Server-Led IT: Everything you need to know in 2019

What it is and why it’s worth your time knowing about.
Benjamin Tomlinson
Server-Led IT Freedom

Server-Led IT gives users a consistent experience across all devices.

What is Server-Led IT?

Server-Led IT, like Device-Led IT, is a term used to summarise a specific model of IT implementation.
As the name suggests, Server-Led IT places more emphasis on corporate servers than the contrasting Device-Led model – meaning a user’s desktop, files and applications are all physically stored on servers, not the end user’s device.

A simple Server-Led IT setup

Corporate desktop accessed through device's Internet browser, no data stored locally.

User Device

One-way connection removes risk.
Desktop accessed virtually, from any device.

Servers

Public Internet

Device accesses corporate desktop through secure Internet connection.

Desktop, files and apps located on servers, meaning no data on device.

That means end user devices essentially become nothing but remote screens, using the Internet to access the user’s work desktop, files and applications on the server. Because it’s all server-based, it doesn’t actually matter which device a user accesses their work with.

The terms “virtualisation” and “hosted” are also popular terms used to define the same (or similar) IT implementations. Specifically, “Virtual Desktop Interfaces” (VDIs) and “Hosted Desktops” are examples of Server-Led solutions, the same technology which forms part of Desktop 365.

Whatever the example, or name, the style of Server-Led IT is rapidly growing in popularity right now as organisations begin to realise that the Netflix-like “pick-up-where-you-left-off” style of computing can empower employees to work from anywhere, using any device, in an ultra-secure way.

Why haven’t I heard the term “Server-Led IT” before now?

Experienced IT technicians might already understand the model behind Server-Led IT but the name itself will most-likely be new to everyone. That’s because it’s a term coined by the Desktop 365 team to better distinguish the approach from the traditional Device-Led alternative.

That said, as the technology is still relatively new, the Server-Led approach will no-doubt be new to most and may even surprise the experience heads who experimented with the approach even a short time ago. Recent technology enhancements have brought new benefits to the Server-Led approach and – when implemented by the right team – can deliver a seamless, lag free experience over minimal connection speeds.

Recent technology enhancements have brought new benefits to the Server-Led approach.

Still confused by Server-Led IT?

Sometimes text just doesn’t bring things to life, and that’s okay. 

Try the Device-Led Vs Server-Led side-by-side comparison to help you better understand.

Three reasons the Server-Led IT model is the future

Device-Led is a model for IT that was conceived in a world without the Internet. Server-Led, on the other hand, is a model for IT that uses the best of the Internet to give users and businesses additional benefits.

Reason #1: Why Server-Led IT is faster and more accessible for end users

Being able to complete 100% of work from any location and with any device gives users more opportunities to do work where previously they wouldn’t have the opportunity. This could be days when users aren’t able to reach the office – for childcare, weather or illness-related reasons – or could simply be related to work-related travel.

Research from Desktop 365 delivery partner, Atlas Cloud, has also shown that Server-Led IT can also make employees more productive when they’re actually doing their work, too – helping employees boot up and shut down quicker, as well as experiencing significantly less application crashes.

Server-Led IT isn’t just the future, it’s competitive advantage for the early adopters. 

Reason #2: Why Server-Led IT is more secure and better for compliance

The nature of Server-Led IT makes it impossible for a user to – intentionally or unintentionally – save anything on their device, unless specifically authorised to. That means files aren’t duplicated and, crucially, means they aren’t stored on what is always the network weak points: end user devices.

Perhaps more importantly, however, is what Server-Led IT can do for SaaS applications.

In a Device-Led IT model, an organisation has little or no control over what users (welcome or not) do when logged into SaaS applications. That means, for example, if a user’s login details for a CRM system are compromised, an attacker could login and extract any data they wish. In Server-Led IT, users access one session and go on to the rest of their applications (SaaS or not) from there; therefore, with an effective Single Sign-On solution (included with Desktop 365), companies essentially regain as much control over SaaS applications as they would as if it was an on-premise application.

Reason #3: Why Server-Led IT is easier to budget for and better for utilisation

 Server-Led IT can easily be implemented on a per user, per month payment model. That means, when it comes to hardware, organisations only ever pay for what they need.

The nature of the Server base also increases efficiencies for servicing and call-outs, which means unexpected bills are far less likely, too.

Server-Led IT sounds great. What’s the catch?

It’s no hinderance, but it’s worth being aware that Server-Led IT works more effectively when connected to the Internet.

It doesn’t need to be a strong connection (you can work lag-free over 3G) and nor do you need to worry about needing a secure connection, as no actual data is transferred to the end user’s device.

With the general high availability of connections these days, companies lose less work time when operating a Server-Led IT model.

Companies lose less time when a operating Server-Led IT model.

Desktop 365 is the leading IT solution

Desktop 365 is a Citrix and Microsoft solution delivered by award-winning consultancy and managed services provider, Atlas Cloud.

Microsoft’s Office 365 is a managed Server-Led solution for a suite of office applications; Desktop 365 is a managed Server-Led solution for user desktops, files and any existing business applications.

Desktop 365 is an all-in-one, Server-Led IT implementation that uses Citrix and Microsoft technology, delivered by award-winning MSP Atlas Cloud

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About Desktop 365

The new standard of desktop computing, Desktop 365 is a plug-and-play Citrix and Microsoft solution – delivered by Atlas Cloud.

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