12-27-21 | Blog Post
Desktop as a service (DaaS) is a cloud-based solution for deploying virtual desktops to end-users. The virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is hosted by a third-party cloud provider who handles the deployment, management, and maintenance from their data center. Virtual desktops can be deployed to any location and various types of end-user devices.
Desktop as a Service is a cost-effective solution for businesses who want the advantages of a virtual desktop environment without the onsite infrastructural costs. These benefits include increased productivity, reduced device, and IT infrastructure costs, centralization of company data, and improved security.
Since the pandemic, many businesses have implemented bring your own device (BYOD) policies for their expanding remote workforce. With DaaS, you can better manage mobile workers while ensuring that company data remains protected. Critical applications and updates can be delivered to any device on the distributed network and secure connections restrict access between the employee’s physical device and the desktop instance.
In a healthcare environment, a stolen laptop or breach of confidential information can be disastrous. A HIPAA-certified data center ensures that patient information remains secure while allowing health care providers to access applications and patient files as they move from throughout the facility. Critical information remains easily accessible from individual desktop sessions eliminating the need to reopen applications as they move from patient to patient.
Desktop as a Service can help software development teams expedite the testing and quality assurance cycles. Developers can easily switch between several virtual desktops, eliminating the need for separate testing machines. This also reduces costs as fewer physical devices are needed.
Large call centers and other shift-work environments can use DaaS to save on IT costs. Each workstation can be used to support multiple shifts over the course of the day. Several employees can utilize a single physical machine using their personal login credentials to access their unique virtual desktop.
The high cost of educational software licenses often limits the number of applications schools and universities can purchase. The DaaS subscription model allows educational institutions to grant access to software applications to more students and teachers. Users can share a single remote desktop installation on an as-needed basis, with the flexibility to connect from anywhere on or off-campus.
Choosing the best virtual desktop provider to handle your critical data and applications can be a difficult decision. Here are some important things to look for:
Most cloud services include backup and recovery options, but they may not be part of a standard DaaS subscription. Confirm what options are available from the provider and whether they incur an additional cost. Also, verify how unexpected outages like natural disasters and data center failures will be managed.
Find out whether they offer automated backup solutions and if you can create and restore backups on demand. If you have a critical situation will you be able to handle it yourself or submit a ticket and wait on support?
The provider should have a failover system that allows the business to continue operations with minimal downtime.
Provider documentation should clearly outline the services they provide. It should also state the responsibilities of the provider as well as the responsibilities of you, the client. Documentation should also specify the subscription models available–whether yearly, monthly, per user, or per instance.
Documentation should also outline the level of support being provided if it is included in the standard subscription or requires an additional fee. Ensure that the provider has the right expertise and resources for the level of technical support you need for your business. Service level agreements should indicate availability guaranteed by the provider and any remedies and penalties related to such.
If you already have a virtual desktop infrastructure, make sure that the services the DaaS provider is offering are compatible. Choosing a service that doesn’t work with your existing applications and hardware could result in you having to rebuild your entire system. This translates to lost time and more importantly, lost revenue. The provider you choose should already have the tools and systems in place to successfully migrate your existing infrastructure.
One of the greatest advantages of moving to a virtual desktop environment is it can provide greater security than traditional workstations. However, you still need to confirm that your provider offers security measures beyond the usual application updates and security patches.
Security safeguards should include multi-factor authentication, firewall protection, and data monitoring as well as tools for encryption and preventing denial-of-service attacks. Also, make sure that you are clear on the security aspects the provider will be responsible for and the ones that can be handled by your internal IT support team, if any.
DaaS allows you to monitor and manage virtual desktops from a centralized location. Look for a provider that has tools to integrate cloud monitoring with your existing platforms. This will help your IT teams to monitor your virtual desktop environment more efficiently. Integrated monitoring tools can combine information from your virtual desktops with data from other business processes to give your team a better understanding of the security status of the entire environment.
If your business industry needs to adhere to strict compliance standards, look for a DaaS provider with ISO- or HIPPA-compliant data center. Confirm, with the provider, the compliance standards they are certified to meet. Also, find out whether you are limited to specific configurations because of those standards. A virtual desktop environment that is certified compliant will help you to meet your specific compliance requirements and make the auditing process easier.
When transitioning to desktop as a service, it’s important to choose a good service provider. At Otava, our skilled experts can help you develop a DaaS solution tailored to your unique business needs. If you’re looking for a DaaS provider, contact us to get started.