Top 5 Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) Providers
Author: Jay Song
With the development of society, technology plays an important role in people’s life. Among them, cloud technology has become a hot topic in contemporary society. More and more people pursue accessing their digital resources such as documents, applications and operating systems anywhere, anytime, and from any device. Desktop-as-a-Service, it solves this problem perfectly. However, many businesses or organizations are struggling to find suitable solution providers to solve their requirements. Before we dig them out, let’s understand what Desktop-as-a-Service is.
What is Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)?
Desktop as a Service or DaaS is a type of virtual computing that delivers cloud-based workspaces to employees anywhere, at any time. Desktop-as-a-Service (Daas) is a virtualization technology which allows users to run applications from powerful remote virtual machines. Rather than running an application on a local machine, DaaS users run it in a remote machine in the cloud, and access the application via a web-based portal as if it were running locally.
Desktop-as-a-Service is a form of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). It uses the same type of technology, but while VDI usually is deployed and ran from a customer’s on-premise environment, DaaS is the cloud equivalent, hence the as-a-service suffix.
Desktop-as-a-Service solutions are fully cloud based. The technology is managed by the DaaS solution provider which hosts, runs and provisions the required infrastructure. DaaS customers can then determine how many cloud-based machines they want to run, and the delivery model.
DaaS services providers allow customers access desktops in three ways:
- Shared Desktops
Multiple users access a single machine
- Pooled Desktops
A pool of desktops is available and users access whichever one is available
- Dedicated Desktops
Each user has one desktop assigned which is not accessed by other users
What is the Difference Between a Physical Desktop and Desktop-as-a-Service (Daas)
A physical desktop is the old school desktop that we have all grown up using. It requires all the physical components of a computer (CPU, monitor, etc.) to be set up in one place. Employees need to go to an office or use a specific device to access their workspace.
Compared to this classic approach and on-premise softwares, DaaS is the way of the future. DaaS is the best option for businesses and individuals since its cloud-based infrastructure is easy to implement, scale, and maintain. Employees get complete access to their workspace while the company data is completely secure. Users can utilize a DaaS provider to boost productivity, performance, and reduce costs.
What are DaaS Benefits
Desktop-as-a-Service is a key enabler for remote and distributed workforces. Benefits include:
- Using thin devices
By using high-performance virtual machines in the cloud to run applications and get a video stream of the desktop, the end-user device can be cheaper and lighter in terms of specifications. Users will be able to access resource-intensive applications such as Quickbooks cloud hosting.
- Access IT applications from any device, any location
Using DaaS, users can securely access IT applications via the internet from any location and any devices, without needing to use company-owned devices or access applications from the company’s network
- Improved device security
Users do not need to store any data or applications on the end device. All apps and data are securely stored in the cloud.
- Workforce flexibility
DaaS desktops can be provisioned and de-provisioned on-demand. If you have a sudden uptick in employees, such as seasonal staff, the solution can be scaled up and down as required.
Top 5 Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) Providers
Highlights – deep integration with the Microsoft ecosystem
Microsoft offers two flavors of desktop-as-a-service solutions – Azure Virtual Desktops and the recently released Microsoft 365. Both DaaS solutions leverage the Azure infrastructure to provision infrastructure. Customers can provision Azure Virtual Machines and specify the amount of compute, storage and memory for each machine.
- Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)
Is a flexible cloud virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) platform that securely delivers virtual desktops and remote apps with maximum control. It offers Windows 10 and Windows 11 personalized and multi-session desktops and remote app streaming. AVD offers full control over management and deployment, plus options for Citrix and VMware integration.
- Windows 365
Is a complete software-as-service (SaaS) solution that streams a comprehensive Windows experience – including apps, content and settings – to any device. Compared to AVD, Windows 365 is a simpler solution which is delivered end-to-end by Microsoft.
It is worth noting that pricing for the DaaS solution varies depending on the number and configuration of each virtual machine. These VMs are priced at standard Azure prices, which can be calculated here.
Highlights – fully integrated DaaS solutions and transparent pricing
V2Cloud delivers fully managed desktop-as-a-service solutions with flat rates and transparent pricing. V2Cloud’s offering centers around ease of use and flexibility. Customers can engage with a team of solution experts to select the best option based on their requirements and number of users. V2 rises above the competition when it comes to speed, performance, and security, their solutions are dynamic and hosted on our own servers. Unlike other DaaS solution providers, V2 Cloud makes it incredibly easy to set up your virtual cloud environment in 20 minutes without any in-depth training or certifications.
These DaaS solutions feature a wide range of built-in services such as:
- Virtual Private Network
- Off-site daily backup snapshots with 7 or 21 days history
- Custom active-active DR solutions
- Malware protection
- Storage bucket options
While the pricing for other DaaS vendors is highly dependent on a range of add-ons and configurations, V2Cloud offers a simple price calculator based on the number of users and feature list, with no extra or hidden costs.
Highlights – good DaaS provider for customers with existing AWS estate
Keeping in line with large public cloud providers, Amazon Workspaces is AWS’ desktop-as-a-service offering. As with Microsoft, Amazon Workspaces customers have access to the wider AWS portfolio of cloud-based services.
Using Amazon Workspaces, customers can provision either Linux or Windows desktop and configure each cloud-based virtual machine individually. Depending on the chosen operating system, AWS provides a default set of applications such as LibreOffice, Firefox, and Evolution mail for Linux users, and Internet Explorer 11 and Firefox for Windows customers. Both operating systems can then install a wide range of applications or create custom images.
Applications can be deployed to the virtual desktops via existing tools, and WorkSpaces allows customers to use their existing RADIUS server for multi-factor authentication (MFA). Customers can get a stream of their applications from Workspaces via a web browser to a wide range of devices and operating systems. WorkSpaces supports encryption root volume and user volume encryption and does not store user data on the local device. Amazon DaaS provider is also a suitable choice for enterprises with high security and compliance requirements. This DaaS solution is compliant with many industry regulations such as HIPAA, PCI, PSD2, and GDPR.
Highlights – a wide variety of subscription types and advanced functionality
Citrix has been a household name in the virtual desktop infrastructure space, especially with regard to on-premises deployments. Now, Citrix has also started offering a desktop-as-a-service solution which comes with four different service levels.
- Citrix DaaS Standard
Starting from $10 USD per user per month on a pay as you go monthly subscription, the most basic version of the service includes a managed DaaS solution provisioned on top of Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud infrastructure. The DaaS solution can be purchased directly from the cloud provider’s marketplace. Customers can either bring their own cloud subscription, or buy a fully managed DaaS service from Citrix.
- Citrix DaaS Advanced Plus
From $13 USD per user per month, the service allows customers to add DaaS solutions to their existing environments in order to manage cloud desktops alongside on-premises workloads. It’s a suitable solution for organizations that need more IT flexibility. The DaaS service also provides advanced monitoring, session recording, and user performance and scalability enhancements.
- Citrix DaaS Premium
Jumping at $20 USD per user, per month, the premium package includes extended monitoring with historical reporting, app and desktop image portability across hybrid clouds, advanced image management tools, and advanced security.
- Citrix DaaS Premium Plus
The most expensive package at $23 USD per user, per month, the service includes performance analytics to optimize the user experience, and security analytics to detect and deflect potential threats.
Highlights – DaaS provider for enterprises with complex IT requirements
VMware is another heavyweight in the virtual desktop infrastructure space, their Horizon product suite being one of the go-to on-premises VDI deployments. Now, VMware offers a DaaS option on top of Azure infrastructure, which is a managed service that delivers virtual desktops and applications directly from a customer’s Microsoft Azure subscription.
The DaaS service keeps the same functionalities as traditional Horizon, such as simplified management and integration with existing systems, enhanced remote experiences, intrinsic security, and a native cloud architecture. VMware DaaS supports shared, pooled, and dedicated models, which leverage the flexibility of virtual machines provisioned in Azure and broad operating system support.
Horizon Cloud supports a large and diverse array of client platforms and endpoints, allowing users to access their desktops and applications from common desktop and mobile operating systems, thin clients, and web browsers. Users can expect a feature rich experience, with support for USB, camera, printer, and smart card redirection on most platforms, as well as support for real-time audio and video platforms like Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom and Cisco Jabber
Desktop-as-a-Service solutions are based on cloud infrastructure and delivered as a managed service. As such, we recommend determining whether you have a preference for a specific type of public cloud provider when assessing DaaS providers. We also recommend determining what suite of additional services, such as security and disaster recovery, you need to be integrated and priced in your DaaS solution. With DaaS becoming more prominent for businesses and individuals, it is crucial to choose the right provider. After comprehensive research, it’s evident that V2 Cloud is the best desktop as a service provider. Our DaaS solution outperforms the competition in key areas like performance, speed, and support.