Single- vs. Multi-Tenant VDI: Which One’s Better for DaaS?

by Amitabh Sinha on Feb 2, 2016 9:06:42 AM

Efficient Desktops as a Service (Daas)

As of 2016, companies have outsourced nearly 20 million desktops to HP, CSC, IBM, and other service providers. These companies are also looking for an outsourced service for VDI. Why? They’d rather outsource VDI instead of deploy it in-house because it’s so complex. However, that is easier said than done. 

What’s wrong with using a service provider to deliver desktops as a service (DaaS)? For starters, designed as single-tenant architecture first generation VDI solutions don’t necessary expand well to fit large companies because they grow exponentially more complex. Next generation solutions, like VDI 2.0, use multi-tenant architecture, drastically reducing the complexity of VDI technology and enabling efficient delivery of DaaS solutions at a fraction of the cost. Here’s why single- vs. multi-tenant architecture is an important consideration when deciding on a DaaS solution.

The Problem with DaaS Deployments of VDI 1.0

VDI 1.0 is not for multi-tenant environment such as DaaSVDI 1.0 was built for an on-premises deployment for a single tenante environment. All the components of VDI 1.0 - controllers, portals, provisioning, etc. - are single tenant components. Even so, a VDI 1.0 deployment can take many months. Why?: 

  • Layers are super complex.
    • Each layer comes with multiple consoles, requires capacity planning, and needs to be deployed for high availability
  • Complex networking diagrams are required.
  • Replicas of the entire deployment in each major geo to deliver performance.
  • Deployment involves multiple teams  (server, network, storage, virtualization, and desktop)

Because VDI 1.0 is so complex and expensive, many companies have sought out an alternative way to deploy it using an "as a Service" architecture. 

Using VDI 1.0 for multi-tenant DaaS deploymentsHowever, VDI 1.0 was not designed to work as a service provider model. To shoe-horn a single tenant solution into a multiple tenant environment, is not a simple feat. Despite this drawback, service providers have stepped in and attempted to take over VDI deployment anyway by using existing VDI 1.0 solutions and attempting to roll them out for multiple customers. The resulting architecture copies-and-pastes the complexity for a single tenant VDI multiple times over. They essentially try to transform a single-tenant solution into a multi-tenant one.

The resulting solution doesn’t simply increase the complexity of VDI in a linear way. Instead, it takes its complexity to a whole new level. Among many issues, a service provider now has to worry about: 

  • How do you update servers, databases for each tenant?
  • How do you push updates to clients?
  • How do you push updates to in-desktop components?
  • How do you trouble shoot problems across tenants?
  • How do you add new users or use cases such as video?  

In the end, this operational complexity means that most service providers of VDI 1.0 deployments stall at about 100k desktops. That's still a large number, but most service providers have unfulfilled customer demands.


VDI 2.0 is Designed as Multi-Tenant Architecture / Designed for Multi-tenancy / for DaaS / for Desktop-as-a-Service?multi-tenant_vdi_20

VDI 2.0 is designed for the multi-tenant environment. The operational components (management/brokering/ load balancing) are a cloud service. As a cloud service, the cloud management pieces and the end user client components are automatically updated and provisioned. So a service provider can manage each tenant from a single pane of glass and scale up instantly without having to "copy" a whole operation front end. 

What's more, the platform is infrastructure agnostic. The deployments can be either at the service provider data center or at the customer data center and can be a mix of data center 1.0, hyper-converged data center 2.0 and cloud.  The underlying platform leverages the existing data center components such SSO, AD, VPN, and policies. 

With the complexity of VDI removed, companies can now focus on value-added services to the desktops. Adding more users and more tenants is now a simple and linear process requiring a fraction of the man power.  

SUMMARY

Companies today need a VDI solution that is designed for multi-tenancy, and service providers today are challenged by their VDI 1.0 architectures. Only Workspot VDI 2.0 was designed to be multi-tenant and cloud-native. As a result, this enables IT to deliver Desktops as a Service with much greater operational efficiency.

Learn more about using Workspot VDI 2.0, and how its architecture achieves superior performance and security by downloading our Solution Brief:

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This post was written by Amitabh Sinha

Amitabh has more than twenty years of experience across enterprise software, end user computing, mobile, and database software. Amitabh co-founded Workspot with Puneet Chawla and Ty Wang in August 2012. Prior to Workspot, Amitabh was the General Manager for Enterprise Desktops and Apps at Citrix Systems. In his five years at Citrix, Amitabh was VP Product Management for XenDesktop and VP Engineering for the Advanced Solutions Group. Amitabh has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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