Whether you are just looking to get started with Desktop as a Service (DaaS) in your organization or you are a seasoned DaaS veteran, I highly recommend checking out the latest EUC State of the Union (2022 - 2023) white paper put together by the team (including yours truly) at DaaS Like A Pro.
This white paper is free to download and is filled with the latest and greatest insights from the end-user computing (EUC) industry, including: leading vendors, public cloud, private cloud, GPU usage, end-point devices, security, and more.
The results and findings from the white paper are based on survey responses from over 700 members of the EUC community!
In this blog post, I'll highlight some of the key results and findings of the white paper along with my perspective.
We'll start with the first question:
What is DaaS, in your opinion?
The term Desktop as a Service (DaaS) can have a wide range of definitions depending on who (or when) you ask. According to 34% of survey participants, the leading definition is:
DaaS is a service that offers a control plane, virtual desktops, and applications that can be accessed from any location.
This definition of DaaS highlights the flexibility, convenience, and customizability to meet the needs of different organizations and use cases.
How prevalent is DaaS usage in your organization?
Our survey found that most organizations (with 24% of survey responses) have approximately 1,000 to 5,000 concurrent users using DaaS today. The next largest group (with 19% of survey responses) have approximately 100 to 250 concurrent users.
Just like with other SaaS solutions, it is easy for organizations to start small with their DaaS implementation and then scale up over time. This flexibility and scalability allows companies to adapt to changing business requirements and grow at a pace that suits their specific needs.
How do you expect your organization's usage of DaaS to change in the next 1 to 3 years?
Based on the survey, the majority (59%) of participants anticipate further growth in their usage of DaaS. 14% were uncertain about its potential growth and 12% believed its usage would remain the same. 33% of respondents viewed DaaS as a solution for specific, targeted use cases, while 27% reported using DaaS for a wider range of use cases. And lastly, 17% of respondents said they have broadly adopted DaaS across their organization.
What are the key drivers for DaaS adoption?
Knowing why is crucial to understanding the reasons behind the adoption of DaaS. According to survey results, 16% of companies utilize DaaS to support their hybrid/remote work initiatives and allow employees to work from anywhere. Additionally, 12% of respondents cited either a companywide "cloud first” of “cloud smart” strategy as a driving force for DaaS adoption. Other reasons for using DaaS include disaster recovery and business continuity (11%), secure access to applications and data (10%), and the ability to support a flexible and/or seasonal workforce (10%).
There are many great use-case examples that can demonstrate why organizations are adopting DaaS. I'll outline a few of them:
Education: I see a very strong push for hybrid-remote learning in education since how and where students are learning is rapidly evolving. Educational institutions are supporting students and teachers so they can access their software and files from anywhere, on any device, using Frame. Frame's browser-first approach and built-in external access mechanism ensures a seamless experience without the need for VPN.
Contractor Access / Business Process Outsourcing: Contractors, consultants, and contingent staff play an important role in the operation of many organizations. With DaaS, it is easy to provide access to corporate apps and data quickly and securely without installing anything on their device. No data on the endpoint, no VPN, no hassle - just effortless, secure access to corporate applications and data. I know large social media and consulting customers using Frame DaaS to provide secure access to contractors and consultants using their own devices running just a modern browser.
App Modernization - SaaSify Windows Apps:
Customers such as Build-a-Bear and Jostens are using Frame to quickly and easily convert Windows apps to web apps - no need to rewrite the existing Windows software. With our powerful APIs, it's possible to completely customize the end-user experience — users aren't even aware that they are using Windows applications powered by Frame.
BYO Devices & Thin Clients:
I see many customers supporting BYO devices, Chromebooks, and thin client solutions from companies like IGEL, Stratodesk, 10ZiG, Zeetim, etc. in their modern workspace strategy. The deployments I'm involved in range from small to very large, in industries such as retail, government, and education using these solutions. It's amazing to see it in action! Some of these customers use Frame to deliver a handful of Windows applications powered by Frame Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to all of their users accessing the platform from Chromebooks. Other customers use thin clients in factories, classrooms, or office settings to provide a full Windows Desktop user experience. I love it when different device types serve different use cases — all with a phenomenal user and admin experience in mind!
What are the key challenges to DaaS adoption?
A variety of challenges can present themselves with DaaS implementation. For 22% of our survey participants, cost is the single biggest challenge to adoption. Additionally, performance and user experience are also significant considerations, with 15% of respondents citing them as challenges. Finding a balance between cost and user experience can be difficult, but it is crucial for a successful implementation.
For us at Frame, solving these challenges and finding the best balance between costs and user experience is fun – we truly enjoy helping customers find solutions. There isn't always an exact answer for every use case or problem but I did write some blog posts that can provide valuable insights around common DaaS mistakes and how to avoid them - Single user vs. Multi-User, Data Locality, and Sizing Workload VMs. Also, the blog post User Experience with Frame including WAN and mobile scenarios explained is a great read with some interesting videos to watch. Frame Remoting Protocol (FRP) 7 is already quite powerful, while FRP8 is even better leveraging WebRTC technology (Frame is the first in the industry to do so). This unlocks even more use cases and better user experience in more extreme network conditions. The blog Frame in 2022: A Year of Milestones and Innovations is a great read to understand what is included in FRP8 (in-session video-conferencing, generic USB, Frame SSO for Active Directory Domain-Joined Instances and more!).
Where are customers hosting their DaaS workloads?
To maximize the performance of your applications, it is crucial to establish a network that is both high-speed and low-latency between your back-end services and front-end (Windows) applications. 35% of participants use a combination approach, known as "cloud smart," where virtual desktops and applications are executed locally and on public cloud services, depending on the situation and use case. Additionally, 30% of businesses operate workload VMs on-premises to support virtual applications and desktops.
To help optimize application performance, it is important to connect front-end (Windows) applications and back-end services through a network that provides high bandwidth and low latency. For best results, the application runtime and its supporting systems, such as databases and file services, should be situated close to one another with minimal latency and maximum bandwidth. Check out my blog Frame Storage Options Explained to understand more about data, backend, and storage.
It is important to have the option to run workload VMs in the most efficient location for the various DaaS use cases. The public cloud offers the convenience of flexibility, pay-as-you-go pricing, OPEX, global accessibility, and ability to run applications close to the data stored in the cloud while on-premises solutions provide cost-effective options and ability to run applications close to on-premises data.
Frame provides the best of both worlds by enabling customers to deploy workload VMs in AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure - supporting over 100 regions worldwide, while also supporting deployments on-premises on Nutanix AOS/AHV.
What is the current DaaS vendor landscape?
As customer demand for DaaS increases, the DaaS landscape will continue to evolve as well.
The current DaaS vendor landscape is very diverse in both underlying technology and solution approach. Vendors typically fall into one of the following five categories today:
- Traditional VDI solutions that have ported their on-premises architecture to the cloud:
- Citrix (part of Cloud Software Group)
- Hyperscaler-native solutions:
- Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)
- Microsoft Windows 365 Cloud PC
- AWS AppStream 2.0
- AWS Workspaces
- Management & orchestration engines that augment Microsoft VDI/DaaS/RDS solutions:
- Cameyo (RDS)
- Itopia (RDS)
- Nerdio (AVD)
- Parallels RAS (AVD and RDS)
- NetApp Spot PC (AVD/Windows 365 Cloud PC)
- Managed service providers that leverage a third-party VDI/DaaS solution:
- Dizzion (VMware)
- Cloud-native, multi-cloud, multi-tenant DaaS solutions:
- Nutanix Frame
I see a tremendous potential and a bright future for Frame. As one of the only DaaS solutions that was born in the cloud with a true SaaS architecture and mindset, Frame prioritizes ease of use, multi-tenancy, multi-cloud capabilities, and flexibility, all while providing exceptional admin and user experiences. Frame also does not have any dependency on Microsoft AVD/RDS or RDP (unlike many solutions today), which allows us to control the end-to-end experience (frontend user experience to backend architecture) to deliver the best possible solution for our customers.
At Frame, we are seeking to disrupt the status quo, improve the way customers use virtual applications and desktops, and provide the ultimate level of flexibility with support for public, hybrid, and private cloud deployments.
What are the most important factors when selecting the DaaS solution?
When choosing a Desktop as a Service solution, there are several key factors to consider.
- The most important of these is performance, or User Experience, which was identified as the top priority by 16% of respondents.
- The second most important factor is manageability, or the Admin Experience, which was rated as a top priority by 16% of respondents. This includes the ease of use and administration of the DaaS solution and the level of support and resources available to admins.
- Availability and Stability, rated as a top priority by 13% of respondents, are (of course) also important considerations. This includes ensuring that the DaaS solution is always available, and that data and applications are protected against outages and other disruptions.
- Cost, including subscription fees, licenses, and any additional costs for support or resources, were also identified as a key consideration by 13% of respondents.
- Finally, Flexibility and Choice of Infrastructure to run the workload VMs, including the level of support and resources available for integrating the DaaS solution into the organization's existing on-premises and public cloud infrastructure, was identified as a key factor by 13% of respondents.
To make the best decision for their needs, organizations must carefully consider and balance all of these factors when selecting a DaaS solution.
Listening to customer feedback as they use our solution to solve challenges and share unexpected ideas is incredibly rewarding and solidifies our position as a major player in the DaaS industry.
Customers often ask me, “How is Frame different from Amazon, Citrix, Microsoft, or VMware?”
My answer is usually some combination of the following:
- Our superpower is simplicity with a focus on delivering the best user, admin, and developer experience.
- Browser-first approach - our goal is to deliver the richest possible user experience with just a browser (no client or plug-in required).
- True hybrid and multi -cloud support, no cloud lock-in (deploy on Nutanix AOS/AHV, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure).
- Cloud-native architecture, no dependency on AVD/RDS or RDP.
- Wide variety of supported instance types to address any use case (CPU-only, vGPU, GPU, and multi-GPU instances leveraging both NVIDIA and AMD hardware).
- Easy integration with modern Identity Providers (Azure AD, Okta, Ping, Google Workspace, etc.).
- 1-click configurations that streamline deployments (Enterprise Profiles, Personal Drives, Frame SSO, webcam, clipboard, printing, etc.).
- Flexibility to use Frame Launchpad or the user portal of your choice (AppsAnywhere, Liquit, Office 365, Okta, Workspace 365, etc.) to access Frame apps and desktops by utilizing our native PWA integration or Frame Launch Links.
- Webcam and video-conferencing support without installing anything on the endpoint device.
- We listen and we care deeply about our customers. Whether it's from customer surveys, our customer advisory board, 1:1 meetings, or a Slack message - customer feedback has always been, and will continue to be, the number one input into our product roadmap.
- Last, but certainly not least, our incredible customer success organization. Whether it's helping out with complex POCs, guiding new customers into production, or providing ongoing technical support (90+ NPS) - I truly believe our team is the best in the industry and we are all committed to your success with Frame.
How are users accessing their virtual apps and desktops?
The most common device used to access virtual applications and desktops is still via a Microsoft Windows Endpoint device, as reported by 28% of survey respondents. HTML5/Browser Access was second at 19%, macOS third with 15%, and Linux-based thin clients was fourth with 9%.
Many of us spend a significant amount of time using a browser on a daily basis, and HTML5 access to applications has become the norm for many. Frame offers a unique solution for accessing Windows applications and desktops through a browser, providing a seamless user experience that is unparalleled in the DaaS market. With no need for a separate client, agent, or plug-in, Frame delivers high-quality 4K resolution, 60fps, webcam capabilities, crystal-clear audio playback, and even single sign-on for your AD credentials - all through your browser!
Almost all other solutions on the market treat the browser as a “second-class citizen” - usually recommending customers to use their native client whenever possible.
At Frame, our original tagline was: “Run any app in a browser.”
That mantra certainly holds true today!
About DaaS Like A Pro
The State of the EUC Union survey, an annual examination of the EUC market, is led by independent research organization DaaS Like A Pro. Started in 2013, the survey is conducted by industry experts including Christiaan Brinkhoff (Principal Product Manager, Microsoft), Dennis Damen (Principal Product Manager, Nexthink), Mark Plettenberg (former Sr. Product Manager, LoginVSI), and Ruben Spruijt (Sr. Technologist, Nutanix Frame),
The survey's goal is to offer a detailed understanding of the DaaS market and monitor its usage, technology evolution, and developments over time.
This year's survey, which closed on October 10, 2022, received a significant number of responses, with 706 participants, making it one of the most extensive research projects in the EUC market. The results can be accessed by anyone in the form of a whitepaper on the DaaS Like A Pro website.
Additionally, the findings have been presented at several industry events, including Microsoft Ignite, VMWorld, ExpertsLive, Citrix Synergy, NVIDIA GTC, E2EVC, Nutanix .NEXT, and various user groups.
About Nutanix Frame
Apps and Desktops. Simplified. That's what Desktop-as-a-Service should be and that's what Frame is.
Whether you are a large enterprise, SMB, K-12/higher education institution, or a service provider, we look forward to helping you and your organization be better prepared for tomorrow's challenges.
Are you ready to boost your DaaS energy and get a better understanding of what Frame is all about? Check out this 4-minute demo!
Want to take Frame on a free 12-hour test drive? Click here!
Thanks for reading if you have any questions feel free to contact me!
Sr. Technologist, Nutanix Frame email@example.com @rspruijt