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The definitive DaaS provider criteria checklist

If IT wants to move its virtual desktops to a DaaS vendor, it's critical to know what to look for, including the disaster recovery options and monitoring capabilities.

Any IT administrators thinking about moving their organizations to desktop as a service must understand the important...

qualities to look for in a provider.

For starters, administrators should strive to find a desktop as a service (DaaS) provider that doesn't add complexity to their days. The whole point of adopting DaaS, after all, is for IT admins to make their lives easier. They should understand what it takes to deploy the desktops through DaaS and ensure that, when the project is complete, whatever management tasks are left for them are straightforward.

The considerations certainly don't stop there, however.

Compatibility with the current virtualization deployment

Admins should choose a DaaS provider that works with the format that their current on-premises virtualization platform supports. Without compatibility, administrators have to start completely from scratch with their DaaS deployment, which leads to a lot of unnecessary work.

There are plenty of DaaS providers that will support a migration and help admins avoid the need to rebuild their deployment and start over.

Clear documentation and great support

Great documentation that details exactly what the DaaS provider includes and how it works can be hard to come by. Understanding the details of the DaaS provider, including how it handles outages and data protection, can help IT know what to expect.

Support is even more important than documentation because the provider manages the back-end infrastructure. If something goes wrong on the back end, there really isn't anything IT can do about it. As a result, support is critical for resolving problems when something goes wrong. Without it, admins can be left in the lurch when issues arise.

Backup and recovery options

It's important for admins to know if their DaaS provider offers any backup and recovery options for their desktops. If the provider does not, but admins require it, they will need to shell out extra cash for a backup and recovery option for their deployment.

Backup and recovery for virtual desktops are more important than ever because an increasing number of organizations are willing to back up desktops not only for top-level executives, but for any workers who cannot afford the downtime that comes when a workstation fails. Admins should also be sure that they can recover their own workstations, as well as any desktop images and templates that are invaluable to the function of the business users within the organization.

High availability and disaster recovery

When an organization turns to DaaS, it is especially important to keep the high availability associated with disaster recovery in mind. If the cloud provider experiences data center failure, it should seamlessly bring resources back online in a failover data center to prevent downtime for end users.

With the right DaaS provider, an organization can continue to function seamlessly no matter what.

And admins should feel confident that if their office has an unexpected disaster that prevents users from coming to the workplace, the users can still access their resources from anywhere in the world. With the right DaaS provider, an organization can continue to function seamlessly no matter what.

Security

Be sure to choose a security-centric DaaS provider. Security should go beyond just applying the latest Windows updates and include intrusion detection, denial-of-service attack prevention, corporate data protection and more.

Admins should involve their security teams in DaaS conversations, as well. The security team should be able to deliver the insight necessary to understand if a potential DaaS provider can secure corporate information in an acceptable way.

Monitoring

Administrators must be able to gain a good understanding of the functionality of their DaaS deployment. At the end of the day, even if admins deliver desktop as a service, they are still responsible for knowing the health of the deployment.

When something isn't working, administrators must be able to gain insight into the problem so they can make sure the provider fixes it. As a result, admins must make sure their DaaS provider offers robust monitoring to ensure the stability of the deployment.

This was last published in March 2018

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