Why DaaS is no good

That is a pretty bold statement, I know. Some blog posts ago I mentioned things like “who needs a desktop”. What I meant then, users want their apps and their data. Be it in a Desktop, a Tablet or a Phone. Now, in this post I try to make a point in not going DaaS (which, by the way means being nuts in my native language Dutch).

Recently I read an article that our next “Windows XP + Office 2003” is going to be “Windows 7 + Office 2010”. I think Microsoft made a mistake stating that end of life for Windows 7 will be 2020 (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle ). And then this week I saw Amazon coming on to the marketplace with a DaaS solution based on…. Windows Server 2008R2, so, a Windows 7 look alike from a user perspective. At least Microsoft, Citrix and VMware are taking it a bit more serious in trying to deliver some sort of DaaS based on Server 2012, so a Windows 8 look alike. But Amazon is a huge player in the Public Cloud, they can deploy this on a very, very large scale. Maybe someday (but not now) Microsoft will do something about their Client OS Licensing model so we can have some true Desktop as a Service, on a genuine Client Operating System. But that is not the point I’m trying to make here.

Organizations run into some weird split model. On the one hand more and more apps are Web Based; all you need is a decent Browser, more and more apps are available for non-desktop devices, even enterprise apps. The Office Web Apps Suite is a nice example of that. The Bring Your Own Disaster/Device movement is pushing in that direction. And on the other hand we’re stuck with the Big, Static, Jurassic Legacy Enterprise Applications that need ….. a Desktop to be deployed on. And rather a Windows XP Desktop then a Windows 8.1 Start Screen.

As long as we, we as in creating IT Wonderland, keep clinging on to Desktops, those Enterprise Application builders will not change the way they make their apps. Obstructing progression. And IT Staff will be reluctant to upgrade because the Enterprise LOB Apps won’t run on the new OS. Businesses invested heavily in those Applications and now use that to justify not moving forward. And those Software Vendors laugh out loud, they just keep on making money without any need to invest in updating their products. Hey, we just continue providing Desktops with “compatibility” mode, MED-V and more tricks to make the 16-bit App run in an emulated DOS Box.

Maintaining and managing desktops, whether physical, private cloud or public cloud based, is more expensive than we think, I know a lot of enterprises that have no idea how much they spend on that. It might be more expensive than the losses of getting rid of the LOB Applications. Certainly in the long run.

There is NO demand for Desktops, we only think there is and some of us try to make a buck out of it. There is nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t hold on to making your buck that way. Start thinking Apps + Data on devices, move forward and begin with saying farewell Good Old Desktop, thank you for your services and may you Rest In Peace.

Inova Solutions NV: Moving EVERYTHING to the Cloud

A lot has happened since my last post. My wife and I moved to Aruba in The Caribbean and I found a great job as Solutions Architect for Inova Solutions NV. Inova Solutions NV is a Microsoft Gold Partner in Licensing, formerly known as LAR (Large Account Reseller), nowadays it’s called LSP (Licensing Solutions Provider). One of my roles is that of IT Manager for our own IT and that is what this blog is about.

As a true Caribbean Company we are scattered across a couple of islands: Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica and we have customers on those and a lot of other islands. The Network Infrastructure consists off some site-to-site VPNs and Client VPNs so we can reach our resources located on Curacao where ever we are.

The CEO had a goal for me to achieve by putting 50% of those resources in the Cloud by June 30th 2014. Soon I discovered that we actually only use applications that are available in the Microsoft Cloud already: Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and CRM. My goal now is to have all that migrated to the Online Services by the end of the year.

Plus some extra wins: we don’t really need Active Directory, authentication also goes to the Cloud. That means our PC’s and laptops can no longer be managed by AD and GPO’s. For that we will leverage Windows Intune. And finally we have this RDS Server that hosts 2 applications, neither of which relies on AD, we will just rebuild that RDS Server as VM on Windows Azure.

My Christmas wish list (here on Aruba you can already buy your Christmas stuff):

  • Office365
  • CRM Online
  • Windows Intune
  • Windows Azure AD
  • Windows Azure Network
  • Windows Azure VM

Sounds like we have a plan! By the 1st of January 2014 we can start decommissioning our whole Onprem Infrastructure, all the site-to-site VPNs and oh boy, all that Client VPN stuff (I do not understand that companies still deploy that, don’t we have DirectAccess at our disposal?).

The bet is on, I have 2 months from now to make it so.

Hopi Bon!