Desktop as a Service & VDI: Showing Signs of Progress?

Desktop as a Service & VDI: Showing Signs of Progress?

Vyatta Company LogoWhether you call it desktop as a service (DaaS) or Virtual Desktop Integration (VDI), we've certainly heard the hype. But we've also heard some horror stories about performance, licensing issues and overlooked costs that made DaaS and VDI less profitable than MSPs and cloud services providers (CSPs) expected. Still, there are signs of progress -- including some news from Vyatta Inc. and Integral Networks. Here's the update.

Integral Networks is a managed hosting provider pushing into cloud services. The company recently announced plans to leverage the Vyatta Network OS platform for Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) security.

The Integral-Vyatta relationship could be a sign of progress for VDI and DaaS. Vyatta Network OS is virtual operating system that runs on Intel Blade Servers and manages firewall and VPN services through VMware and Citrix Systems' XenServer environments. Integral opted for the Vyatta virtual environment after breaking away from Cisco's physical environment. (Side story: Vyatta began working more closely with service providers in February 2010 when it launched the Vyatta Service Provider Licensing Program (VSPL).

"Migrating applications from physical datacenters and branch offices to the cloud doesn't mean that businesses have to abandon security policies and compliance," Vyatta VP of Marketing Tom McCafferty said in a prepared statement. "Whether it's an enterprise or hosting provider, such as Integral Networks, Vyatta is breaking the hardware-centric networking model and delivering complex networking and security architectures as software optimized by virtual environments."

McCafferty told us Vyatta's pricing is based on an annual license/subscription, and that licenses are sold per instance, per year and are available at three support/service tiers: Basic, Enterprise and Premium. "A typical instance, one year subscription ranges from $1,200 - $1,800 for use in virtual environments," he said. That's about 35 percent less than physical environments, according to Vyatta Director of Sales Shahid Nakhoda.

Still, we've got more questions about DaaS and VDI. In particular, how are cloud services providers and MSPs managing Windows licenses? We've heard from some CSPs and MSPs that say Microsoft's licensing terms for hosted Windows desktops are either (A) too complete or (B) too cost-prohibitive to build a profitable DaaS and VDI business. But we concede: We need to dig more more details and perspectives. (Side note: We certainly realize not all VDI and DaaS projects involve Windows.)

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.

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