I recently had a conversation with Henry Ruta, CEO, and Jeff Fischer, Senior Director of Strategic Development, both of a desktop virtualization startup, Desktone. If nothing else, the company has a very impressive executive team and appears to be well funded.
They're offering a new spin on desktop virtualization. For those of you who haven't been following the desktop virtualization saga, my post Just what is “desktop virtualization” anyway? explains how a combination of virtualization technologies can allow applications or a whole desktop environment to be encapsulated and then delivered to someone's system. A key question to ask is if Desktone doing that's really new? The answer lies in how virtual desktops will be accessed and where they're going to be hosted.
Here's how Desktone describes their new offering
Desktone, Inc., provider of the first solution that enables desktops as a service (DaaS), today announced the Desktone Virtual-D Platform, which is designed specifically to enable service providers to offer hosted, subscription-based virtual desktops.
Desktone’s solution helps enterprises quickly realize the full benefits of centralized virtual desktops without having to build and deploy the infrastructure internally. It dramatically reduces desktop TCO, transforming computing costs from fixed CAPEX to variable OPEX. Service providers benefit from optimizing use of their data center assets while delivering a new highly scalable, value-added service to customers.
What is Desktone really doing?The company's approach separates virtual desktop infrastructure into two distinct tiers:
- Enterprise Tier – allows IT to manage their virtual desktop environments and realize the full benefits of the virtual infrastructure without the capital and expense of owning it
- Service Provider Tier – enables management of physical VDI resources that enable DaaS and offer enterprises a value‐added subscription‐based service
It is offering the following products that implements that vision.
They describe their solution using the following statement: "The Desktone Virtual‐D Platform is the only solution that that integrates all desktop virtualization layers through a single, automated self–service platform, and enables desktops to be delivered as a subscription service"
- Desktone Virtual‐D Enterprise Center
- Desktone Virtual‐D Portal
Service Provider Tier
- Desktone Virtual‐D Elements
- Desktone Service Grid
Desktone Access Fabric
- Ties the two tiers together
Snapshot AnalysisDesktone clearly understands what it takes to bring a new product to market. They've developed a sophisticated platform and have already signed up several hosting companies to pilot the software and related service offerings. The service is aimed squarely at small to medium sized businesses that really don't want to deal with the overhead and complexity of managing the entire lifecycle of desktop systems and wish to "make the problem go away" by having someone else do the dirty work for them.
Having accidentally becoming the IT support person for several friends, I can see how beneficial this service offering could be to their businesses. It would also mean that I wouldn't get telephone calls on weekends when they have a problem.
It is not yet clear to me how much this "desktop as a service" offering will cost, what are the terms and conditions of the service or any of the important details. At first glance, however, this is an interesting spin on the desktop virtualization story.
If your organization could offer access to desktop solutions without having to purchase, install, update or administer desktop systems, would you take Desktone and its partners up on their offer?