New Cisco 'Desktop as a Service' cloud arrives

Cisco has long invested in virtual desktops and now, with the help of Citrix and VMware, it's trying a new cloud-based approach.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

On Tuesday, Cisco announced a new Cisco Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solution. This one adds highly agile, cloud-based desktop virtualization solutions to Cisco's existing desktop virtualization product portfolio. The Cisco DaaS solution is built on the Cisco Desktop Virtualization Solution. With it, Cisco's cloud partners can offer their customers a Cisco powered, virtual desktop subscription service.

Cisco Logo

The solution uses technologies from VMware's recently acquired Desktone, and Citrix. "Desktone by VMware and Cisco have developed a complete and proven blueprint for enabling service providers to offer a Desktop as a Service solution for delivering Windows desktops and applications as a cloud service based on VMware Horizon View,” said Peter McKay, VMware's Vice President and General Manager for End-User Computing in a statement.

“Citrix is working alongside Cisco and its new DaaS solution to help Service Provider partners, such as our mutual customers ChannelCloud and Proxios, to scale quickly, easily and economically, while delivering high levels of performance and service. This enables partners to differentiate with flexibility in desktop deployment models while preserving margins to help them capture new service and revenue opportunities. Our multi-tenant solution based on XenDesktop and XenApp leverages app orchestration to deliver a rich user experience; desktop, mobile and thin-client support; and self-service ease-of-use," explained Mitch Parker, Citrix's group vice president and general manager.

Cisco and its partners' claim that the full Cisco DaaS stack delivers greater scalability and performance, optimized cost, and wider client use case support for DaaS deployments through the following:

  • Improved density of hosted virtual desktops offering up to 252 virtual desktops on a single Cisco United Computing Service (UCS) blade server
  • Support for end user applications that require high-quality rendering of immersive, 3D graphics
  •  UCS Solution Accelerator Packs for Desktop Virtualization, providing simplified ordering

For its partners, the new Cisco DaaS solution enables them to offer their business customers scalability, security, performance, and efficiency. At the same time, these cloud providers gain operational capabilities such as management tools, licensing components and the ability to deliver desktops to multiple customers from one platform. The Cisco DaaS solution provides fast, easy and economical entry for cloud providers to this rapidly growing market and brings new service and revenue opportunities.

For business customers, the solution provides increased choice and flexibility. Customers can choose to build their own on-premises desktop virtualization solution or buy a cloud-based, as-a-service solution, with Cisco Powered performance, scalability, and security.

One of the major drivers of this is Cisco's belief from its own experiences with the bring your own device (BYOD) movement is that virtual desktops can reduce IT expenses. Cisco discovered that as the company acquired new businesses, BYOD allows the existing employees to keep their devices and use them to log in to Cisco's network. This led to a cost savings of 10 percent year over year.

"Many organizations are looking for ways to achieve the benefits of desktop virtualization without the need to install and maintain equipment or make capital investments," said Satinder Sethi, Cisco's VP of Engineering for United Computing. "Not only is DaaS a great solution for a growing number of companies, but Cisco's offering is uniquely architected to help cloud service providers achieve rapid time-to-market while economically scaling their business."

Related Stories:

Editorial standards