High desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) suppliers: Amazon, Citrix, Microsoft, VMware, and extra

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Desktop-as-a-service adoption lags behind on-premise VDI, however the recognition of cloud-hosted desktops is rising. Here is a have a look at the highest DaaS suppliers and their providers.

Desktop as a service (DaaS) cloud computing

Getty Photos/iStockphoto – scanrail

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) is a digital desktop infrastructure (VDI) hosted within the cloud and paid for as a subscription service, often charged for by the seat. DaaS options use a multi-tenancy structure the place a single software occasion is delivered to a number of customers, or “tenants”. The third-party DaaS supplier assumes the accountability for managing the infrastructure.

As with different cloud providers, DaaS is a sexy answer for corporations shifting away from managing their very own hardware both in an on-premise information middle or cololocation. DaaS advantages can embrace simpler patch administration and software program updates, quicker migrations, faster new person provisioning, higher catastrophe planning and restoration, and improved software and information safety. The prices of deploying and sustaining the hardware required to run the virtualized desktops shifts from a capital expense (capex) to operational expense (opex). Customers also can profit from DaaS by having the ability to entry company information and functions from a variety of both company-provided or BYOD gadgets.

Regardless of its advantages, a 2018 Gartner survey discovered that DaaS adoption was nonetheless considerably decrease than VDI adoption, particularly amongst massive enterprises. In accordance with Gartner’s 2018 DaaS survey, 75% of distributors “had a buyer with greater than 1,000 customers, with a mean largest buyer of 5,000 customers.” In the identical report nevertheless, Gartner additionally acknowledged that their assumption from a 2016 DaaS report, that “By 2019, 50% of latest VDI customers will probably be deployed on DaaS platforms,” could but show right as DaaS deployments “cannibalize on-premises VDI at refresh.” 

The DaaS market has undoubtedly picked up further momentum in 2019 with Microsoft anticipated to make their very own DaaS answer, Home windows Digital Desktop, usually obtainable as quickly as September, Citrix Managed Desktops reaching common availability in August, and business heavyweights like Dell and Microsoft saying cloud and virtualization partnerships centered round VMware.

Here is a have a look at the most important gamers within the desktop-as-a-service market and the providers they provide. The suppliers are listed in alphabetical order by firm title.

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Amazon Net Providers – WorkSpaces


Cloud compatibility: Amazon Net Providers (AWS)
Minimal time period: <1 month
Minimal seats: 1
Pricing: Month-to-month or hourly; depending on geographic area

Amazon launched Workspaces, their proprietary cloud desktop service, in 2013 and in 2016 they introduced hourly billing for WorkSpaces desktops. Clients can provision both Linux or Home windows desktops on all kinds of digital hardware and storage configurations. If deploying Home windows desktops, corporations can use their very own Home windows 7 and Home windows 10 Desktop licenses or pay for them as a part of the subscription.

Amazon WorkSpaces Desktop-as-a-Service DaaS


Amazon gives a default set of functions with every WorkSpace relying on the working system. Linux desktops embrace functions equivalent to LibreOffice, Firefox, and Evolution mail. Home windows 7 and 10 desktops embrace functions equivalent to Web Explorer 11, Firefox, and 7-Zip. Clients also can add numerous variations of Microsoft Workplace Skilled for a further value or construct their very own customized photographs.

WorkSpaces helps buyer’s on-premise Microsoft Energetic Listing (AD) for Group Coverage administration and end-user credentialing. Purposes will be deployed to the digital desktops through current instruments, and WorkSpaces permits clients to make use of their current RADIUS server for multi-factor authentication (MFA). Customers can entry their WorkSpaces through a shopper software on a Home windows or Mac pc, Google Chromebook, Apple iPad, Amazon Fireplace pill, and Android pill, or by way of both the Chrome or Firefox browsers. WorkSpaces helps encryption root quantity and person quantity encryption and doesn’t retailer person information on the native machine. Amazon WorkSpaces additionally offers a number of compliance choices together with, however not restricted to HIPAA, PCI DSS and GDPR.


Citrix – Managed Desktops


Cloud compatibility: Azure
Minimal time period: 1 month
Minimal seats: 25
Pricing: Month-to-month or Time period (1 to five years)

Longtime distant desktop, thin-client, and virtualization supplier Citrix launched its desktop-as-a-service answer, Citrix Managed Desktops (CMD), to common availability in August 2019. The corporate already supplied a from of DaaS by way of Citrix Digital Apps and Desktops (CVAD), however this answer required corporations to take care of a number of distributors. Citrix Managed Desktops is designed to be a simplified model of CVAD and a “turnkey service” the place all prices are billed on to Citrix.

Citrix Managed Desktops Desktop-as-a-Service DaaS


CMD makes use of Microsoft Home windows Digital Desktop to ship digital desktops hosted on Microsoft Azure IaaS (compute, storage, and networking) and managed by Citrix. Clients can provision quite a lot of Home windows machines, together with: Home windows 10 Enterprise, Home windows 10 EVD (Enterprise Digital Desktops) Multi-Session, and Home windows Server 2016 (with RDSH). The working system and software licenses will be paid for by way of the Citrix subscription or clients can use their current licenses by way of a Deliver Your Personal License (BYOL) program. CMD will provide quite a lot of AD authentication choices and help domain-joined and non-domain-joined desktops.

Citrix gives month-to-month and time period (1 to five years) pricing choices for CMD. Clients can count on to pay about $30 per person per 30 days for CMD for no less than 25 customers. In a CMD presentation at their Synergy occasion in Could 2019, Citrix broke down that ~$30 month-to-month value for Managed Desktops as follows:

  • $16 (per person per 30 days) for Citrix Managed Desktops
  • $6.25 (per 30 days) for Microsoft Licenses (not charged beneath BYOL)
  • $5 (per person per 30 days) minimal for Consumption Dedication (workload administration)


Cloudalize – Desktop-as-a-Service


Cloud compatibility: N/A
Minimal time period: 1 month
Minimal seats: 1
Pricing: Hourly or month-to-month

Belgium-based Cloudalize offers a DaaS answer for workplace/information employees supplied solely in EMEA and one for energy customers (engineers, architects, and many others.) supplied globally. Subscriptions embrace the price of working system licenses, however clients will want their very own software licenses. In accordance with a 2018 Gartner report, the corporate “hosts its personal information facilities utilizing each Citrix and proprietary infrastructures” and “all workspaces should run a Home windows 10 expertise on a Home windows 2016 Server.” As of August 2019, costs for Cloudalize DaaS begin $79 per 30 days per desktop.

dinCloud – dinWorkspace

Cloud compatibility: N/A
Minimal time period: 1 month
Minimal seats: 5
Pricing: Month-to-month


dinCloud’s dinWorkspace DaaS answer permits clients to provision digital desktops which can be hosted on hardware in dinCloud’s US-based information facilities. In accordance with dinCloud, it is information facilities “preserve SOC 1 Sort II, and SOC 2 Sort II compliance, ISO 27001, NIST 800-53/FISMA, and PCI Compliance.” Clients can provision quite a lot of Home windows and/or Linux desktops managed by way of Citrix-based, Microsoft-based, or proprietary instruments.

Microsoft – Home windows Digital Desktop


Cloud compatibility: Microsoft Azure
Minimal time period: N/A
Minimal seats: N/A
Pricing: N/A

Formally unveiled at Microsoft Ignite 2018, Home windows Digital Desktop (WVD) (previously referred to as “Home windows 10 Enterprise for Distant Periods” and “Home windows 10 Enterprise for Digital Desktops”) permits corporations to run Home windows desktops hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. In August 2019, Microsoft indicated that WVD was “feature complete,” however had not introduced a date for common availability (GA). A public preview of WVD has been obtainable since March 2019. In accordance with ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, “this might occur earlier than the tip of September 2019.”

Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktops Desktop-as-a-Service DaaS


Utilizing WVD, Clients can provision Home windows 7 or 10 digital machines working Workplace 365 ProPlus and third-party functions. After official help for Home windows 7 ends in January 2020, corporations will nonetheless have the ability to host Home windows 7 VMs for 3 years with out paying for Prolonged Safety Updates. Firms utilizing Distant Desktop Providers (RDS) may even have the ability to migrate their current Home windows Server distant desktops and apps to Azure.

Firms with eligible Home windows or Microsoft 365 licenses, get entry to WVD machines by paying for the Azure compute, storage, and networking sources used to host every digital machine. As of August 2019, Microsoft had launched WVD preview pricing for various workload eventualities, however not particular per person per 30 days costs.


VMware – Horizon Cloud


Cloud compatibility: IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure
Minimal time period: 1 month
Minimal seats:  1
Pricing:  Month-to-month

VMware’s Horizon Cloud DaaS answer permits corporations to provision Home windows digital desktops utilizing both their current Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure or a VMware-managed IBM Cloud infrastructure. VMware gives two sorts of Horizon Cloud subscriptions…”per named person” (for customers who want devoted digital desktops) or “per concurrent connection” (for digital desktops that will probably be shared by a number of customers). Horizon Cloud with IBM Cloud clients buy each the Horizon Cloud person license and capability on IBM Cloud from VMware. Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure clients buy the Horizon Cloud person license from VMware and purchase the Microsoft Azure capability from Microsoft.

Like Citrix, VMware is planning to help Microsoft Home windows Digital Desktop. Unliked Citrix nevertheless, VMware has stated it has no present plans to change into a Microsoft Cloud Resolution Supplier (CSP) and can due to this fact not resell Microsoft licensing or Microsoft Azure capability. Clients might want to purchase their very own Microsoft software program licenses and Azure capability.



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