amazon-workspacesAfter last Amazon’s Re:invent I was thrilled by the announcement of WorkSpaces and I immediately signed up for a demo account. I also wrote an article (in Italian) where I expressed all my love for the idea of putting together servers and PCs in the the cloud. But it hasn’t actually happened yet!
In fact Amazon, after the announcement, didn’t open a demo account nor any kind of communication.

Last week, after mentioning it in August (at VMWorld), VMware has done what it promised. Or, at least, they have their Horizon DaaS in public beta.
I promptly applied for a demo account, I received the activation email in minutes and it worked fine (considering latency and speed of my ADSL line).

LOGO1Now, the only excuse for Amazon here is that their event was a couple of months after VMware’s…
In any case this is not a post about who arrives first on the market, it’s about the implications of DaaS and IaaS

Daas itself is useless

If you look at DaaS alone, it does not make any sense. If your data and services are stored in your private Data Center, having PCs in the cloud can only generate problems.
You will experience a ping-pong effect for all the traffic going back and forth on the cloud and the consequences, especially in some circumstances, might create a very laggy user experience.

Although there are some interesting use cases, like training rooms, call centers or any type of temporary workstation, those are only niches without a real strategic advantage for the traditional enterprise.

Daas on top of IaaS

On the other hand, when you think about moving your server workloads on the cloud things change drastically.
With PCs, Servers and Data close to each other you obtain all the advantages without any of the drawbacks (excluding security or other non-infrastructure aspects).

iStock_000007154191XSmallIt’s not only about low latency and greater bandwidth in communication but all the classic cloud advantages should be taken into consideration: Pay-as-you-go, agility, elastic provisioning and so on.
And, above all, your PC becomes accessible at anytime, from everywhere and from any device!

From this point of view, DaaS could be seen as great step ahead and getting get rid off all your PC infrastructure without entering in the ever questionable world of VDI.

Why it is important

VDI has already proven many times how low the return on investments can be. There are many reasons that make VDI not appealing at all, but I can summarize them with the fact that you have to calculate TCO and ROI on a long term basis to justify the effort… and then you still have a PC infrastructure to manage.

DaaS, as a complement of IaaS, allows the enterprise to avoid almost all part of PC infrastructure and management costs while enabling new opportunities like mobile access.

Nothing new, VMware’s strategy proves one more time its focus on traditional enterprises, while Amazon AWS is a perfect fit for the next generation enterprises (and startups) but struggles to cope with ordinary stuff.