Who’s using DaaS

Citrix has a new DaaS service provider survey out. I’m often overly harsh on virtual desktops and, by extension, DaaS. I’m always curious who actually uses this stuff, so the vertical breakout is interesting:

Verticals buying DaaS

The largest number of service providers who responded listed financial services, healthcare and manufacturing as the vertical markets they served. This is an interesting change in the vertical market ranking compared to the December 2011 Citrix Service Provider survey. In 2011, service providers indicated their leading verticals were healthcare, legal and public sector/government. Manufacturing finished fifth in the 2011 survey ranking of most popular verticals and third in the 2014 survey. The growth of manufacturing as a DaaS vertical is a keen indicator of new trends in the vertical market ranking, which is usually dominated by healthcare and financial services.

Citrix has, of course, chosen to not sell DaaS directly but rather be a supplier for others who’d like sell DaaS. They seem to be doing well according to what they reported to us for a recent 451 report: 50% y/y growth from service providers. Amazon and VMware, and others, have gone the opposite route. We’ll see what happens.

Who’s using DaaS

I was on The New Stack Analyst podcast today along with Nancy Gohring, one of the tech reports who’s work I’ve always enjoyed, and, of course, Alex Williams.

We discuss Nancy’s recent piece on Azure cloud seeming to grow faster than Amazon’s cloud, the problem with figuring comparisons like this out, some different scenarios for big cloud vendor success and failure based on where the packaged software market goes, and then DaaS and WaaS. The last is a topic I know less about than I’d like, but that never stops a analyst from talking about a topic…at length.

Pretty wide-ranging topics, but all trying to sort through what “IT” is becoming with all this cloud nonsense running around.

My connection was slow so I shut down my video. Enjoy milkman meets pie man.

Citrix announces 50% YoY revenue growth from cloud partners, Workspace Services (451 Report)

One of our new, excellent analysts Scott Ottaway and I wrote up a report on Citrix’s Workspace as a Service portfolio and strategy.

Clients can read the full report, but here’s the 451 take:

Citrix reported impressive double-digit revenue growth and total licenses from its cloud service provider channel. Citrix also launched multiple new technologies – XenApp, XenMobile, ShareFile – as well as announced a cloud-managed Workspace Services option that service providers or enterprises can leverage to optimize, automate and more easily manage WaaS infrastructure and users while still maintaining the end-user relationship. Unlike VMware, Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, Citrix will not directly compete with its WaaS service provider channel by offering end-to-end WaaS.

While the WaaS market continues to grow rapidly and Citrix continues to offer multiple new technologies and services, service providers need to carefully evaluate the margin opportunity and operational costs versus end-user demand and willingness to pay for the new technologies such as mobile-optimized applications and cloud storage. With the entrance of global cloud providers into the WaaS market within the last six months and the potential for commodification of workspace pricing over time, 451 Research believes that service providers need to carefully evaluate the market and margin opportunity of new expanded WaaS capabilities and to not overprovision for low-opportunity use cases or to reduce margin opportunity by competing solely on price per workspace.

If you’re not already a client, sign up for a free trial and mention that I sent you.

Citrix announces 50% YoY revenue growth from cloud partners, Workspace Services (451 Report)

VMware and Citrix team-up with Google Chromebooks to run Windows apps – Press Pass

I spoke with a couple of reporters earlier this week on the partnerships between Google and VMware and Google and Citrix around supporting Windows XP on Chromebooks. VMware has $200 off Chromebook discount for business buyers, and Citrix has a discount as well. Both are deep into vying with each other around the Desktop-as-a-Service market and interested in dominating that market which is looking to be driven by a pretty simple need: providing a way to use Windows applications on non-Windows devices.

The role of Chromebooks in all of this is interesting: perhaps it’s the cheapest “non-Windows end-user device.” It hasn’t seen massive market-share, but has been growing quickly to something like 2-5%, to throw out a wild-guess driven broad range. (ABI and NPD have some recent Chromebook marketshare estimates as well.)

Amazon launched a DaaS offering recently as well, which I covered in a 451 report; VMware released their DaaS just a tad before Amazon; Citrix, of course, sells a DaaS platform to others who want to run it, and of course has its current virtual desktop empire.

Back to the press part! Both Kevin McLaughlin of CRN (his story) and Dan Kobialka of Talkin’ Cloud (his story) asked for my take on the VMware/Google partnership, and then on Citrix’s involvement. Here’s the amalgamation of my responses to them:

Last I saw somewhere in Twitter there’s something like a quarter of the market still running XP which is certainly significant. I’m not really sure how many customers would take advantage of switching over to DaaS: the time and expense to do so might be the same as just upgrading to Windows 7 depending on how grueling the process was.

When I look at VMware and Citrix (just announced) working with Chromebooks the impact is mostly about adding legitimacy to Chromebooks as a viable business tool. VMware’s partnership means that there’s one way to keep using Windows applications on Chromebooks, through Horizon via the Blast protocol. Citrix announced a similar partnership today as well. Both have a constellation of service provider partners who do Desktop-as-a-Service (VMware has it’s own DaaS as well), or enterprises could just use their own on-premise virtual desktop setups, which both vendors support as well.

I’m not sure how many Windows applications are out there, but there’s likely an uncountable amount ranging from older packaged software to custom written applications used inside the confines of corporate firewalls. Rewriting all of these applications to be pure HTML or native iOS and Android is sort of ludicrous at this point, so as things like BYOD and the spread of iOS and Android devices in the enterprise plays out, companies will need some way of accessing these Windows apps. Android and iOS have had the kind of virtual desktop support needed for awhile, and the Chromebook work that VMware and Citrix are doing here is making it so that Chromebooks can fit, technologically at least, into that corporate mix as well.

VMware and Citrix team-up with Google Chromebooks to run Windows apps – Press Pass

AWS opens its desktop as a service to the market, joins the growing DaaS fray (451 Reports)

Our report on Amazon WorkSpaces is up. The full report is available for 451 research clients, but here’s the 451 Take.

When it comes to making things cheap, few companies have the zeal and credibility of Amazon. While new, mostly non-Microsoft devices are rapidly changing and fragmenting the end-user device market, there’s still a palpable need to support existing Windows applications. DaaS seems like a viable ‘green screen’ strategy for supporting these corporate applications on new devices. While some of the early reviews of Amazon WorkSpaces have surfaced, the usual bucket of 1.0 hiccups, like speed and locale shenanigans, will undoubtedly be ironed out. The DaaS space is just emerging as a broad market, and we predict many players on this scene, each hopefully figuring out new and unique ways to differentiate.

You can always apply for a free trial to take a test run behind the paywall.

AWS opens its desktop as a service to the market, joins the growing DaaS fray (451 Reports)

The DaaS market is looking interesting

Part of the coverage in my practice at 451 is the Desktop-as-a-Service and virtual desktop market, so I poke my head into that space from time-to-time. As I discussed in a recent (yet to be published) Connected Culture and Oblique Strategies podcast, the DaaS market is looking interesting. A press release quote I provided to a 451 client , GCI, sums up my current feelings:

“This is looking like a good time to enter the Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) market,” said Michael Coté, Research Director, 451 Research. “Demand should see growth from BYOD initiatives as employees look to use their own devices to access corporate applications and data. Virtual desktops have technically been a good answer for the delivery and security functionality needed there, but the reality of doing those installs pre-cloud has limited virtual desktop’s wide acceptance, especially for small and medium sized businesses. The fungibility and affordability of cloud infrastructure is primed to fix that limiting factor, creating an exciting window of opportunity for DaaS.”

I wrote up VMware’s recent entrance into DaaS, and there’s an Amazon WorkSpaces report in the hopper which will be out soon as well.

VMware launches “desktop as a service” offering with recently acquired Desktone (451 Report)

Earlier this week VMware announced it’s Desktop-as-Service (DaaS) offering, building on-top of the recently acquired Desktone asset. I have a 451 report for clients up.

Here’s the 451 Take:

VMware is launching a desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) offering at an appropriate time, both beating Amazon to the 1.0 punch and playing into key trends that seem to be giving virtual desktops a new breath of life. There’s been a steady increase in the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, tightly coupled with the fragmentation of the PC market brought on by mobility: tablets, Apple and Android – not to mention the continued spread of the Web as a major ‘platform.’ Meanwhile, the profusion of Windows-based applications and other ‘legacy’ corporate IT services are not always ready to convert to the new platforms, opening up the need for virtual desktops. Finally, cloud infrastructure technologies and business models are making the managing of the back end for virtual desktop systems more cost-efficient. The confluence of these trends points toward companies tilting at the virtual desktop windmills again, but this time with a ‘SaaSy’ lance.

If you’re a 451 client, check out the full report, or feel free to lead-gen yourself with free 30 day trial.

VMware launches “desktop as a service” offering with recently acquired Desktone (451 Report)