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Beyond VDI: How Desktop as a Service Enables Better Hybrid Work

February 24, 2022 6 min Read

The arrival of COVID created an intense scramble to enable remote user needs. Standing up remote application access, via new or existing workstations/laptops, with security requirements to ensure proper data/systems protection, in just a few weeks, is not for the faint of heart. Although a number of different options exist for making this work, what you wind up with is not likely an ideal solution given the time crunch being faced.

Whether you already have a system in place or are considering a shift to Desktop as a Service (DaaS), two key outcomes must be addressed: IT resiliency (from systems to support) and workforce mobility. For IT resiliency, it’s not just about having a backup or DR plan. It is about having the IT resources to provide users with the systems and support they need when they cannot be in the office. Given that prior to the pandemic most were using desktops or laptops, this was not a minor change.

What Keeps You Up at Night

Even though Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been around for some time now, the solutions offered often failed to deliver a decent user experience. I spoke with a CIO at the beginning of the pandemic who felt fortunate to have weathered the storm, but he also wanted a do-over to get it right. He said he got it done, but it was not an ideal solution overall because he did not have time to professionally design and deploy a solution that leverages today’s optimal DaaS features and benefits.

Because this CIO had to do it so quickly, he knew he was stringing together various pieces and parts to address the security, management, and support requirements that enabled him to get the job done. He did not have time for reviewing as-a-service options and he did not have time to review, pull together, and deploy the optimal technology components that would provide a cohesive solution that would be well-integrated with his existing environment. He was rushed to implement a less than ideal solution, which is what keeps CIOs awake at night. Questions such as “are we fully protected from the risks remote work exposes?” and “what unexpected breaches am I now vulnerable to?” need to be top of mind.

New Challenges

Today, VDI is no longer a pandemic fix. With the versatility of an anyplace workspace comes new demands for systems resiliency and security. Given the new hiring requirement, the demand to work from home, the challenges of running a VDI solution are no longer something that can be easily postponed.

To give this post some teeth, let’s review some of the options and their challenges:

On-Premises
The cost and resources needed to design, build-out, and support of an on-prem solution are difficult to justify.

  • It means taking on significant cost, new complexity, and additional risk
  • Complex system requirements make it hard to right-size and one of two consequences ensue: budgets suffer from CAPEX over-spend or users suffer from insufficient resources

Hyperscale

In theory, it should be easy, but it’s not! This is not an as-a-service platform for VDI, it is a platform.

  • you must still provide the expertise to professionally design and implement
  • you need resources skilled in supporting this new technology platform
  • since it is a new arena for most, it can be as difficult as building on-prem

This also comes with the unexpected costs pervasive in many hyperscale cloud solutions, especially on their first round of implementation!

Other solutions: you must look under the hood to understand what you are getting into

Other providers offer a VDI solution that is a complex integration of two or more providers

  • which increases the cost to operate
  • and reduces the effectiveness of support
  • but more importantly, many are not multi-tenant, which means there is a refresh cost

This is not just about the technology, it’s also about the cost and resource factors that bog down your IT initiatives. A DIY or even hyperscale solution still requires design, procurement, deployment, support, and administration (security, DR, backups etc.). What’s worse is that without the right skill sets, complexity and cost will double or triple.

A DaaS Solution

In today’s cloud world the goal is not about leveraging VDI technology. The goals lie in bringing organizational value with a smarter, safer and simpler approach to hybrid work. A service that properly meets the needs of an anyplace workspace, this is what creates a more effective (and happy) mobile workforce. In other words, successful adoption of VDI is far easier with a solution that properly delivers, manages, supports, and secures the anyplace workspace!

Expedient Enterprise Workspace does exactly that:

  • Fully Managed DaaS
  • Multi-tenant by design
  • Full A/V offload to support for Zoom & Microsoft Teams
  • UX monitoring & tuning built-in
  • Desktops can be customized to the needs of the business
  • Scalable, secure, and affordable - predictable monthly costs with no egress fees
  • Optimized performance with SSD, top-line CPUs, 8 GB of RAM by default, and optional GPUs

This is how you provide a solution that answers the call to this irreversible shift toward work from anywhere and bring your own device (BYOD). Additional benefits include:

  • Desktop assessments to get you up and running quickly
  • Ongoing adaptive performance tuning with our monitoring services
  • Fits with adjacent solution requirements - identity management, SIEM services, endpoint security, and more
  • Works for businesses striving to compete in their markets and to acquire new talent

You may have a pandemic-induced VDI solution already.  But you likely had to rush into it, and, as such, it is not built for the long term.  Now is the time to reset and get it right with a partner who had the time to think it through post-pandemic and harden it for today’s challenges.

The bottom line is this: Our VDI solution will deliver the technology along with the more critical components that bring the most value: easy to consume (scalable), resilient, secure, fully managed, and supported. Expedient Enterprise Workspace offers your mobile workforce a solution that meets their needs while helping the IT team free up resources to meet other critical business demands.

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Jim Gehring Jim Gehring

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