Top 6 desktop as a service (DaaS) providers: Amazon, Citrix and more

    Image: maslakhatul/Adobe Stock
    Desktop as a service is a digital desktop infrastructure hosted within the cloud and paid for as a subscription service, normally charged for by the seat. DaaS options use a multi-tenancy structure the place a single utility occasion is delivered to a number of customers, additionally referred to as tenants. The third-party service supplier assumes the accountability for managing the desktop infrastructure.
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    Top DaaS suppliers
    Here’s a take a look at lots of the main gamers within the desktop as a service market and the companies they provide. The service suppliers are listed in alphabetical order by firm identify.

    Amazon WorkSpaces
    Image: Amazon
    Best DaaS Provider 2022
    Public cloud compatibility: Amazon Web ServicesMinimum time period: <1 monthMinimum seats: OnePricing: Monthly or hourly; depending on geographic area
    Amazon launched WorkSpaces, its proprietary cloud desktop service, in 2013. Customers are charged for less than the WorkSpaces they use and pays both month-to-month or hourly.
    Companies can provision both Linux or Windows desktops on all kinds of digital {hardware} and storage configurations. If deploying Windows desktops, corporations can use their very own Windows 10 Enterprise licenses (in the event that they meet Microsoft’s licensing necessities) or pay for them as a part of the WorkSpaces subscription.
    Amazon provides a default set of functions with every WorkSpace relying on the working system. Linux desktops embody functions similar to LibreOffice, Firefox and Evolution mail. Customers can add further software program from the Amazon Linux repositories with yum. Windows 10 desktops embody functions similar to Internet Explorer 11 and Firefox. Customers can even add numerous variations of Microsoft Office Professional 2016 for an extra price or construct their very own customized pictures.
    When it involves end-user credentialing and administration Amazon WorkSpaces helps “Simple AD, AD Connector or AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory, also known as AWS Managed Microsoft AD.” Customers can even set up a belief relationship between their AWS Managed Microsoft AD listing and their on-premises area.
    Applications could be deployed to the digital desktops by way of present instruments, and WorkSpaces permits prospects to make use of their present RADIUS server for multi-factor authentication (MFA). Users can entry their WorkSpaces by way of a shopper utility on a Windows or Mac laptop, Google Chromebook, Apple iPad, Amazon Fire pill and Android pill, or by both the Chrome or Firefox browsers. WorkSpaces helps encryption root quantity and consumer quantity encryption and doesn't retailer consumer knowledge on the native system. Amazon WorkSpaces additionally supplies a number of compliance choices together with, however not restricted to HIPAA, PCI DSS and GDPR.
    If we had to decide on our favourite DaaS possibility, that award would go to Amazon WorkSpaces. The Amazon WorkSpaces service not solely provides the flexibility to run each Linux and Windows desktops, however you might be additionally solely charged for the workspaces you employ, and it’s on one of many strongest backbones on the planet: AWS. The single-seat minimal makes for a compelling purpose to decide on as effectively.
    Given that the pricing is month-to-month or hourly relying in your geographical area, you’re not taking a look at outrageous prices for utilizing the service both. Because Amazon WorkSpaces could be HIPAA, PCI DSS and GDPR, these digital desktops can be utilized when delicate knowledge is required. Most importantly, Amazon WorkSpaces can deploy both Linux or Windows on a number of completely different digital {hardware} configurations, and with Amazon’s unbelievable storage services, you'll be able to belief these environments will stay each protected and dependable.

    Citrix Managed Desktops
    Image: Citrix
    Top DaaS Provider
    Public cloud compatibility: AzureMinimum time period: 1 monthMinimum seats: 25Pricing: Monthly or Term (1 to 5 years)
    Longtime distant desktop, thin-client and virtualization supplier Citrix launched its desktop as a service resolution, Citrix Managed Desktops, to common availability in August 2019. The firm already supplied a from of DaaS by Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, however this resolution required corporations to cope with 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.
    CMD makes use of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop to ship digital desktops hosted on Microsoft Azure IaaS (compute, storage and networking) and managed by Citrix. Customers can provision a wide range of Windows machines, together with: Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 EVD (Enterprise Virtual Desktops) Multi-Session and Windows Server 2016 with RDSH. The working system and utility licenses could be paid for by the Citrix subscription or prospects can use their present licenses by a Bring Your Own License program. CMD will supply a wide range of AD authentication choices and assist domain-joined and non-domain-joined desktops.
    Citrix Managed Desktop pricing varies considerably primarily based on the kind of service prospects select and the size of service contract When Citrix launched CMD in May 2019, they stated prospects would count on to pay about $30 per consumer per 30 days for CMD for no less than 25 customers and at their Synergy occasion in May 2019, Citrix broke down that ~$30 month-to-month worth for Managed Desktops even additional.
    However, as of August 2020, CMD pricing on Citrix’s web site, breaks down as follows:

    $8/month U.S Term dedication (per consumer; assumes 500 customers and a 3-year contract)
    $15/month (US) Workspace Standard with Citrix Managed Desktop (per consumer; assumes 500 customers and a 3-year contract)
    $16/month (US) Pay-as-you go month-to-month subscription (per consumer)

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    Cloudalize Desktop-as-a-Service
    Image: Cloudalize
    Top DaaS Provider
    Public cloud compatibility: N/AMinimum time period: 1 monthMinimum seats: OnePricing: Hourly or month-to-month
    Belgium-based Cloudalize supplies a DaaS resolution optimized for energy customers in Europe and North America. Subscriptions embody the price of working system licenses, however prospects will want their very own utility licenses. According to a 2018 Gartner report, the corporate “hosts its own data centers using both Citrix and proprietary infrastructures” and “all workspaces must run a Windows 10 experience on a Windows 2016 Server.” As of August 2020, costs for Cloudalize DaaS begin at $0.89/hour (US) plus a typical month-to-month recurring cost of $19.99 (US).

    dinCloud dinWorkspace
    Image: dinCloud
    Top DaaS Provider
    Public cloud compatibility: N/AMinimum time period: 1 monthMinimum seats: FivePricing: Monthly
    dinCloud’s dinWorkspace DaaS resolution permits prospects to provision digital desktops which can be hosted on {hardware} in dinCloud’s US-based knowledge facilities. According to dinCloud, it’s knowledge facilities “maintain SOC 1 Type II and SOC 2 Type II compliance, ISO 27001, NIST 800-53/FISMA and PCI Compliance.” Customers can provision a wide range of Windows and/or Linux desktops managed by Citrix-based, Microsoft-based or proprietary instruments.

    Evolve IP
    Image: Evolve IP
    Top DaaS Provider
    Public cloud compatibility: N/AMinimum time period: 12 monthsMinimum seats: 25Pricing:  Monthly
    Cloud companies firm Evolve IP delivers its DaaS resolution utilizing VMware View and PC-over-IP. Evolve IP’s digital Windows desktops could be accessed from a wide range of finish factors, together with Windows and Mac computer systems, skinny shoppers, IOS, Android, ChromeOS gadgets or net browsers that assist HTML5. Evolve IP helps each VMware and Citrix stacks and digital machines are hosted within the firm’s US-based knowledge facilities.
    Customers which have a Microsoft Open/Volume license for Windows can use Windows VDA with Evolve IP’s DaaS resolution. As an Authorized Qualified Multitenant Hosting Partner with Microsoft, Evolve IP can assist full variations of Office 365 and Exchange entry. They additionally assist bring-your-own-licensing and open-source licensing. Evolve IP provides a variety of compliance and safety certifications, together with SOC2, HIPAA, HITRUST CSF and PCI DSS.

    itopia Cloud Automation Stack (CAS)
    Image: itopia
    Top DaaS Provider
    Public cloud compatibility: Google CloudMinimum time period: 12 months (1 to 3 yr negotiated contract)Minimum seats: 5-10 VMsPricing: Billed hourly on a month-to-month foundation
    Founded in 2013, itopia provides a software program as a service (SaaS) resolution referred to as Cloud Automation Stack. The firm’s proprietary automation and orchestration software works solely with Google Cloud Platform. Using CAS, prospects can deploy and handle workloads, digital desktops, digital servers and digital apps in a GCP atmosphere. Through the CAS net interface, IT directors “can manage all aspects of DaaS across both the Microsoft Windows server infrastructure as well as those of Google Cloud Compute Engine.”
    CAS digital desktops can assist both Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. itopia can even provision Windows Server pictures out there in Google Cloud, together with Windows Server 2012 R2, 2016 and 2019. End customers can entry their digital desktops from gadgets that assist RDP, RemoteFX, RemoteApp feeds or an HTML5 browser, such a Windows and macOS laptops/desktops, iOS and Android gadgets, Chromebooks and Chromeboxes and thin-clients.
    There isn't any minimal variety of end-user seats, however deployments automated by CAS require a minimal of 5 to 10 digital machines. If a buyer doesn’t provision a selected variety of consumer seats, they're billed for the VMs as in the event that they have been seats. Basically, prospects are billed for the variety of servers or seats, whichever is bigger. Customers that join by the GCP Marketplace and billed hourly on a month-to-month foundation for his or her items (seats or servers). When it involves working system and utility licenses, all third-party licenses should be supplied by the client, because the VMs are working on the client’s personal Google Cloud account.

    What is desktop as a service?
    As with different cloud companies, DaaS is a horny resolution for corporations transferring away from managing their very own {hardware} both in an on-premise knowledge heart or co-location. DaaS advantages can embody simpler patch administration and software program updates, quicker migrations, faster new consumer provisioning, higher catastrophe planning and restoration, and improved utility and knowledge safety.
    The prices of deploying and sustaining the {hardware} required to run every digital desktop shifts from a capital expense to operational expense. Users can even profit from DaaS by with the ability to entry company knowledge and functions by a desktop expertise on a variety of both company-provided or BYOD gadgets utilizing a community or web connection.
    DaaS market tendencies and adoption charges
    In 2019, DaaS distributors made a number of main strikes. Microsoft made their DaaS resolution, Windows Virtual Desktop, typically out there September. Citrix Managed Desktops moved to common availability in August and Dell and Microsoft introduced cloud and virtualization partnerships targeted round VMware. Yet regardless of the advantages of DaaS and these market shifts, adoption stays decrease than some anticipated.
    In Gartner’s 2016 DaaS report, analysts predicted that “by 2019, 50% of new VDI users will be deployed on DaaS platforms” because the deployment of DaaS options “cannibalize on-premises VDI at refresh.” But in a 2018 survey, Gartner discovered that DaaS adoption was nonetheless considerably decrease than VDI adoption, particularly amongst giant enterprises.
    In its 2019 Market Guide for Desktop as a Service report, Gartner famous that by 2023 they count on that “price reductions and product maturity will lead organizations to move 20% of VDI users into DaaS offerings in the cloud,” considerably lower than their earlier predictions. Furthermore, Gartner famous that DaaS “progress has been stymied somewhat by the fresh injection of hype from Microsoft’s entry into the DaaS market.”
    Despite the restricted adoption of DaaS, Gartner did level to progress available in the market.
    “Microsoft’s entry into the desktop as a service (DaaS) market has dominated Gartner inquiries since September 2018 and rejuvenated interest in DaaS maturity and business value,” the analysis firm famous. “[DaaS is] now being adopted by midsize and large enterprise organizations, primarily for disaster recovery, and elastic and temporary use cases.”
    Given the rise in distant work on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to see an uptick in curiosity round applied sciences that present safe distant workspaces like VDI and DaaS.
    Note: This article was written by Bill Detwiler and up to date by Jack Wallen.

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