DaaS - More Incomplete Thought
The Hoff or @Beaker or whatever you like to call him (his mother still likes to call him Christofer I suspect) started working at Cisco this week as "Director, Cloud & Virtualization Solutions". Sounds like something you could sink your teeth into easily.
Hoff has been blogging on Cloud for a while and with his new role I think its going to increase. On his personal blog he posted an "Incomplete Thought: The Opportunity For Desktop As a Service – The Client Cloud?".
The summary (although its only short, go read it) is that Desktop as a Service (DaaS) has been thought of as relevant for the Internal Cloud but not really the Public Cloud.
Will DaaS be the next frontier of consolidation in the enterprise?I have done some thinking on DaaS a service. So here are some of my Incomplete Thoughts to "join the conversation" as to why.
If you’re considering hosting your service instances elsewhere, why not your desktops? Citrix and VMware (as examples) seem to think you might…
If cloud is "Elastic Network Services" then one of those services is ultimately going to be DaaS. I often explain cloud to people as being like the cable that comes into their house. Today the services you probably get over the cable are Telephony, Television and Internet. They are each a different service and use a different interface/protocol. In the future another service will appear on that cable via another interface/protocol, a desktop. I have plenty of access devices in my house, laptops, televisions, game consoles, desktops. But if I need another computer for my children, why can't I just consume one for a while over the cable, paying as I go, using an existing access device. Thats the future. Of course we will continue to consume more and more access devices, it is not simply a story about replacement.
But what about DaaS from the public cloud for the enterprise, what are the barriers to be able to move to adoption. Here are the two big ones.
Licensing - Some big changes need to occur in licensing. Microsoft need to allow providers to run their Desktop OSs in virtualised cloud environments at a reasonable rate. Certainly the issue does not completely go away in the Internal Cloud but its a lot better. We also need more choice. Imagine if Apple came out and said here is a program for providers to be able to run Mac OS X from within the cloud! Did I hear Apple just signed up to build a big data center?
Protocol - Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) works well for cloud because most of the systems interact amongst themselves inside the cloud where high bandwidth is available. These IaaS workloads then usually interface back out of the cloud via different, standards based, protocols. The outward facing protocols are typically much more suited to remote delivery. For other cloud services such as Software as a Service (SaaS), they too, are working via protocols which are typically more standardized and suited to remote delivery. HTTP being the main one of course. However remote desktop delivery is a very different beast, there is no simple and efficient standard and they just don't have the true "full desktop experience" that wide adoption will expect. Yes we have ICA/RDP/RGS etc. Of course there is a lot of investment in this protocol space at the moment, such as PCoIP which is looking promising.
So a big yes to DaaS ultimately, but in the shorter term there is much better low hanging fruit in the IaaS and SaaS space. We will see DaaS come out of the private cloud rather than public first.
The best play I see today is where DaaS is hosted internally on the Internal Cloud where it communicates closer to the users latency wise using todays protocols. The protocols between the servers and the desktops are less coupled, compared to those between desktop and user, so we will see separation as the servers move off into private and public cloud. The separation of the servers has the advantage that the protocols between desktop and server are better able to cope with latency and their acceleration technologies are more mature. Then once the licensing and protocol issues of DaaS for the private/public cloud are resolved, we will see them migrate too.
Interesting times and great conversation. Why don't you join in and post in the comments on the Hoffs post or this one.