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Girish Srinivas

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You probably know that moving your workloads into a cloud can help to decrease costs, increase agility, simplify deployment, and enhance security.

But did you know that you can double down on these benefits by leveraging not just one, but multiple, cloud data centers at the same time as part of a multi-cloud strategy?

If not, this blog’s for you. Keep reading as we unpack the benefits of pivoting to a distributed multi-cloud architecture that gives businesses the ability to spread workloads across as many data centers as they wish, thereby getting even more value from the cloud.

What is a multi-cloud strategy, and why does it matter?

A multi-cloud strategy is any approach to cloud computing that involves using more than one cloud at once. Under a multi-cloud architecture, you could use two or more public clouds (like AWS and Azure). Or you could pair a public cloud with a private cloud that you host in your own data center.

Multi-cloud strategies offer a variety of benefits:

  • Cost-savings: By allowing businesses to choose from a wider selection of cloud vendors and services, multi-cloud helps them achieve the best tradeoff between price and features. In 85 percent of cases, multi-cloud ends up being less expensive than other types of cloud architectures.
  • Reliability: Using multiple clouds at once increases workload reliability and availability because it ensures that some of your workloads will remain available if one of your clouds fails.
  • Agility: The more clouds you have in the mix, the more flexibility you’ll enjoy about where and how to run workloads.

According to Forbes, more than 90 percent of large businesses currently use some kind of multi-cloud architecture.

The importance of multiple data centers within multi-cloud

Importantly, not all multi-cloud strategies necessarily involve distributing workloads across multiple data centers at once.

In some cases, going multi-cloud simply means that you host some workloads in one cloud, while placing other, separate workloads in a different cloud. You could host some of your applications on AWS, for instance, while others run in Azure.

That’s why we draw a distinction between multi-cloud computing in general, and multi-cloud architectures that involve hosting the same workloads within multiple data centers simultaneously.

The latter approach to multi-cloud means that different instances of a given workload are hosted in different cloud data centers at the same time. You could do this by, for example, deploying one set of virtual machines as EC2 instances in the AWS cloud, while simultaneously hosting a set of the same VMs in Azure Virtual Machines.

How multiple data centers bring even more value to multi-cloud

Benefits of Distributing Workloads Across Multiple Cloud Data Centers
Any type of multi-cloud architecture delivers benefits like increased agility, enhanced reliability, and cost savings.

However, for most workloads, choosing a multi-cloud strategy that distributes workloads across data centers unlocks the greatest potential of multi-cloud. This is true for several reasons:

  • Multiple data centers maximize reliability: If you host one workload in one cloud and another in a different cloud, one workload will fail if the cloud hosting it goes down. But if you host redundant instances of the workload in both clouds, it will remain available in the event of one cloud’s failure.
  • Easily migrate between clouds: When you provision multiple data centers to host the same workload, you can quickly scale the workload up or down in each data center because it’s already configured to run there. It would take much more time to migrate a workload from scratch from one data center to the other; for example, you can’t instantly lift-and-shift an EC2 instance into Azure Virtual Machines.
  • Rapid deployment: Along similar lines, having multiple data centers already ready to go can speed the deployment of new workloads of a similar type. If you’ve already set up EC2 or Azure Virtual Machines to host one type of VM, for example, chances are that you can launch a second VM on both services quickly because you will already have the configurations in place for networking, storage and so on.
  • Tighter security: One of the major challenges of multi-cloud is that it is hard to configure Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies properly when your team has to work with multiple IAM frameworks in order to move a workload from one cloud to another. (This is why more than half of IT leaders report security as a barrier to adopting multi-cloud.) However, if your workload is already provisioned for multiple data centers, you’ll have IAM policies ready to go for all of them, reducing the risk of introducing security issues during a rapid migration from one data center into another.

The bottom line: Although distributing workloads across multiple data centers is not the only way to implement a multi-cloud strategy, it offers maximum benefits in many respects. That’s an important point to keep in mind in a world where 78 percent of IT leaders still believe their organizations have work to do to optimize their multi-cloud strategies and operations.

You may not think of your company’s desktop computers as the weakest link in your environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy.

But for some companies, they are. In multiple ways, desktop PCs contribute to bloated carbon footprints, undercut sustainability initiatives, and reinforce global social inequality.

That’s yet another reason why businesses can benefit from desktop-as-a-service, or DaaS, which may significantly reduce the environmental and social impact of their end-user computing infrastructure. ESG priorities have been receiving growing attention from enterprises globally. In fact, earlier this year, Gartner reported that “more than 90% of organizations increased their investments in sustainability programs since the start of the pandemic”.

Here’s how DaaS does this – and why achieving ESG goals through DaaS is an essential step toward business success.

The sustainability impact of desktop PCs

Desktop computers undercut ESG priorities in two main ways: by increasing emissions and contributing to e-waste.

CO2 Emissions
PCs increase carbon emissions due to the electricity they consume. Since that electricity is more likely than not generated using coal or natural gas, a typical desktop computer can dump as much as 1,500 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere every year if it’s left on continuously – as many corporate desktops are because employees don’t want to have to wait for devices to restart or open back all of their apps on a recurring basis. It would take between 100 and 500 trees to offset those emissions.

And we’re talking here about a single computer. If you run hundreds or thousands of PCs, you’d need an entire forest to make up for the emissions they produce.

E-waste
PCs and laptops can also be a nightmare from an e-waste perspective. Businesses routinely dispose of computing devices when the devices become unable to handle increased workload requirements. Devices may also be tossed because the company downsized, and it no longer needs as many computers.

When devices end up in dumps, the various chemicals inside them – which may include lead and arsenic, among others – leach into the ground, polluting the environment. That’s the opposite of what your business wants to do if it cares about ESG.

The fact that significant amounts of e-waste end up in developing countries is also a problem from an ESG perspective. Discarded desktops turn into poisonous trash on the doorsteps of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

How DaaS strengthens ESG commitments

Imagine a world where businesses no longer depended on fleets of energy-hungry, landfill-bound PCs to keep their workers productive. Such a world would involve significantly fewer emissions and a lot less e-waste.

Fortunately, that world is possible. By embracing DaaS, businesses can replace traditional PCs with virtual desktop environments that have a lower overall carbon footprint and that generate much less e-waste.

With DaaS, there’s no need to keep local PCs running (and contributing to carbon emissions) 24/7. Instead, employees can log into virtual desktop sessions when they need and shut off their local devices when they are done. In the meantime, the desktop sessions remain stored in the cloud, with no need to reboot the next time employees need to access applications or data.

DaaS also makes it easy for businesses to scale desktop computing infrastructure up and down without contributing to e-waste. If your company no longer needs as many desktops, it can simply turn off some of its virtual desktops, without throwing out any physical devices.

And if you find that your virtual desktops are no longer able to handle a particular kind of workload well, you don’t need to toss them in a dump and buy new machines. You can simply increase the virtual CPU and memory allocated to your virtual desktop instances in order to prepare them for heavier load.

Does DaaS have a sustainability cost?

To be sure, DaaS doesn’t totally eliminate emissions or e-waste. Electricity is required to run the servers that host virtual desktop instances, and employees need some kind of device to connect from when they want to access those instances.

Compared to traditional desktop infrastructure, however, virtual desktops are significantly less wasteful from a sustainability perspective, for several reasons:

  • Economies of scale: You can run dozens of virtual desktops on a single server, which greatly reduces that amount of physical infrastructure required to power virtual desktop infrastructure.
  • Cloud energy efficiency: In many cases, virtual desktops hosted in the cloud consume much less energy than devices running locally. The cloud is about 93 percent more energy-efficient than conventional infrastructure.
  • Clean energy sourcing: It’s also often easier to source clean, renewable energy for cloud-based infrastructure, including servers that host virtual desktops. Your company’s office may not be able to obtain clean energy, but there’s a decent chance that your cloud data center is powered, at least in part, by wind or solar energy.
  • Longer device lifetime: The devices that users use to connect to virtual desktops are likely to last longer because the devices don’t have to handle computing requirements locally. The “heavy lifting” takes place on cloud servers, which are designed to tolerate sustained periods of intense use.

In each of these ways, DaaS helps businesses achieve ambitious ESG goals – which is an increasingly important consideration for business success.

The Gartner report also points out that hyperscalers are actively investing in sustainable cloud operations with the lofty aim of achieving net zero emissions within this decade. Which means that we can look forward to innovative means to reduce carbon emissions through the effective use of cloud services.

How Anunta adds value to our clients’ ESG commitments

As an industry leader in Managed DaaS for over a decade, Anunta has been successfully adding value to the ESG commitments of our clients. In our engagements with the customers, we have helped them eliminate their dependency on high-end physical desktops – which require regular maintenance and updates – and replaced them with thin clients, thereby helping with power saving and reducing electronic device wastage.

The reduction in electronic waste along with the subsequent power saving have directly contributed to a significant reduction in our clients’ carbon footprint in our 10+ years engagements.

Migrating our customers’ workloads from on-premises to cloud is another area which positively contributes to our ESG commitments. By helping our customers leverage the energy efficiency offered by cloud, Anunta has been consistently helping its customers embrace sustainability.

Conclusion

Conventional PCs are a major source of waste and a contributor to global social inequity. But a better world is possible: With help from DaaS, businesses can build end-user computing environments that mesh well with ESG priorities.

According to Gartner, the future of IT infrastructure and operations is simple enough to predict. Gartner distills the major themes of modern IT into six basic trends that it says will reshape the way IT organizations approach infrastructure and operations tasks.

If you look closely at those trends, you’ll notice that Desktop-as-a-Service, or DaaS, is a clear solution for operationalizing each of them. Although Gartner doesn’t explicitly point to DaaS (which it has analyzed separately) as a major enabler of innovation in IT infrastructure and operations, it’s clear enough if you read between the lines that DaaS goes hand-in-hand with the future of IT.

To prove the point, let’s walk through each of the six trends that Gartner has identified as being at the core of IT infrastructure and operations innovation, and discuss how DaaS fits into each of them.

1. Anywhere operations

The first trend, which Gartner calls anywhere operations, reflects the need of IT organizations to deploy infrastructure that allows employees to work from anywhere, at any time.

No infrastructure solution achieves this goal better than DaaS. By providing employees with secure desktop environments that they can access from any location with an Internet connection, DaaS lays the foundation for anywhere operations – and, by extension, helps businesses to take full advantage of remote work models.

2. Optimal infrastructure

According to Gartner, businesses are increasingly seeking “optimal infrastructure,” is aimed at “ensuring strong returns for infrastructure investment.”

Although desktop infrastructure is only one component of overall infrastructure spend, DaaS is the obvious solution for optimizing the cost of desktop systems. With DaaS, businesses no longer have to invest in costly on-premises desktop hardware, or the high-effort maintenance operations required to support it. They can simply spin up desktop systems in the cloud on demand.

What’s more, DaaS also lets businesses shift from a CapEx-focused infrastructure spending model to an OpEx model, which brings even more agility to infrastructure budgets.

3. Operational continuity

Gartner says that “IT services must be continuous, regardless of external factors.” That means IT teams need infrastructure that can deliver a flawless, zero-downtime experience.

Achieving this goal with conventional desktop infrastructure is very difficult. Local systems are prone to hardware failure, not to mention issues like the risk of data loss due to failed hard disks, inaccessibility during power outages and so on.

With DaaS, however, operational continuity becomes baked into desktop infrastructure. DaaS systems remain operational – and the data and applications hosted on them remain safe – regardless of what happens to local offices or the devices that employees use to access cloud-based desktop systems. Although it’s still a best practice to back up DaaS systems, the risk of downtime – and, by extension, disruption to business continuity – is fundamentally lower when companies shift to DaaS infrastructure.

4. Core modernization

According to Gartner, modern IT organizations are investing in “core modernization,” which means evolving infrastructure to take advantage of newer technologies.

On the server side of the equation, those technologies may involve innovations like containers and microservices. But from a desktop infrastructure perspective, they should focus on the type of enhancements that DaaS alone can deliver. DaaS brings the same agility, cost-effectiveness and reliability improvements to desktop infrastructure that containers and microservices offer to server-side workloads.

5. Distributed cloud

Distributed cloud, which Gartner defines as “the decentralization of cloud resources,” is another trend that can be operationalized from the desktop perspective through DaaS. With DaaS, local, centralized desktop systems are replaced with flexible virtual desktop environments that can be hosted in any cloud data center – a key advantage for businesses that need to keep data and applications in a specific region in order to meet compliance or privacy goals.

At the same time, however, DaaS makes it easy for IT teams to centralize administration by managing all desktop environments through a central platform. They get the performance and reliability benefits of distributed infrastructure while also enjoying the administrative advantages of centralized management tooling.

6. Critical skills vs. critical roles

The final major infrastructure and operations trend that Gartner points to, which it describes as a shift from “critical roles” to “critical skills,” involves a focus on ensuring that IT practitioners have the broad set of skills necessary to do multiple jobs, rather than designating specific roles for specific tasks.

While this trend involves personnel more than infrastructure itself, businesses that shift to DaaS will find it easier to take a skills-based approach to infrastructure management. The reason why is that with DaaS, desktop infrastructure becomes more consistent and easier to administer. Instead of having to support hundreds of unique desktop computing devices spread across a wide geographic area, IT teams can manage virtual desktop instances running on a standardized, centralized cloud platform.

In this way, DaaS makes desktop support skills easier to obtain, and it significantly lowers the risk that the departure of certain IT staff members will leave businesses unable to support certain systems.

Conclusion

From enabling remote work, to improving infrastructure ROI, to simplifying infrastructure support operations and beyond, DaaS plays a central role in helping businesses to innovate with regard to IT infrastructure and operations. As businesses seek to build better and better IT infrastructures by following the trends Gartner identifies, DaaS should be at the core of their investment strategy.

Table of contents

What is Desktop as a Service (DaaS)?

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a virtual desktop deployment model in which the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) technology is hosted on cloud. It allows organizations to deliver cloud-hosted desktops to their employees and provides them access to their enterprise applications and data from any device, any location and at any time. Gartner defines Desktop as a service (DaaS) as an offering that provides users with an on-demand, virtualized desktop experience delivered from a remotely hosted location. It includes provisioning, patching and maintenance of the management plane and resources to host workloads.

In DaaS, the storage, network resources, and other support infrastructure are hosted in the cloud. A DaaS service provider streams the applications and data over a network to the end-users’ devices through thin/zero clients, where the employees can access their desktop through a client software or a web browser with the necessary authentication.

In the past few months, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, DaaS adoption has accelerated at a never-before-seen rate as enterprises need to support their remote workers and provide a secure work environment increased significantly. According to Gartner, Desktop as a service (DaaS) market revenue grew by 98% in 2020 compared to 2019, and it is forecast to grow by 68% in 2021. DaaS offers a reliable and cost effective remote working option for enterprises to provide their employees a long-term and sustainable remote working technology that is highly secure and allows employees to access enterprise applications from multiple devices and locations.

How does desktop as a service work?

How does desktop as a service work? | Anunta Tech
Figure 1: DaaS architecture

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) provides organizations access to enterprise applications and workloads hosted on public or private cloud. The workforce can access their desktops using an internet or via a web-based browser securely on the device of their choice.

DaaS is mostly available as a pay as you go subscription model where organizations pay only for what they consume. The VDI infrastructure is hosted on cloud and is rendered on the device using a thin or zero client.

Standard DaaS providers deliver the virtualization technology while a managed desktop as a service (DaaS) provider takes care of end-to-end implementation and management of the virtual environment. Managed DaaS providers like Anunta provides a complete freedom to organizations from the pains of implementation (provisioning, configuration, and integration) and management (incident and problem management, change and patch updates) of virtual desktops.

What is the difference between VDI and DaaS?

What is the difference between VDI and DaaS? | Anunta Tech
Figure 2: VDI vs DaaS

In Desktop as a Service (DaaS), the desktops and applications are hosted on either a public or private cloud as compared by VDI, where the workloads are hosted on an organization’s own data center. DaaS is a cost-effective option to adopt virtual desktops as no upfront expenditure is required to procure servers, physical spaces, and resources, etc. It is flexible to deploy and supports geographically distributed end-users as compared to VDI where user proximity to data center is required. DaaS can be scaled up at any time without much hassle.

Anunta works with leading enterprises globally to enable workplace transformation by adoption of Desktop as a Service(DaaS) across cloud providers (Microsoft Azure, VMware’s Horizon cloud on Azure, VMC on AWS, Amazon Web Services, and private cloud).

What are the benefits of Desktop as a Service (DaaS)?

DaaS can help organizations achieve anytime access to their applications and workloads and change the dynamics of how the employee work. Using DaaS can also help improve the performance and productivity of employees as they are able to securely access the data on any device.

Some of the key benefits of DaaS are as follows:

  • Accessibility and Flexibility :

    Employees can access their applications, desktops, and data over the internet via PC, laptop, tablet, and smartphones from anywhere, keeping them productive, no matter where they work.

  • Agility and Scalability :

    Rapidly scale up and down (bringing hosted desktops online or pushing new applications across a hosted desktop estate) depending on your business needs, whether it is, M&A, staffing temporary workers during peak seasons, managing contractors, or opening branch offices.

  • Business continuity :

    The continuous availability of desktop coupled with the centralized storage and backup of data enables businesses to stay up and running in the event of a natural disaster or any other unforeseen event.

  • Cost control :

    Pay for only what you use through monthly or yearly subscription models. This helps reduce capital expenses by doing away with investment in desktop hardware, servers and licensing and thereby using those funds for more value-added initiatives. Adopting DaaS can also help businesses enjoy more predictable operational expenses.

  • Security :

    Data is held and regularly backed up in a secure hosted environment and so it is secure. DaaS provides users with a secure access point and simplifies desktop and app management processes and procedures.

Benefits of DaaS

Frequently Asked Questions related to Desktop as a Service (DaaS):

What is the future of workplace using Desktop as a Service (DaaS)?

The future of work has changed as the workplace shifts to home. The need to expand remote work solutions has pushed businesses and their IT teams to re-consider End-User Computing (EUC) technologies like VDI & DaaS.

DaaS is helping organizations to overcome the remote work challenges such as data security, accessibility, and operational issues. With remote working becoming the new normal, DaaS adoption is one way to cater to the organization’s scalability and flexible pricing needs in the long term.

According to Gartner, DaaS adoption is expected to grow at 44% by 2023, contributing to more than 50% of annual spending on Remote Client Computing by 2023.

Top 5 Reasons to Adopt DaaS

Click to view Infographic

What are the top use cases for Desktop as a Service?

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) provides most organizations the flexibility to migrate their physical desktops to cloud securely. A few of the common use cases of DaaS which organizations can use include

  • Security and Compliance
  • Bring your own devices (BYOD)
  • Contractors and Partners (Temporary workers)
  • Contact Centers
  • Desktop and PC Refresh
  • Remote and Branch office workers
  • Field workers (on the go workers)
Use cases of Desktop as a Service (DaaS)
Figure 3: Use cases of Desktop as a Service

Anunta transforms IT Infrastructure of a large Indian life insurance provider to spur productivity, improve performance and service delivery by leveraging next-generation cloud hosted virtual desktops

Read case study

How Managed DaaS is different from DaaS?

Typical DaaS solution provides organizations with the hardware infrastructure and software with basic support but leaves the enterprise’s IT teams to deal with setting up and managing the virtual desktops. This includes provisioning, configuration, integration, migration, and management which require specialized expertise often not available in-house. Anunta’s Managed DaaS provides end to end delivery of the desktops on the cloud with comprehensive 24X7 support and takes away all the pain of managing the new environment.

Learn why Anunta’s Managed Desktop as a Service is the right and long-term solution for your business. Anunta’s Managed Desktop as a Service provides you with fully managed virtual desktops on Cloud platforms of your choice (Azure, Horizon Cloud or AWS) depending on the needs of enterprises. Provide your workforce the power of cloud desktops as a secure, sustainable, and scalable solution for remote working.

How Managed DaaS enables Digital Workplace in the enterprises and the key factors to consider when evaluating a Managed DaaS Provider

Download whitepaper

Desktop as a Service for SMB

Anunta Managed DaaS is available for both enterprises and small-medium businesses (SMBs). Anunta’s DesktopReady is a fully managed virtual desktop solution built on the inherently secure and high-performing Azure® cloud. DesktopReady requires no upfront capital expenditure or separate setup costs. Request a demo for DesktopReady.

Top Desktop as a Service Providers

Anunta is the only managed desktop as a service provider (DaaS) provider to feature as a representative vendor in Gartner Market Guide for DaaS among other DaaS providers mentioned in the list by Gartner. The Market Guide provides an overview about DaaS market and shares a list of representative vendors, including Anunta.

What differentiates Anunta from competitors?

Anunta is a recognized specialist and a leading managed desktop as a service provider focused on managed desktops and digital workspaces. Anunta offers an end-to-end design, implementation, and management of cloud hosted desktops for clients globally.

Anunta’s Managed DaaS services include:

  • Managed Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD):

    Provisioning and integrating Customer-specific Azure VMs (multi-session or single session or Server OS-RDS) and management of the newly virtualized environment to address teething issues.

  • Managed Horizon Desktop:

    End to end implementation and management of virtual desktops on the VMware’s Horizon platforms (Horizon 7, Horizon Cloud on Azure, Horizon Cloud on IBM SoftLayer) and VMware Cloud on AWS.

  • Managed Citrix Desktop:

    Implementation and management of secure managed desktop solution on Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.

Why Anunta?

  • 500000

    remote desktops migrated

  • 200000+

    Users managed globally

  • 10+

    years of implementation and managing remote desktop solutions

 

Explore Desktop as a Service with Anunta

Talk to our Experts

Common FAQs on Desktop as a Service

At first glance, the manufacturing industry may not appear as well positioned as other sectors to take full advantage of cloud services such as virtual desktops. Manufacturers tend to have highly complex and customized IT infrastructures that — to a greater degree than those in other industries — are tightly connected to physical factory equipment.

That means manufacturers cannot simply lift-and-shift IT resources into the cloud in the way that companies might in industries where IT infrastructure is not so tightly coupled with factories and other physical infrastructure.

Nonetheless, manufacturers stand to benefit from cloud services just as much as companies that operate in other industries. Indeed, many manufacturers have already made the jump to cloud-centric IT strategies, and those that have not will find it challenging to keep scaling and optimizing their IT estates.

Desktop infrastructure challenges for manufacturers

The typical manufacturing company faces several special challenges related to desktop infrastructure.

One is the need for ultra-reliable and responsive applications on the factory floor. When a PC hosting application that detects defective items within an assembly line goes down for even just a few minutes or takes longer than a second or two to scan items, the consequences can be far-reaching. Allowing defective items to move down the chain places the entire manufacturing operation at risk. To avoid issues like these, manufacturers must achieve levels of uptime and performance that exceed the standards of many other industries.

Integrating data from disparate systems to drive collaboration between stakeholders is another key challenge for manufacturing. To optimize operations, product designers and engineers must have continuous visibility into the state of the shop floor. But given the distributed nature of teams and the desktop infrastructure on which they rely, it can be difficult to design systems that avoid silos and make it easy for all stakeholders to collaborate over a shared platform.

A final major challenge is security. Manufacturers must guarantee the physical security of their IT infrastructure, which can be difficult when that infrastructure is spread across multiple manufacturing sites and cannot be neatly tucked inside a data centre, as it would be in most other industries. At the same time, the highly distributed and heterogeneous nature of manufacturing infrastructure makes it hard to apply across-the-board compliance and security rules to all desktop systems.

How manufacturers are leveraging the cloud

Manufacturers are already turning to the cloud to help meet these and other challenges associated with their IT infrastructure. Worldwide, around two-thirds of enterprises in this industry have adopted public or private cloud platforms of some kind, according to IDC.

The number is lower in India, where cloud adoption within manufacturing stands at around 22 percent. Nonetheless, that figure is expected to more than double over the coming decade.

It is easy to see why manufacturers are turning the cloud in increasing numbers. With SLA promises that routinely exceed 99 percent — and in many cases reach 99.999 percent or higher — public cloud services promise rates of availability that are difficult to match when working with on-premises infrastructure.

Why and How Manufacturers Are Embracing Cloud Desktops

At the same time, the unlimited scalability of the cloud ensures that workloads always have the resources they need to work at peak performance and process data quickly, even during periods of unexpectedly high demand.

The cloud also provides a central point of collaboration where all stakeholders can store, view, and share data with each other. Instead of devoting a different IT infrastructure to each team and awkwardly linking them together, manufacturers can leverage the cloud as a single platform that accommodates all IT needs for the business.

Security, too, becomes simpler when companies move away from on-prem infrastructure in favour of cloud services that do not require physical security management, and that also deliver a higher degree of uniformity — thereby making it easier to apply standardized security rules across them.

Use case example: Virtual desktop infrastructure for manufacturing

As an example of the cloud at work within manufacturing, consider a client that Anunta helped to transition away from conventional desktops into hosted virtual desktops. The company, which manufactures consumer products and has hundreds of locations spread across India, was struggling with its previous desktop infrastructure, which suffered downtime rates as high as 10 percent, poor security enforcement and frequent data loss, among other issues.

By moving the manufacturer to virtual desktop infrastructure, Anunta was able to achieve a dramatic improvement in availability, which now exceeds 99 percent. The rate of IT incidents has also dropped by nearly a factor of ten, and security and compliance have been standardized across the company’s desktop infrastructure.

The result is faster and more reliable manufacturing operations, with a much lower risk that problems with desktop infrastructure will disrupt the company’s ability to ensure that all stakeholders in the manufacturing process have access to the applications and data they need, when they need it. Read the complete success story here.

Conclusion: Cloud and the future of manufacturing

It may be unrealistic to expect most manufacturers to move all their infrastructure to the cloud. They will always need some IT resources located at manufacturing sites (which is one reason why hybrid cloud architectures, which allow businesses to combine on-premises resources with cloud services, have grown popular in this sector).

Overall, however, the cloud offers enormous promise to help manufacturers overcome the reliability, performance, security, and other challenges they face from their existing IT systems. Going forward, the cloud is poised to play an ever-greater role in enabling agility and scalability for manufacturing, just as it has across other industries.

Key Takeaways

  • Cloud has become an indispensable part of the DNA of education due to Covid-19.
  • Cloud desktops enable students to access courses and materials, as well as collaborate with teachers and peers with minimal bandwidth and data transfer requirements.
  • Virtual desktop provides an effective boundary for the device, better administrative control and maintenance of anti-virus, thereby enhancing the security.

How have the cloud and virtual desktops impacted student learning?

Education systems, ranging from primary schools to universities, struggle with how to best address student learning in a secure, consistent manner, with an eye for budgetary considerations. Cloud has played an increasingly important role addressing educational needs in response to Covid-19 and will likely continue to expand in the future.

Forced Learnings from Covid-19

Covid-19 radically forced major changes in student learning. Almost overnight, educators were required to transition all traditional classroom instruction to distance learning. Operational challenges that initially plagued education administrators ranged from lack of student computing devices, poor internet access, budgets, and cloud expertise. As those items were quickly addressed, the benefits of cloud-based virtual desktops and remote learning systems ultimately overcame those challenges and fostered success.

Covid-19 radically forced major changes in student learning. Almost overnight, educators were required to transition all traditional classroom instruction to distance learning.

Once students became accustomed to attending virtual classroom instruction, communicating virtually, and uploading homework assignments to cloud-based repositories, cloud become an indispensable part of the DNA of education. The education community realized some expected as well as some unexpected benefits that continue to drive cloud adoption in the education sector.

Cloud Benefits

Cloud provides immediate access to infrastructure, including resource bursts. Rather than invest heavily in hardware and infrastructure, cloud computing enables education entities to rent virtual desktop services. When Covid-19 struck, technical staff didn’t have the time or energy to create or expand physical on-premises data centers to address the new normal associated with highly demanding compute services. Having cloud infrastructure readily available expedited the transition to remote learning and virtual desktops while minimizing technical administration requirements.

While in-person learning will likely always be the gold standard, cloud computing enables students to access courses and materials, as well as collaborate with teachers and peers. The virtual desktop that is assigned to the student presents these resources centrally with minimal bandwidth and data transfer requirements. Of course, internet service is required, but students living in households with internet data caps or less than stellar service speeds can still access learning materials.

Education has become more dynamic due to the cloud. New or updated courseware can easily be made available to address student needs by adding these materials to the virtual desktop golden image and propagating it for access. The next time that the student logs in, the updates are automatically presented as part of the virtual desktop.

Cloud Adoption for Education
Cloud Adoption for Education

Resolving student computing issues is often as simple as logging off and logging in fresh, resulting in very minimal technical interruption to student learning. Educators have their hands full with teaching students, and assisting with technical support issues should not be part of their daily work. When issues arise, it is often unnecessary to delve into what the student may have done within the virtual desktop or why or asking the student to contact technical support. Instead, a quick logoff/login addresses the majority of issues because a fresh virtual desktop is presented to the student within the new session.

Virtual desktops are instrumental in creating a standard computing platform and thus levelling the playing field for students because the physical device is largely irrelevant. Students with basic devices, such as a Google Chromebook, access the same virtual desktop as students with more robust Windows or Mac devices. Once the student accesses the virtual desktop, the resources allocated to that virtual desktop uniformly manage the user experience.

Securing Student Resources

The virtual desktop should be easy for the student to use, and it must be a secure resource. Virtual desktops provide students with access to educational resources without the need to install applications on the student computer; the student only needs to access the virtual desktop by means of a browser or inherent Remote Desktop functionality. Further, an SSL/TLS connection is initiated prior to login and for the duration of the session, and thus the virtual desktop is securely presented to the student.

The virtual desktop itself is administratively controlled and protected. Many students don’t understand system security and haphazardly access malicious web sites and/or download unsafe content to their personal devices. Consequently, viruses, trojans, or malware may infiltrate the physical device, but this does not impact the virtual desktop. This is because in addition to administrative control and maintenance of anti-virus, the virtual desktop provides an effective boundary from the student device and thus greatly enhances security.

The Future of Cloud Adoption for Education

As in-person classroom instruction resumes, usage of the cloud within the education sector will have a significant presence. Education entities will further appreciate that they can offer students better learning services by means of virtual desktops, and a blend of traditional learning with cloud-based services will become the new normal. Especially as the library of education material increases, desktops–whether due to necessity or preference–will continue to be a valid solution for many students.

If you hadn’t heard of cloud desktops before the pandemic, you probably have by now. Cloud desktop services are among the fastest-growing niches within cloud computing, and analysts believe that more and more workers will rely on cloud desktops to do their jobs going forward.

But what will the actual adoption process look like as more organizations embrace cloud desktops? Will it take months or years for most businesses to get cloud desktops fully up and rolling, as it does with many other types of cloud services?

The answer may surprise you. In many ways, the cloud desktop adoption lifecycle is simpler and more flexible than the adoption lifecycle for conventional cloud services. Businesses can move their employees to cloud desktops in days or weeks, not months or years. Just as important, they can scale cloud desktop infrastructure back down almost instantaneously if their needs change.

If your business wants to take advantage of cloud desktops, but you are worried about a slow and complicated adoption process, read on. As this article explains, cloud desktop adoption is much simpler than you may think.

What is the cloud adoption lifecycle?

The cloud adoption lifecycle is a concept that describes the phases organizations go through as they migrate to most types of cloud-based technologies. Those phases include:

  • Evaluation of cloud services.
  • Implementation of a small-scale proof-of-concept.
  • The planning of a broader cloud strategy.
  • Implementation of the broader strategy.
  • Ongoing expansion of cloud environments, including possibly the extension to include other cloud platforms.
  • Cloud maturity, which happens when the organization has fully achieved the benefits it sought from the cloud.


Fig. 1: A representation of the phases in a cloud adoption lifecycle.

Every organization’s cloud adoption path is different, of course, so you should think of the cloud adoption lifecycle as a basic outline of the steps that companies typically take rather than a strict script. Still, it’s a useful concept for thinking through the ways that companies actually go about taking advantage of the cloud once they have set their minds to it.

The adoption lifecycle for cloud desktops

Traditionally, the cloud adoption lifecycle centered around simple cloud computing services, like storage and virtual machines. Companies moving to those technologies generally follow a cloud adoption lifecycle similar to the one described above.

When it comes to cloud desktops, however, the adoption lifecycle can look very different, in two keyways:

  • Speed: Because companies can launch fully managed and professionally supported cloud desktops in a matter of hours, they can complete the adoption lifecycle in days, not months.
  • Flexibility: One of the powerful advantages of cloud desktops is that businesses only need to use them (and, by extension, pay for them) when they need them. They can scale up or down, vertically, or horizontally, with ease. This is not so much the case with other types of cloud services, where it’s hard to move VMs back on-prem, for instance.

Both of these features mean that companies can quickly adopt cloud desktops when they need to scale their desktop infrastructure quickly — as many did during the Covid-19 crisis, for example — without the long planning and proof-of-concept phases that form part of the conventional cloud adoption lifecycle.

Crisis and cloud desktop adoption

Indeed, part of the reason cloud desktops are currently experiencing explosive growth is that their easy adoption cycle makes them an ideal solution for companies struggling to maintain continuity in difficult times.

The Covid pandemic is one obvious example of a situation in which rapid cloud desktop adoption enabled companies to cope with the situation by extending their desktop infrastructure very quickly to support a remote workforce. Not only did cloud desktops allow businesses to keep their employees productive when they could no longer work on-site, but cloud desktop services also ensured the security of business data and applications. Rather than asking employees to work from personal devices that are difficult to secure, businesses were able to turn to cloud desktop platforms that are centrally monitored and managed to ensure security.

Beyond Covid, cloud desktops are also a safeguard against more mundane disruptions, such as data center failure that could be caused by monsoons or other extreme weather events. When desktops run in a public cloud like Azure, they can be hosted in data centers located anywhere in the world. If one region — like northwest India, for example — is impacted by severe weather, cloud desktops can be moved almost instantaneously to a different data center that exists in a separate cloud region to protect business continuity.

Businesses may choose to gain even greater levels of continuity by taking a multi cloud approach to cloud desktops. A company could choose to leverage cloud desktops from both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure or any public cloud platform, for instance, in order to maintain desktop availability in the event that one of those providers experiences a disruption.

Rapid adoption with minimal investment

Adding to the agility of cloud desktop adoption is the fact that cloud desktop services like Anunta’s Cloud Desktops are priced using a pay-as-you-go model. This means companies pay only for the desktops they need, when they need them. There is no fixed term or upfront investment required.

Thus, for businesses that want the option of scaling their desktop infrastructure up rapidly, when necessary, but don’t want to tie up enormous capital to guarantee that scalability, cloud desktops offer a compelling solution.

Conclusion: Why cloud desktops are here to stay

It’s easy to see how the easy and flexible adoption process described above makes cloud desktops an obvious choice for businesses seeking to navigate the ongoing uncertainty that they face at present.

By making it possible to scale desktop infrastructure up with the flip of a virtual switch, while at the same time avoiding major capital investments or long-term contracts, cloud desktop solutions such as Anunta’s Cloud Desktops offer a fresh take on the meaning of cloud adoption.

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