The largest hosting event in the world and the most prestigious hosting event.  What do they both have in common… Desktop as a Service!  With over 4,000 registered for World Hosting Days one might think Infrastructure or SaaS might be the hottest topic in this Cloud-centric event.  But the buzz was about using an emerging delivery model to prop up the value of Managed Service Providers and Web Hosters. 

Many of the thousands of service providers around the world are coming to the conclusion that their subscribers want more than just a disjoint service.  They want more than back-ups and more than just a place to develop and store their web content.  They want a personalized IT-as-a-Service model that starts with their desktop and adds in all of the services mentioned above.

What surprised me most was the interest level of the Web Hosters at these two events.  A year ago, many of these same companies were satisfied to grow their businesses based on competition at the service level.  Providing superior support and/or technical assistance was where they believed the sweet spot was.  But a year in the Internet space is like a decade in most other businesses.  As subscribers become more educated about the Cloud, so does their demand for higher end services.

As the hours rolled by in Rust, Germany, we met with scores of service providers (MSP and Web Hosters) looking to change the game in their respective regions.  Since seeing is believing in this space, Citrix was able to not only demonstrate a DaaS solution but talk about specific implementations that more than 900 service providers worldwide are using today.  It’s all a part of the Citrix Service Provider program and this technology is taking the industry by storm.

And for those service providers lucky enough to get an invitation to the Microsoft Hosting Summit - 2011, the story was (you guessed it!) exactly the same thing.  In fact, we met several partners using the Microsoft Dynamic Data Center (DDC) approach to launch their DaaS offering and doing it with great efficiencies.  With thousands of licenses in market today and hundreds of service providers embracing Citrix DaaS, I wonder what next year’s events will hold in store?