DaaS Achieves a New Level of Maturity

The news that VMware has purchased Desktone marks a major milestone in the Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) marketplace. Furthermore, it highlights the power of partnerships to develop relevant and successful Cloud-based technologies to provide a compelling value proposition to a demanding and vibrant customer base.


For anyone who had doubts, DaaS is now mainstream. Public Cloud technologies have matured beyond Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and virtual machine-based offerings and into the Workspace. Anywhere. Anytime. Any device.


As evolutionary journeys go, DaaS has been both relevant and rapid.


NetApp launched their Service Provider Cloud strategy in 2009 after undertaking extensive research from both customer and external sources. This led to a focus on four workloads deemed most likely to move to the Cloud in the near term. DaaS was one of those and had technical requirements that were synergistic with NetApp’s core Cloud value propositions of multi-tenancy, storage efficiency, performance (combining flash and disk) and cloning. As the only Alliance Partner focusing exclusively on DaaS at the time, Desktone became an obvious choice to develop a joint DaaS offering for Service Providers.


Since then DaaS has been on a consistent growth curve amongst NetApp’s Service Providers. The “bring-your-own-device” momentum in enterprise customers (of all sizes) has presented challenges for many IT departments. DaaS offerings from Service Providers have created a secure, flexible and cost-effective way to meet the BYOD challenge head on. By creating a set of comprehensive design, architecture, implementation and operational materials Desktone and NetApp have enabled Service Providers to offer DaaS as means to satisfy customer demand with fast go-to-market launch timeframes. The heavy lifting was already done.


So where does DaaS fit in relation to traditional VDI?


Traditional VDI solutions built on NetApp technology provide enormous value to customers who want an in-house built and operated solution. DaaS assumes a multi-tenant environment synonymous with Public Cloud models. The key for success is in providing a “fit-for-purpose” model that leverages the most appropriate components and features from innovative technology partners. Generally, this approach provides opportunities for proven best practice technology components such as VMware’s Horizon View for single-tenant use cases and Desktone for multi-tenant use cases. Subtle differences in feature sets can often have significant flow-on impact to the user community. In the desktop virtualization space differences between single and multi-tenancy characteristics and requirements amply demonstrate the need for a “fit-for-purpose” approach.


Innovation does not happen overnight, just as great working partnerships don’t.


VMware and NetApp have an amazing partnership that has existed for over ten years. But the synergies go back further than that. Top of my “Great Minds Think Alike” list is the following fact:

  • In 2001 VMware revolutionized the server landscape when they launched ESX
  • In 2001 NetApp revolutionized the storage market when they launched MultiStore (now matured into Storage Virtual Machine – SVM)


While the partnership between VMware and NetApp was not formally developed in 2001, it is clear that the focus on innovation, combined with a recognition that virtualization was the future for technology, created a philosophical bond between the two organizations. Today, this partnership has evolved to one with over forty thousand shared customers.


Similarly, the partnership between Desktone and NetApp was built on the shared belief that Service Providers would build Cloud offerings to provide choices to customers in relation to how they consumed a desktop experience. In 2009 this belief was definitely a minority view inside the IT industry but that is what innovation and technology leadership is all about. Seeing the future and building a roadmap to meet it head on.


By all industry metrics the growth in DaaS has been exceptional. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is a phenomenon not limited to only mature Cloud markets such as North America. Recent new Service Provider DaaS offerings built with NetApp and Desktone include markets as diverse as Japan and Colombia and have provided an entry to Cloud offerings for some Service Providers who are new to the concept.


On behalf of the numerous Service Providers who have invested in a combined NetApp, Desktone and VMware value proposition to bring DaaS to their market I want to congratulate VMware for the acquisition of Desktone and look forward to innovating together in the Service Provider space well into the future.


For further information related to the acquisition of Desktone by VMware see the press release here: http://bit.ly/18hTx8g

and VMware Partner testimonials promoting the announcement: http://bit.ly/1coWPHJ