12-27-21 | Blog Post

What is Desktop as a Service?

Blog Posts

On their own, traditional desktop environments present many challenges to IT support teams as they try to keep on top of security updates while dealing with employee issues like password resets.

Due to an increasingly mobile workforce, IT support teams are having even more difficulty ensuring that devices across the distributed network remain secure.

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a desktop virtualization solution managed by a third-party service provider who deploys secure virtual applications and desktop services via the cloud to your workforce. Instead of using in-house desktop systems, employees can access corporate applications and data from any device, through a familiar and secure desktop interface. The Desktop as a Service model provides complete virtual desktop environments including operating systems, applications, and files.

The DaaS service provider manages all of the back-end responsibilities including storage and network resources. This provides a virtualization solution that is easy to manage and simplifies many tasks for desktop admins.

How does Desktop as a Service work?

The Desktop as a Service provider hosts the virtual desktop infrastructure and storage and deploys virtual desktops to end-user devices over the network from the cloud. DaaS often takes the form of a multi-tenant subscription model based on the number of virtual desktop images used per month. With this highly scalable model, businesses can purchase subscriptions on an as-needed basis.

Most support tasks, including deployment, maintenance, security, backups, and upgrades are handled by the DaaS service provider, taking some of the pressure off your internal support teams. However, internal IT support teams are often responsible for managing applications and desktop images which involve minimal installation and setup.

Since users can only access company secured applications, services, and data, DaaS eliminates many of the security concerns related to remote workers and BYOD. With a Desktop as a Service solution, it no longer matters whether employees are using a personal device or a company-owned device.

Virtual Desktop vs Desktop as a Service

Virtual desktops and Desktop as a Service are cloud-based services that function similarly but are not quite the same. A virtual desktop is a preconfigured software image designed to emulate the operating system and applications of a physical desktop. The virtual desktop environment is completely separate from the physical device used to access it.

Virtual desktop solutions are deployed and managed on-site by in-house IT teams who are also responsible for purchasing, upgrading, and managing the infrastructure.

Desktop as a Service is a form of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) however DaaS solutions are managed entirely in the cloud by a third-party service provider.

Organizations that subscribe to a DaaS solution don’t need to manage their own hardware. The storage and network infrastructure are managed by the service provider who also handles all of the administrative work necessary to support, maintain, and upgrade the VDI.

What are the benefits of Desktop as a Service?

Control infrastructure costs

One of the benefits of DaaS is that it allows you to deliver desktop solutions without the associated expense of having on-site VDI infrastructure. This reduces administrative and control costs related to buying and upgrading hardware as well as utility costs associated with managing on-site server rooms. Bring your own device (BYOD) policies can be implemented to avoid buying additional company hardware with the knowledge that the company’s data will remain safe and secure.

When desktop purchases are necessary, they need not be expensive. A user only needs a thin client or browser to access the virtual desktop remotely. A less expensive device with lower memory and storage specs will be more than enough.

Monthly or yearly subscription models also provide you with a more predictable forecast of operational expenses so you can see how best to use your budget.

Eliminate hardware management

Your Desktop as a Service provider is responsible for all hardware maintenance, patching, and upgrading allowing your internal IT administrator team to focus on on-site tasks.

A virtual desktop solution removes the burden of supporting various types of devices in a distributed work environment from your IT team. BYOD can be more easily and securely deployed with a simplified solution that is secure, centralized, and easy to manage.

Accelerate onboarding

DaaS accelerates the onboarding process allowing you to dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to set up new desktop environments. Applications and desktops can be scaled up when necessary to accommodate temporary or remote workers and scaled down when no longer needed. Users can connect devices to a preconfigured virtual desktop in minutes eliminating the need to spend excessive amounts of time setting up each new desktop with the required software.

Safeguard data

Security breaches often take place via endpoint devices. With DaaS, data and applications reside inside the cloud rather than on a user’s physical device. End-users can access company applications and data with the assurance that it is protected against accidental and intentional data breaches. Additionally, there is less concern about sensitive data being compromised if an employee’s device is lost or stolen. With a virtual desktop solution, employees can be back up and running in their personal desktop environment from another physical device without much delay.

Simplify compliance

Many DaaS providers will be ISO or PCI DSS (required for merchants that accept credit or debit payments) compliant. However, if your business is in the health industry you should make sure that the provider is also HIPAA-compliant.

A Desktop as a Service provider with a compliant data center can help you simplify your cybersecurity and data protection compliance requirements. This gives you peace of mind that your business is adhering to the required regulations without incurring the costs of training in-house employees to implement or maintain the infrastructure necessary for that compliance.

If you’re thinking of transitioning from a traditional desktop environment to a virtual desktop infrastructure, Otava can help. Our Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solutions can help your business increase efficiency, improve productivity, and minimize downtime. For more information about our services, contact us today.

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