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Service Providers

Enabling Service Providers to New Revenue Streams: VDI and Compute-as-a-Service

by Doug.Dunbar on ‎08-15-2012 02:38 PM (1,032 Views)

In previous blogs through this series, I have addressed large market opportunities about infrastructure services offering service providers significant new revenue sources. These IaaS services include IPv6 translation, SAN extension, and server load balancing-as-a-service, but what about other new promising services? In this blog, we turn to more future-oriented infrastructure services with a longer adoption cycle -- virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and compute-as-a-service.

As the chart below indicates, enterprises that participated in the recent study by WaveLength Market Analytics experience the range of desktop management pain points. Forty percent of large enterprises report that dealing with increasing numbers and diversity of endpoint devices is their top complaint in desktop management. The next two biggest complaints with 32.9% each are managing multiple operating systems and managing software licensing complexity.

Medium-sized enterprises have an entirely different set of concerns. Forty-seven percent of them find securing desktop from unauthorized use most troubling, following by rising support costs with 40% and managing upgrades at 38%.

Desktop pain points.png

There are many flavors of virtual desktop ranging from internal VDI to hosted desktop services. Enterprises can choose to do it themselves, but if service providers can create services that meet enterprise needs, enterprises would likely prefer to subscribe to a hosted solution.So the crucial question to answer is what do enterprises expect in a hosted desktop service?

As the table below shows, large enterprises expect everything and medium-sized enterprises are less demanding. With 82% of respondents, large enterprises most expect the ability to customize personal desktops. Next, large enterprises want high performance; 81% expect new user setup automatically provisions data center infrastructure to maintain even workloads and 79% expect High performance data center network and WAN for maximum desktop responsiveness. Likely because they are less aware of hosted desktop services, medium-sized enterprises find less appeal in all of the aspects included in the study.  With only 52% of medium responding organization, the top feature of a hosted service is minimal boot time and the least important at 33% is a broad range of enterprise apps beyond Microsoft Office.


Let’s quickly turn to a compute-as-a-service, which is currently more commonly used for test and development than production. Again, the table below shows the same overall trend; demanding large enterprises tend to expect a lot while medium-sized appear to have completely different needs. Large enterprises want compute-as-a-service to be bundled with disaster recovery as a feature of the service, 83% expect disaster recovery and backup included free. Large enterprises also want the range of service levels; they want to be able to choose the service level according the application requirements. In other words, they don’t want to overpay, either. Eighty-one percent want this feature, they expect multiple service levels to match application requirements to budgets. A two-tier network to assure the highest application performance ranks a close third, with 78% of enterprises strongly expecting this feature.

For medium-sized enterprises, they most expect a compute-as-a-service to provide the ability to use their resources well.  As the top response, nearly 58% say they expect no minimum commitment. Matching service levels to application requirements is second most expected to medium-sized organizations. Like large enterprises, medium ones find high performance the third most expected feature in a compute-as-a-service.

Compute-aaS Chart.png

Compute -as-a-service and hosted desktop may not generate large revenues in the near-term, but they are certain to be large and important markets for service providers. Successfully competing in the market for compute-as-a-service and hosted desktop services require the right service packaging, as well as highly virtualized, high performance data centers specifically architected for them.  Brocade’s Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS™) provides unmatched VM awareness and automation compared to traditional network architectures. These competitive fabric offerings provide a solution service providers should explore as the basis of these emerging and lucrative new cloud services.