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Desktop-as-a-Service: Understanding DaaS and Its Functioning

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The Future of Work

The way people work has drastically changed. Hybrid or fully remote working has become more common, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten years prior to 2009, only 4% of Americans primarily worked from home, but by December 2020, that number had risen to 24%[^1^].

Embracing Remote Work

According to a 2020 survey[^2^], 83% of individuals who have the option to work from home express a desire to continue doing so at least once a week. Moreover, 32% of respondents are interested in permanent remote work.

Implementing remote working arrangements poses various challenges. IT teams need to ensure that employees can access work systems reliably and securely. Luckily, there are numerous tech tools available to facilitate remote work[^3^]. One solution that stands out is Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS).

What is DaaS?

DaaS, or Desktop-as-a-Service, allows employees to access a virtual desktop via a web browser. It is a cloud-based subscription service that eliminates the need for companies to build and maintain their own Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Later on, we will discuss the differences between DaaS and VDI in more detail.

Advantages of DaaS

DaaS offers several benefits, including:

  • No need to develop in-house VDI
  • No upfront capital expenditure
  • Reduced maintenance burden on IT teams
  • Minimized operational disruptions
  • Consistent end-user experience

How Does DaaS Work?

DaaS providers operate from multi-tenant servers, where multiple clients can share resources. End-users can access their virtual desktops using various devices, as the desktop is streamed to the user’s device through virtual machines. This enables users to access their work products anytime and anywhere.

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One of the key advantages of DaaS is the flexibility it offers. Businesses can choose the applications they need, such as business instant messaging apps[^4^], to enhance their work experience. DaaS providers handle the backend operations, while clients can customize the user experience to their liking.

DaaS suppliers are responsible for updates, maintenance, backups, storage, and computing resources. This allows clients to focus on managing applications and handling machine images. By utilizing DaaS, businesses gain access to a centrally managed platform that implements appropriate security measures.

Top DaaS Providers

Here are some of the leading DaaS providers:

  • Amazon (AWS)
  • Citrix
  • Azure Digital Desktop
  • Microsoft
  • VMware Horizon Cloud

DaaS is typically offered as a pay-as-you-go subscription, ensuring that organizations only pay for the services they use. This makes it a cost-effective way for companies to provide a VDI-like experience to their employees.

DaaS vs. VDI

Another approach to enable remote working is by building a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). However, this can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor. A significant difference between VDI and DaaS is that VDI requires on-premises servers, while DaaS is cloud-based. This model offers advantages such as lower upfront investment and maintenance tasks being undertaken by the provider.

By choosing DaaS over VDI, businesses gain greater flexibility. If a company needs to rapidly scale its operations, DaaS allows for that. It’s ideal for enterprises that need to be agile in an ever-changing business environment.

How to Choose a Provider

When selecting a DaaS provider, it is crucial for businesses to consider their specific needs. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Security: Although DaaS is generally secure, vulnerabilities can exist. Choosing a provider with additional security features, such as encryption services, DDoS protection, and permissions management, can enhance the overall security of the system.
  • Backup: As a cloud-based service, DaaS comes with built-in backup and recovery capabilities. However, companies should ensure that their provider offers suitable data backup and recovery options tailored to their needs.
  • Compatibility with Existing VDI: Some businesses combine DaaS with their existing VDI infrastructure. In such cases, it’s important to select a DaaS provider whose platform seamlessly integrates with the company’s virtualization solutions. While it is possible to update and rebuild systems, doing so can be time-consuming and burdensome for IT teams.
  • Monitoring: DaaS solutions provide clients with access to monitoring and management tools for virtual desktops. Integration of cloud monitoring with existing platforms is crucial. The provider should offer comprehensive visibility to organizations.
  • Flexibility: DaaS can be obtained as a fully managed service or a platform that can be customized to suit specific business requirements. For instance, organizations may want to integrate a conversational AI bot into their desktop. Therefore, it is essential to have open discussions with the provider to ensure flexibility.
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DaaS: The Perfect Solution

As the demand for remote working solutions continues to rise, the availability of DaaS is a game-changer for businesses. It offers the flexibility and consistency that companies require without the expenses associated with VDI.

[^1^]: Source: National Council on Compensation Insurance
[^2^]: Source: PwC survey
[^3^]: Source: IT Chronicles
[^4^]: Source: Dialpad

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