For a couple of years now, I’ve been trying to figureout a way to help customers manage the software and configuration on their rental computers. This could be difficult for companies that do not have their own IT staff or have limited staff to manage their hardware and software needs. I get calls all the time asking, can you help me restrict the internet on 5 machines? Can you help me open the internet up on 5 machines? Can you help me install a language pack on these machines, or some of these machines have corrupt images or viruses, can you come re-image or replace them? This can be a lot of work and very time consuming, especially if the changes need to be done on many machines and time is limited. With the traditional style of IT support, I would either have to remote connect to one of the computers, show the customer what to do and then they do the rest, or I would have to send a technician to make the necessary changes to each machine, or have him re-image them all onsite.
I found a few good solutions. One of the best solutions for these companies is Cloud Computing, in particular DaaS (Desktop as a Service.) DaaS allows users to connect to their computer desktop from any device and from anywhere there is an Internet connection. Essentially DaaS is a virtual desktop stored in the cloud on a server at a data center. All processing power and storage space is located on the server or servers in the Cloud at the datacenter. The local machine just hosts a virtual representation of what is happening on the server and therefore, local hardware specifications don’t matter much.
What are the advantages to Daas Cloud Computing?
- › Making software changes for a customer remotely becomes fast and easy.
I can simply log into the administrative console, open up the image, install any software required and then clone as many virtual machines with that image as I need. After that I just need to map a user name to that image. The next time the user logs on they will have the updated image they need with all the new settings. If the customer requires the machines to be locked down with certain policies, like web restrictions, or disallowing abilities like downloading programs or saving files to the machines, it can all simply be done within active directory group policy. All the virtual machines are part of a domain which makes policy control much easier than messing with local policy and registry settings on each machine or using third party restriction programs.
- › Corrupt image / Virus infection.
With DaaS, no need to rush down to the customer site with a replacement. Just clone another VM, or map the user to a spare VM already built. Do you want to stop users from making changes to their image? No problem. You can build read only VM’s so if someone accidently deletes an important file or gets a virus, all they have to do is restart the machine and they are back to the image as it was when it was first assigned to them.
- › Cost effectiveness.
Companies may find with software becoming more advanced and requiring more processing power and memory to run programs, they find they have to constantly upgrade to newer higher-end desktops or laptops with larger drives. With Cloud computing, this does not matter. All the processing is done in the Cloud at the datacenter where storage space is almost limitless. This allows customers to extend the life of their current computers for a longer period of time.
- › Security.
Many people don’t trust cloud computing. They are worried about the security of their data being stored in the Cloud. Cloud Computing is less prone to hacks as more resources are used to ensure high security. I believe it is more un-secure to have confidential files on your local drive. If your computer gets stolen or you have a disgruntled employee, your files are lost and no longer confidential. If you run a VM on the Cloud and your computer is stolen, your desktop and information is safely stored in the Cloud on a server or servers at the datacenter waiting for you to log in from a different machine.
In conclusion it is my belief that Cloud Computing is one of the best ways for companies who have little or no IT staff to manage their software and configurations that change frequently. Thumbs up from me on Cloud Computing.
Want to learn more about our Cloud Computing solutions? We offer both long-term contracts and for your short-term projects, a pay-as-you-go Cloud rental option. Contact us today online or at 888-520-5667. Our Technical Sales Reps are standing by.
Technical Sales Representative
Washington DC Office