Pandemic lockdowns in March 2020 kicked off a remote work experiment at global scale. And Dizzion—a pioneer in managed desktop as a service (DaaS)—had a front-row seat. “Our inboxes were flooded with urgent requests from companies needing to move their end-users to a secure, high-performing remote working environment as quickly as possible,” says Manny Ladis, Dizzion co-founder and global head of sales. 

A Conversation with Dizzion, the Managed DaaS Experts

I caught up with Dizzion executives to discuss lessons learned from 2020’s massive work-from-home experiment. Based in Denver, Dizzion has 65 locations in 25 countries and on 6 continents. 

“We’re about redefining the way the world works—improving quality of life by providing an alternative to traditional office-based work environments,” says Robert Green, Dizzion’s president, co-founder, and CTO. 

In 2017, the company upgraded its infrastructure to 100% all-flash Pure Storage® arrays. The company chose Pure due to the price per IOP and the industry-leading deduplication ratio—an average of 14:1 in Dizzion’s tests, spiking to 19:1. 

Lesson 1

Companies with a Hybrid-cloud Strategy Have the Advantage

When lockdowns became reality, IT departments scrambled to find effective remote-work solutions. By summer, Dizzion’s demand had tripled. 

“Our existing customers were adding hundreds to thousands of new desktops in a matter of hours,” says Brady Ranum, the company’s vice president of product and strategy. Meanwhile, companies with strictly on-premises virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)—and no cloud overflow—found themselves waiting in line for new hardware. And their businesses stalled while they waited.

Lesson 2

Tough Times Reveal Partners’ True Colors

As demand grew, Dizzion lit up new availability zones across three continents, tapping Pure to quickly provision more capacity. “Partner bonds are tested in times like these, and Pure really stepped up,” Green says.

Pure also helped Dizzion introduce a new offering based on Pure as-a-Service™, delivering all-flash storage on-demand with pay-as-you-go billing. The new service is an example of storage as code, which Pure CEO Charlie Giancarlo describes as making the infrastructure disappear. 

Storage should not be something that customers need to work on every single day. It really should be something that developers can just call upon by declarations in their code. Charlie Giancarlo, CEO of Pure Storage

Storage as code proved its worth during the pandemic, enabling Dizzion customers to scale storage capacity up to stay in step with changing lockdown orders. “With Pure as-a-Service, our customers could pay for the exact capacity they needed while still getting the same performance and availability they’d have in a traditional cloud desktop,” Green says.

Lesson 3

Remote Work Is a Hedge against the Unpredictable

The COVID-19 pandemic has dispelled any lingering doubts about whether work from home is here to stay. In a June 2020 survey by S&P Global Market Intelligence, 67% of small and mid-sized businesses said they expect work from home to be long-lasting. Mid- to large-sized organizations expect 20% to 35% of their employees to continue working remotely after restrictions ease—five times more than before the pandemic. In another study, large US and multinational companies said they expect 19% of their workforce to work from home full-time after pandemic restrictions ease.

Dizzion advises IT teams to treat work from home as a long-term initiative and secure executive buy-in and appropriate investment. The goal is to have a DaaS experience comparable to the office desktop experience in terms of time to open and save large files, generate quotes and reports, and other tasks. “You can’t work from home if your desktop doesn’t work as well as it does in the office,” Green says.

More counsel from the managed DaaS pioneer: Be sure to pair your remote work strategy with disaster recovery. As 2020 has proven, it’s wise to expect the unexpected, whether it’s a fire, hurricane, grid outage, pandemic, or other issues. For business continuity, make sure your desktops are backed up, can be restored quickly, and are accessible from any device, anywhere.

Read more about Pure as-a-Service on Dizzion’s blog.

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