Why Desktop-as-a-Service will succeed where VDI failed

TRP: There have been new efforts and significant investments in research and in the DaaS market – can you talk about some of these?

MC: I think storage is the most significant revolution in DAAS. All clouds now run hybrid (SSD/SAS/SATA) hyper-scalable object oriented storage with erasure coding. This reduced the cost of storage for most cloud providers from around 24.6 cents to 4.6 cents, per GB, per month when compared to traditional enterprise storage vendors like NetApp, EMC, HP, Hitachi and others.

It also increased the number of live copies from 2 to 3, added encryption, and eliminated RAID entirely. Eliminating RAID as the key underlying data protection mechanism was a quantum leap forward because it exponentially reduced the chance of data loss on highly scalable multi-petabyte/Exabyte systems.

For example, with RAID6+2, you can lose two hard drives maximum before ALL data is lost. A failed 1TB hard disk once replaced could take 2-4 days to rebuild in the system. During this time you are vulnerable to additional disk losses. In object storage, that 1TB drive is rebuilt in 20 minutes!

Also, I foresee a future that finally defies physics (our ability to move data beyond the speed of light over glass) by using object storage to create copies of everything we store worldwide so that no matter where we travel to, we are always accessing the local copy of our servers, desktops, files and more.
How does DaaS pick up where VDI failed?

DAAS combines hardware, software, security, and a cost model that is undeniable. This is why even the largest distributors and VARs team up with cloud service providers like dinCloud vs. building their own. Cloud-wise customers are encouraged to do the same. DAAS in a day is better than VDI in never-never land.

TRP: Why do you think there has been a growing demand for cloud services?

MC: It's the only place to get the latest technologies at the lowest prices. Much of what is being invented and pioneered is either being done by the cloud internally or by vendors who are increasingly cloud-centric themselves. As such, cloud has killed the enterprise - only the enterprise's most loyal remain.

TRP: What's your prediction for the DaaS industry in 2014?

MC: Because of the prior hype and angst over VDI, 2014 will see DAAS become the dominant player simply because you can't divorce your desktops from servers that have already made the jump to the cloud.

2016 and beyond will be about cloning those virtual environments so that they can existing in multiple geographic datacenters worldwide in real-time so that the most local copy may be used from anywhere. Fortunately, the technologies required to make this nirvana happen are now in existence; they are maturing rapidly so I expect to see them in 2016/2017 as common best practices.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.