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Data analysis: COVID-19 increased Awingu usage with 300%

Awingu appliances come with an Anonymous Usage Reporting (AUR) function. This reports anonymous data of the usage of the Awingu platform. A (small) subset of our customers have this active. Yet, we have enough data to talk about relevant insights. As you can imagine, we closely monitor this data, as it gives us insights in how the product is used, and helps navigate the Awingu roadmap. In this blog post, I’m going to compare some data from January 2020 with April 2020. A (roughly) 100-day interval, but one which hosted one of the most disruptive events of modern times: the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns. We’ll have a look at how this event impact usage of Awingu.

Yes, Awingu makes software that helps business work remotely. So there is a natural fit with homeworking… which was done quite a lot during the lockdown. Awingu saw an triple increase in usage. From new customers, but also from existing customers that increased usage. This is most certainly driven by BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and WFH (Work From Home, of just Homeworking). Let’s have a look into some of the insights and changes.

1. Adoption of BYOD

Awingu was not only used remotely or at home pre-Corona. It was – and still is – also a way to get access to ‘Server-based Computing’ resources inside a company network. Often, that access was on managed devices or at least on devices provided by the company (which not necessarily means it is managed).

Let’s look at change in the devices that are used. Microsoft Windows-based devices don’t see too much change. Chromebooks did lose Awingu share from 7% to 3% – this in contradiction to the trend we saw in 2019: a steep increase in the usage of Chromebooks. This 3% is still 7 times higher than the 0.42% overall Operating System market share reported by

Contrary to Chomebooks, in the same period, Apple Macs were used almost twice as much: from 5% to 9% of devices used were running MacOS. This is pretty much in line with the overall Operating system market share of Mac devices (9.41% in Jun 2019 – May 2020 period, according to The use of Macs is still predominantly a consumer thing, which confirms the growth in ‘BYOD’ and ‘WFH’ adoption.

Awingu AUR: what operating systems are Awingu end-users using?

We spot similar trends in the browsers that are being used. Here, too, a different picture was painted in April vs. January. Chrome for sure remains the dominant browser with 61.2% (vs. 57.9% in Feb). But where legacy browser ‘Internet Explorer’ still had close to 10% of usage in Jan, this now shrunk to 6.2%. Microsoft’s new flagship browser Edge (which is also Chromium based these days) grew from 9.4% to 17.9%.

My hypothesis is that home computers are typically running newer operating systems (and browsers) than some companies are.

Awingu AUR: what browsers are Awingu end-users using?

2. Azure and VMware leads in public and private cloud respectively

As could have been expected in private cloud hypervisors, we see a dominant market share for VMware ESX a hypervisor; ESX is used as hypervisor on 72% of Awingu virtual appliances (April 2020) coming from 68% (Jan 2020). In 2nd position is Microsoft HyperV. Nutanix gains 3rd place as leaps over Citrix XenServer, even if the market share of 2% is still small.

During the lockdown, our new customers mainly deployed Awingu in private data centers, extending their existing way of working. Knowing a lot of new usage was focused on giving remote and BYOD access to office desktops, this made a lot of sense (read more about this use case here). Over time, as these organizations will start to adopt more Server Based Computing, VDI or DaaS, that will obviously shift to public cloud(s) or clouds managed by MSP’s.

Awingu AUR: Awingu virtual appliances deployed in private cloud

When customers deploy Awingu on a public cloud (IaaS), almost 4 in 5 will use Azure as the platform of choice. Google GCP and Amazon AWS share the remaining 21%. These numbers didn’t see too much COVID-19 impact.

Awingu AUR: Awingu virtual appliances deployed in public cloud

As logically could have been expected a lot of private and public organizations either setup their organization to work “#WFH” (remotely from home). This typically implies a dedicated setup in the data center of the customer. The COVID-19 pandemic also drove consumption from our MSP (Managed Service Provider) and ISV (Independent Software Vendors) partners. These use Awingu in a multi-tenant setup (i.e. multiple of their end-customers access the same and shared Awingu platform). Roughly 1 in 5 Awingu deployments is used in a multi-tenant way and this remains relatively unchanged. Not only did the share of MSP/ISV partners stay stable, they have also seen considerable growth in their usage.

Read all about how MSPs can leverage Awingu with Awingu-as-a-Service and Workspace-as-a-Service here.

Awingu AUR: Awingu virtual platforms split according to usage

3. Application usage grew with 33%

In April, an Awingu virtual appliance was connected to an average of 30.8 applications. An “app” can be a Remote desktop, a published application (Remote App) or a web application that runs through the Awingu Reverse Proxy. To avoid confusion, applications that are deployed in a full desktop/remote desktop are not counted; in this case only the remote desktop/full desktop is accounted for as an ‘app’.

We already observed a 13% growth in number of connected applications when we compared Jan 2019 with Jan 2020. In April 2020, an Awingu platform (or rather, tenant) was connected to 30.8 applications. That’s a 33% growth in just 3 months time. During this period existing (and new) customers have extended their usage. New user groups, and thus other applications, have been equipped with Awingu. Users have also been equipped to working from home for a longer period of time, where this might have been less structural in the past.

Awingu AUR: Average number of apps per virtual appliance

What’s interesting is if we look at the distribution in type of applications. Here we see a big shift in favor of Remote Desktop access. RemoteApp-based access shrunk from a 70% share to 40%. In Remote Desktop access, you’ll find full desktop access to a Windows Server environment (Server Based Computing) as well as remote access to local desktops. We’ve seen demand for the latter use-case increase significantly from new and existing accounts.

The usage of Awingu’s reverse proxy (for web applications) is relatively small but growing nicely. It was only introduced in Awingu version 4.0. In April 2020, already 1 in 5 customers was using the Awingu reverse proxy. That’s an 8% increase vs. Jan 2020. The number of applications connected into Awingu is still small with 2% of the total mix. Obviously, the increase in Remote Desktop access indirectly covers access to intranet and internal web applications through a different route.

Awingu AUR: distribution of type of apps

4. Security awareness is growing: 28% more MFA usage

‘Now is not the time to be tempted to use insecure homeworking solutions’  is the headline of a blog post I wrote in the heart of the COVID-19 crisis (March 17th, 2020). In just 3 months time, the use of MFA (Multi Factor Authentication) grew from 38,3% (Jan 2020) of deployments to 49% (April 2020), showing an increase of 28% in 3 months time. This number excludes customers that are using MFA via their external IdP (Okta, Azure AD, ..), so the total number of Awingu customers that use MFA is higher than 49%.

A point of comparison: in Oct 2019, 8% of Microsoft Office 356 deployments were protected with MFA (data: Microsoft Partner Spring Connected, March 2020). Compared to 8%, 49% is a great number and we’re pleased with the recent increase in adoption. We will keep striving to get this number all the way up to 100%.

If we look at the details, it’s clear Awingu’s built-in MFA flavors are most used: TOTP (Time-based One-Tine Password) with 38% and HOTP (Hashed One-Time Password) with 50% are the most popular and are both growing. TOTP based MFA was introduced in June 2019 (as part of Awingu 4.2) and has grown a very quick adoption rate. Next to the built-in Awingu MFA solutions, 12% of MFA deployments use a different solution which is not built-in. Cisco’s Duo Security leads with 7%. The remaining 5% includes customers that use Azure MFA, RADIUS, SMS Passcode, a.o.  As said, customers that use an external IDP can be using MFA via this route. These are excluded from below overview also (as we can’t know for sure if they are using MFA).

Awingu AUR: MFA technology used

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About the author
arnaud square
Arnaud Marliere

Chief Sales & Marketing Officer

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