Cloud Services with VMware Horizon DaaS Platform

The VMware Horizon Desktop as a Service (DaaS) Platform enables the delivery of virtual workspaces via the cloud. Offered exclusively by VMware-certified service providers, the platform allows for the provisioning of full or shared Windows desktops and applications accessible from anywhere, using any device. While it can help organizations transition from the traditional desktop model to a fully managed desktop model on the cloud, the platform has limitations.

Cloud Services with VMware Horizon DaaS Platform

Definition of DaaS

In DaaS, service providers deliver virtual desktops and applications to end users over the internet, with clients paying a fixed monthly fee per desktop and/or application. The infrastructure, network resources, and storage are all on the cloud, and virtual desktops are streamed to user devices via web browsers or other software.

Like on-premises, traditional virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs), DaaS supports persistent and non-persistent desktops. The former is appropriate for users who require their machines to look and feel like personalized computers, while the latter works for users who need to have their settings reset when they log off at the end of the day or after the session.

While larger organizations may prefer handling infrastructure management under DaaS, smaller organizations may want to outsource management to their service providers as well. This way, they don’t have to worry about the infrastructure anymore, trusting the provider to keep it running for them. Infrastructure management services may encompass maintenance, backups, updates, and storage upgrades, depending on the arrangement between provider and client.

Advantages of DaaS

The advantages of DaaS over traditional computing include:

  • More convenient desktop deployment and decommissioning: Preconfigured desktops are easy to provision and deploy, and they can be accessed readily by new users using any device.
  • Easier management: Remote employees can connect to their desktops from anywhere. At the same time, users can be supported from anywhere.
  • Increased uptime: When a desktop requires maintenance, it’s easy to shift the user to another desktop. Wait time for the deployment of a replacement desktop is practically zero.
  • Extensive cost savings: Devices used with DaaS are cheaper to maintain than traditional PCs. They also don’t need to be upgraded or replaced with new hardware regularly.
  • More flexible and secure infrastructure: With access to virtual desktops possible on practically any type of device, there is no need to keep an inventory of new and upgraded hardware for rolling out to users. In addition, with data residing in the cloud, there is little or zero chance of data getting stolen from lost devices.

In the case of VMware Horizon DaaS, service providers use the platform to provide their clients with DaaS benefits.

Features of the VMware Horizon DaaS Platform for Service Providers

With VMware Horizon DaaS, service providers gain the following benefits:

  • Multi-tenancy: Multiple customers can share in the service provider’s secure tenant environment, with each tenant having its own dedicated virtual network, filer, compute, and access portal and gateway.
  • Support for various desktops and applications: Windows and Linux are supported, as well as full desktops, shared desktops using Remote Desktop Services (RDS), and Windows Server-based applications.
  • Role separation: The service provider, the customer, and the IT partner have separate roles in managing the virtual infrastructure. The service provider can take over the role of the IT partner if required.
  • Multiple datacenter capability: Service providers can leverage geographic scalability to provide cloud VDI services via multiple datacenters.
  • Bring your own device (BYOD) support: Since the service is device agnostic, the platform can support the BYOD initiatives of service providers and their customers.
  • Support for various cloud models: Public, private, and hybrid cloud environments are all supported, giving service providers the flexibility to offer whichever is appropriate for a customer’s requirements, including on-premises deployments.
  • Platform stability: The various VMware Horizon DaaS software components are available for use with the service provider’s customers.

Limitations of and Issues with the VMware Horizon DaaS Platform

VMware Horizon DaaS also has its share of limitations, including:

  • Lack of support for other hypervisors: While the platform provides service providers with free VMware vSphere hypervisor licenses, you will not be able to service customers that prefer using another hypervisor.
  • Complex technology: Some organizations may be turned off by the complexity of VMware Horizon. For example, changes in connection settings require manually locating and editing configuration files.
  • Substantial learning curve: To get to know every VMware Horizon feature, you may need to invest substantial time and money.

VMware Horizon DaaS is also beset by some long-standing issues that may require extensive troubleshooting on service provider personnel.

How Parallels RAS Helps Organizations Manage Their Hybrid Cloud Setups

A hybrid cloud uses a mix of on-premises and cloud computing to deploy virtual desktops and applications across an organization. While the VMware Horizon DaaS platform is targeted specifically at service providers, organizations that want to deploy a hybrid cloud on their own can do so with Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS).

Aside from hybrid cloud deployment, Parallels RAS supports VDI deployment on-premises or on the cloud, or in hyperconverged infrastructures, where desktops are generated on demand and deployed on the fly. It also offers full integration support for Windows Virtual Desktop.

Parallels RAS also integrates with Azure Virtual Desktop. It extends and simplifies the capabilities of Azure Virtual Desktop — Microsoft’s cloud-based DaaS on Azure — by integrating and managing all workloads and resources from a centralized console.

Organizations may integrate Parallels RAS deployments with their new or existing Azure Virtual Desktop, delivering a single solution to end-users. Parallels RAS and Azure Virtual Desktop enable access to applications and desktops hosted on VDI and RDSH, including Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session hosts, along with advanced management capabilities.

With Parallels RAS, organizations can use a single, centralized console to mix and match different workloads using their preferred deployment model.

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