DaaS (Desktop-as-a-Service)

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DaaS (Desktop-as-a-Service) definition & meaning

DaaS stands for “Desktop-as-a-Service”, a cloud computing offering that provides virtual desktops to end-users. Users can access these virtual desktops over the internet and are mostly provided with a per-user payment method. End-users can access these virtual desktops from anywhere, anytime, with the device they prefer and an internet connection.

Desktop-as-a-Service is especially beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses by eliminating the upfront cost of buying new equipment. The provider also takes care of the backend management, which includes maintenance, back-up, updates, and data storage, which can be a time-consuming process. Some cloud providers can also handle the applications and the security of these virtual environments.

DaaS solutions can be provided as a public cloud service, which means the resources are shared among multiple users or a private cloud service. It is a single-tenant environment, and all the resources are dedicated to a single user.

How does Desktop-as-a-Service work?

In DaaS, the providers host the infrastructure, network resources, and storage in the cloud. A virtual desktop using these resources is streamed to the users’ devices, allowing them to use the data and the applications. The provider hosts a virtual desktop infrastructure, which includes virtual machines. The service provider manages the VDI deployment.

Types of Desktop-as-a-Service

There are two types of Desktop-as-a-Service solutions:

  • Persistent: In a persistent DaaS (Desktop-as-a-Service), users can customize and save the virtual desktop they are using. The applications and the data stored on the desktop won’t be deleted or reset after the logout. Persistent DaaS solutions are slightly more expensive since they require more storage.
  • Non-persistent: Non-persistent virtual desktops are wiped after each time the user logs out.

What is the difference between Desktop-as-a-Service and VDI?

Although VDI and DaaS sound very familiar, there is a significant difference. In VDI, organizations use their on-premise servers, which their IT professionals manage. It is a complicated, time-wasting, and expensive process. The biggest difference between VDI and Daas is that DaaS solutions are basically the same thing, using cloud infrastructure. Thus, instead of hosting a virtual desktop on-premises, in DaaS, organizations are subscribing to a provider’s DaaS solution and using their infrastructure.

Compared to VDI, DaaS is easier to implement and administer. DaaS solutions are also very flexible and scalable. DaaS eliminated the upfront costs with subscription payment options. On the other hand, since the provider handles all the management tasks, users have limited control over the virtual desktops, making it harder to monitor the system and implement extra security measures.

Top Desktop-as-a-Service providers

Various companies are offering DaaS solutions. These companies are offering extra features to be able to attract more customers. Some of the most popular Desktop-as-a-Service providers are:

  • Google
  • Amazon
  • Microsoft
  • Nutanix
  • Citrix
  • Anunta
  • dinCloud
  • Cloudalize

Advantages and disadvantages of Desktop-as-a-Service

Pros Cons
✔ Daas eliminates the upfront costs of buying hardware and software. ✘ The provider manages DaaS solutions entirely, making it harder to implement extra security features or monitor the system.
✔ DaaS allows users to access virtual desktops anytime and anywhere. ✘ Since the data is stored in the cloud, complying with GDPR and similar regulations is more complicated.
✔ To meet the changing needs, customers can change their subscriptions easily within minutes.
✔ DaaS solutions come with various extra features, such as backups.

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