instant win-win situation. Not only can you deploy secure corporate work stations for as many workers as you’d like, but you save everyone a lot of cost and hassle, especially the IT staff. All they need to do is simply coordinate with the cloud-based VDI service provider about the number of users to be added, the applications they’ll need and the duration for which these resources will be needed.

Another side of the picture is the bank-vault type security that accompanies cloud-based VDI. Instead of having decentralized pockets of data that are vulnerable to a range of sophisticated threats, all data is stored in a centralized data center with enhanced multi-layer security protocols in place. Say the floor manager for a retailer got his laptop stolen or lost it, all mission-critical and other data is secure on the server-side. Moreover, these security mechanisms are constantly augmented to protect against the latest threats and vulnerabilities.

Data security has become one of the most focal concerns of customers in recent times, owing to a string of data breach incidents that have occurred in recent years. Consulting firm Deloitte’s survey from the previous Holiday Season highlights some critical insights, directly from customers. 76% of all correspondents revealed that they were concerned about retailer data breach, while 42% worried about personal data. (Source: Deloitte 2014 Annual Holiday Survey: Making a List, Clicking it Twice) And this is a concern that is expected to prevail at a greater scale over the coming years.

Having an option where customer data is instantly secured in the cloud as it leaves the point-of-sale terminal, or even online sales as physical and digital channels converge, is something that retailers will need to have as security concerns rise.

Hassle-Free Cloud-Based VDI .All in a Few Minutes

What if you had your hands on a cloud-based VDI solution that encompassed all your organizational needs, could be deployed in a very short time, and saved you the cost and hassle of managing multiple licenses? With VDIworks Virtual Desktop Platform (VDP) on CenturyLink, it’s smooth sailing when it comes to virtualization of your enterprise.

VDP is an end-to-end VDI management system which advantageously removes vendor lock by providing a hypervisor-agnostic solution. Moreover, it saves you the unnecessary cost of multiple licenses by integrating everything in one suite: connection brokering, VM management, health, alerting, inventory, physical management, network loads and much more. The solution enables your organization to become more agile and effective via device independence; allowing users to access cloud-based virtual desktops from any device, including the ever-growing cadre of mobile devices.

With VDP, CenturyLink customers can now easily create and enjoy a truly all-inclusive cloud-hosted Virtual Desktop Infrastructure within a matter of minutes & across multiple environments. With 44,000 licenses sold through an established network of OEM partners, VDP has shown to save companies up to 50% on desktop computing costs.

To begin using VDIworks’ VDP on CenturyLink Cloud today, please refer to the Getting Started guide on the CenturyLink Cloud Knowledge Base.