Desktone's Peter McKay on Desktop as a Service

Desktone has worked hard to make "Desktop as a Service" (or DaaS) a household word. Peter McKay, Desktone's President and CEO, stopped by to discuss the concept, why it is so useful today, and talk about the future.


Desktone has worked hard to make "Desktop as a Service" or DaaS a household word. Peter McKay, Desktone's President and CEO, stopped by discuss the concept while I was in Austin, TX, at Dell World. Our conversation roamed far and wide. It touched on a review of DaaS, why it is so useful today and talk about the future. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Peter!

Here is a quick summary of our conversation.

Who is Desktone?

Desktone was one of the companies that developed the whole concept of "Desktops as a Service (DaaS), delivering desktops and applications as a cloud service. The company thought through all of the requirements of this concept and built a complete multi-tenant platform that created a secure, easy to manage, high performance desktop environment.

What is Desktop as a Service?

DaaS is based upon cloud computing. Windows desktop environments and applications execute in a service provider's data center and are accessed by users over the Internet as a service offering. This concept provides users with a virtual desktop without requiring that they become system managers, operators and the like.

Why is it so useful today?

Organizations are finding it more and more difficult to fund the up front and ongoing costs of providing systems and software to their staff members or consultants. By using a DaaS offering, companies need not deal with all of the purchasing, installation and ongoing operational issues of maintaining a desktop environment.

Peter pointed out that Desktone enables cloud providers to provision desktops and applications to users connected on any device, anywhere, without the upfront costs and complexity of traditional desktop virtualization.

Where is DaaS going?

There are a number of trends that point to the need to transform the approach to providing computing to staff members, consultants and even customers. DaaS offers a simple approach to address most of them. Some of the trends it addresses are:

  • The constant need to update operating systems, application frameworks, applications and database sofwtare. The service provider can take on these tasks and allow companies to focus on their business.
  • The emergence of smartphones, tablets and other intelligent network-enabled devices as a platform. Virtual desktop systems can be accessed from these devices when needed and from more traditional access point devices, such as laptop and desktop computers, the rest ofthe time.
  • Difficult transitions from one operating system to another. Peter pointed out that many organizations are still relying on Microsoft's Windows XP as the platform for their desktop computing. Upgrades to Windows 7 or Windows 8 typically mean replacing the user's device. DaaS makes it possible for those devices to work through their useful life while the work moves to an updated environment offered as a service.

Snapshot Analysis

Peter is very enthusiastic about his company's technology and how it is helping service providers address their customers' business computing requirements. While I agree that this approach would be very valuable to quite a number of companies, this approach is not appropriate for everyone.

Companies considering this approach need to assure themselves that their requirements for security, service levels and complying with laws and regulations will be properly addressed by both this approach and the service provider they select.