Cologne, 25.10.2011 - Business users can now use a Windows desktop from the cloud even without a constant online connection and for computer-intensive applications. To permit this, Pironet NDH has enhanced its Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solution to become a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). With the new VDI variants users can also install their own applications or select from an App Store. For mobile users the ICT service provider offers a Cloud Desktop which can also be used without a connection to the internet and synchronises itself automatically with the cloud as soon as the user goes online again.
Offering from German data centres for small and medium-sized enterprises
With its DaaS offering, Pironet NDH is especially targeting medium-sized enterprises: "Companies receive a complete IT environment for their office operations, with Active Directory, file and print servers, and the desktop environments for the employees. And we produce all our cloud services exclusively in German data centres," says Khaled Chaar, Managing Director Business Strategy at Pironet NDH. Central operation in the data centre obviates the need for costly maintenance of local computer farms. At Pironet NDH companies pay for desktops from the cloud per user and per month. "Small and medium-sized enterprises thus save on constant investments for licences and hardware and obtain a state-of-the-art desktop environment which is tailored to their current needs," adds Mr Chaar.
Standardised Cloud Desktop for office workers
At Pironet NDH business customers have the choice of three DaaS variants. Companies can combine these to map different application scenarios for desktop computers. "We developed Desktop as a Service as an integrative platform," explains Mr Chaar. "This means that companies are not forced to take an either/or decision. Because office workers, managers and field service operators each have a desktop environment which is customised to their requirements," says Mr Chaar.
For users with a stationary workstation and standard tasks the ICT service provider offers the 'Virtual Desktop Terminal Services'. "Here we quite consciously focus on standardisation," explains Mr Chaar. With this variant Pironet NDH caters for the bulk of PC workstations in companies where the users only employ standard software. According to Pironet NDH, because of their low resource requirements the Terminal Services are very easy to scale, which is reflected in the service charges (Cloud Desktop starting at 29,40 Euro user/month).
Desktops for power users and tasks relevant to security
Power users with special requirements for a desktop, such as management staff, are offered more options with the "Virtual Desktop Server Hosted" variant. In addition to the standard configuration, they can also install their own software. As an alternative, Pironet NDH offers an App Store where the users can select additional applications. The App Store automatically installs and constantly updates programs and backs up the user's applications.
Mr Chaar explains that the 'Virtual Desktop Server Hosted' variant was designed above all for areas with stringent security requirements. The virtual desktop executes in its own instance in Pironet NDH's high-security data centre and is logically separated from other user desktops. This is to enable users who handle data which is relevant to compliance also to work securely in the cloud.
Mobile solution for offline users
The 'Virtual Desktop Client Hosted' is intended primarily for mobile knowledge workers. "Ideally they will also have access to their complete office configuration when they are on the way. But high-speed internet access is not always available," says Mr Chaar. In contrast to the two server-based solutions, the desktop environment therefore runs on a notebook or a local computer of the user.
Software distribution to mobile computers takes place automatically from the Business Cloud of Pironet NDH. The virtual desktop is transferred once only from the data centre to the user's notebook via an online connection. When the user later establishes a connection to the network, their system synchronises itself automatically with the cloud.
The 'Virtual Desktop Client Hosted' also offers users the option of configuring the working environment in accordance with their own wishes and of installing additional software. Here the local VDI solution for the first time also enables PC workstations to be supplied from the cloud for tasks which require a great deal of computing power and memory. For this purpose the virtual desktop utilises the CPU and main memory of the terminal device instead of shared IT resources from the data centre. Consequently the 'Client Hosted' variant, for example, also allows graphical designers, design engineers and video producers to work with a Cloud Desktop.
Cloud hard disk, desktop backup on a daily basis and virus protection
Pironet NDH equips all DaaS packages with virus protection and a firewall. Mobile offline desktops also incorporate local security software. Storage space in the cloud is also included for users and working groups where they can store and edit documents. For data backup purposes Pironet NDH continuously creates copies of the virtual desktops which can be restored at least to provide the status of the current day.
Service Desk and personal Service Manager
In contrast to public cloud offerings, Pironet NDH focuses on more service for business customers. Companies are provided with their own Service Manager, as well as 24-hour customer support which processes and settles requests and incident reports within agreed service times. In order to monitor the performance and availability of the desktop infrastructure, companies also receive regular reports about the services used, the status of the service quality (SLAs) and the system status.
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