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Desktop as a service (DaaS) - Best Cloud Services providers

Desktop as a service (DaaS)

What is Desktop as a Service (DaaS)?

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a cloud computing offering where a service provider delivers virtual desktops to end users over the Internet, licensed with a per-user subscription.

The provider takes care of backend management for small businesses that find creating their own virtual desktop infrastructure to be too expensive or resource-consuming. This management typically includes maintenance, back-up, updates, and data storage. Cloud service providers may also handle security and applications for the desktop, or users may manage these service aspects individually. There are two kinds of desktops are available in DaaS—persistent and non-persistent.

Persistent desktop: Users have the ability to customize and save a desktop so it will look the same way each time a particular user logs on. Persistent desktops require more storage than non-persistent desktops, which can make them more expensive.
Non-persistent desktop: Desktops are wiped each time the user logs out—they are merely a way to access shared cloud services.

Cloud providers may allow customers to choose from both, allowing workers with specific needs to access a persistent desktop and providing access to temporary or occasional workers via a non-persistent desktop.

Advantages of Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offers some clear advantages over a traditional desktop model. Deploying or decommissioning active end users with DaaS is much faster and less expensive.

  • Faster deployment and decommissioning of active end users: The desktop is already configured, it just needs to be connected to a new device. For seasonal businesses that consistently experience spikes and drops in demand or employees, DaaS can save a lot of time and money. 
  • Reduced downtime for IT support: Desktop as a Service also allows companies to provide remote IT support to their employees, reducing downtime.
  • Cost savings: Because the devices that run DaaS require much less computing power than a traditional desktop machine or laptop, they are less expensive and use less power. 
  • Increased device flexibility: DaaS runs on a variety of operating systems and device types, which supports the trend of users bringing their own devices into the office and shifts the burden of supporting the desktop on all of those devices to the cloud service provider.
  • Enhanced security: Because the data is stored in the data center with DaaS, security risks are considerably lower. If a laptop or mobile device is stolen, it can simply be disconnected from the service. Since none of the data lives on that stolen device, the risk of a thief accessing sensitive data is minimal. Security patches and updates are also easier to install in a DaaS environment because all of the desktops can be updated simultaneously from a remote location.

How does Desktop as a Service (DaaS) work?

With Desktop as a Service (DaaS), the cloud services provider hosts the infrastructure, network resources, and storage in the cloud and streams a virtual desktop to the user’s device, where the user can access the desktop’s data and applications through a web browser or other software. Organizations may purchase as many virtual desktops as they need through a subscription model.

Because desktop applications stream over the Internet from a centralized server, graphics-intensive applications have historically been hard to use with DaaS. New technology has changed this, and even applications such as computer-aided design (CAD) that require an immense amount of computer power to display quickly can now run easily on DaaS. When the workload on one server gets too high, IT administrators can migrate a running virtual machine from one physical server to another in just a few seconds, allowing graphics accelerated or GPU-accelerated applications to run uninterrupted. GPU-accelerated Desktop as a Service (GPU-DaaS) has implications for any industry that requires 3D modeling, high-end graphics, simulations, or video production. The engineering and design, broadcasting, and architecture industries can all benefit from this technology.