Desktop as a Service (DaaS) can be an attractive option for your clients. It provides many of the advantages of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) – without the upfront costs. Additionally, DaaS doesn’t only offer advantages to end users – it can also benefit managed services providers (MSPs) and value-added resellers (VARs) by taking much of the complexity out of enabling remote work.
However, although DaaS is simpler to provide than traditional VDI, it’s still a complex technology that takes knowledge and skill to ensure the best user experience. Here are four DaaS best practices to focus on that will ensure the performance and user experiences that your clients demand:
1. Image Management
Customers’ biggest issue with a DaaS offering is performance, so optimizing images for the cloud is essential. Some MSPs and VARs want to carry images from on-premises desktops to the cloud, hindering performance. It’s vital to keep the image as simple as possible – the more you add, the more you have to manage.
2. A Well-Planned Migration
It’s vital to start a Desktop as a Service migration by understanding your client’s objectives and mapping out their networking needs. For example, it’s more likely that your clients will want to keep some data on-premises rather than immediately migrate everything to the cloud. Therefore, you’ll need to develop a strategy that optimizes performance when you connect your Desktop as a Service offering to on-premises systems.
Also, recognize that the DaaS offering may support use in different clouds. MSPs and VARs must remember there are differences among cloud providers’ platforms that need to be taken into account when implementing the solution.
When choosing a cloud, you also need to consider your client’s vertical and compliance requirements. For example, the best cloud platform choice will differ depending on whether your client is a healthcare organization, retail business, or government agency.
3. Choosing Persistent or Nonpersistent Desktops
When designing DaaS for a client, you can choose persistent and nonpersistent desktops.
- Persistent: Each time users log in, they connect to the same virtual desktops that they’ve configured. Anything they do “persists” as they log out and log in.
- Nonpersistent: When a user logs out, nothing is saved. It allows for fewer images, requiring less management, potentially resulting in time and cost savings in the long term.
For MSPs and VARs new to DaaS, solutions that support persistent desktops may be more straightforward to manage. However, there are clients for which nonpersistent desktops make the most sense. You may want nonpersistent if the client needs a higher degree of security. Every time they log out, the machine is essentially wiped away, and a new one comes in at login.
4. Support from Day One
It’s crucial to plan how you will support DaaS and have tools and resources in place when you launch it. MSPs must decide whether they will become tier 1 or tier 2 support for Desktop as a Service solutions. Some are just focusing on Day 2 operations and value-added services and aren’t prepared to support day-to-day problems. DaaS best practices include having resources on staff who are educated about your solutions and can effectively help clients with their challenges.
Set the Best Course for Your Business
If you’ve built your own VDI offering, you may want to continue providing it to your clients. However, in some cases – especially with their SMB clients – migrating to a DaaS offering can save an MSP time and money. Managing infrastructure and data can be time-consuming. DaaS reduces overhead related to management and offers the opportunity to make your business more efficient and to spend time on higher-margin value-added services. Choose the option that’s best for your clients – and your business.