I had the opportunity to chat with Desktone about their recent announcements. In the last little while they announced a pilot of virtual desktops as a service and partnerships with both Wyse and Microsoft.
Here's what Desktone had to say in the desktop as a service announcement:
Desktone, Inc., provider of the first solution that enables virtual desktops as an outsourced subscription service, announced today at VMworld a new program that helps enterprises easily evaluate the benefits of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) without building the environment themselves. The new Desktone Desktops as a Service (DaaS) Pilot will be available beginning October 1, 2008.
The Desktone DaaS Pilot lets enterprises utilize the Desktone Virtual-D Platform, the only solution that integrates all enabling VDI technologies into a single, automated self-service platform. Because the Virtual-D Platform is uniquely designed along two tiers (enterprise and service provider), it lets enterprises maintain ownership and control over their Windows OS images, applications and all relating licensing while outsourcing the physical data center infrastructure powering their virtual desktops to service providers. This dramatically reduces desktop TCO and transforms virtual desktop infrastructure costs from CAPEX to OPEX.
With the Desktone DaaS Pilot, enterprises use their own images and applications in a proof-of-concept that includes up to 50 virtual desktops. Desktone uses its proven DaaS best practices to jump-start the pilot, enabling customers to quickly ramp up. The physical infrastructure for this 30-day pilot is hosted by HP Flexible Computing Services, one of Desktone's service provider partners.
When organizations often have not yet fully embraced server virtualization and haven't yet turned to the consideration of desktop virtualization inside of their own IT infrastructure. It is quite unlikely that many would move immediately to move their desktop environments into the clouds. There are simply too many questions about security, data and identity management and a few other areas.
That being said, the folks at Desktone appear to have developed some interesting technology that would make moving a desktop environment into the clould workable for many organizations. That move would certainly help organizations that face a large capital expenditure to acquire desktop systems, software licenses, IT staff and the like. They would be able to move to a position in which they see IT as a viariable cost that is based upon use rather than the acquistion of hardware and hiring staff.
Although many won't "get it," I expect that some small companies or branch office of larger organizations might find this approach interesting to contemplate.