DaaS: Desktop as a Service | Parallels Explains

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a cloud-based desktop-delivery model where a cloud provider hosts and delivers virtual desktops to users. With the rising cost and complexity of deploying virtual desktops on on-premises servers, organizations are moving their desktop solutions to the cloud.

DaaS is an alternative—and more straightforward—solution to full-fledged virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Its pricing is a pay-as-you-go subscription model and is an efficient model in which the service provider manages all the back-end responsibilities of application software, which eliminates the hassle of IT operation cost for organizations. Some well-known providers are Amazon Workspace and Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop.

How Does DaaS Work?

DaaS is leveraged via private or public cloud services. DaaS infrastructure is multi-tenant, allowing multiple users to access virtual desktops in the cloud environment.

A third-party cloud provider generally hosts the back-end infrastructure of a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). The provider creates the virtual desktops and sends them over a cloud network. Providers are also responsible to host the storage, network resources and the entire DaaS infrastructure. The maintenance, security, backup and restore, storage and maintenance of DaaS are also carried out by them.

Organizations can purchase virtual desktops through a subscription model. The pricing depends on the number of users. They can access the services and the files via a secure endpoint application or an HTML-based web browser through an internet connection. Organizations also have the responsibility to manage the desktop images but are spared from upfront operational costs.

Comparing DaaS with VDI

DaaS is essentially VDI which is managed by a third party. DaaS offers all the advantages of VDI, with the reduced need for management. The differences between the two are illustrated below:

DaaS VDI
Cost Lower upfront cost requirements since everything is managed by a third party. Costs depend on the subscription model. Cheaper in the long run once the infrastructure is set up by paying up the required upfront costs.
Management Needs Organizations do not have to worry about management since third parties do so. The organization is responsible for managing the storage, compute, and network infrastructure.
Capabilities DaaS lacks some additional capabilities that are offered by VDI. VDI offers better capabilities like USB redirection, multiple monitors, and other advanced desktop management capabilities.
Regulatory Requirements Different regulatory requirements like HIPAA, GDPR etc. do not recommend the use of DaaS infrastructure. VDI is more secure, thus meeting the regulatory needs put forward by HIPAA and GDPR.
Control Offers lesser control over performance parameters since the management is done by third-party solutions. Greater control over virtualized desktops, underlying virtualization infrastructure, and performance.
Usability Suitable for use by smaller organizations with lower performance needs and lower cost Suitable for use by larger organizations with higher security needs and performance needs

Challenges with DaaS

DaaS comes with its own set of challenges, including the following:

Network connectivity issues

Network latency remains a problem since an Internet connection is needed for accessing your desktops. When your employees can’t connect to the Internet, their productivity is affected or, worse, their work stops altogether. The latter may be particularly true when your staff uses bandwidth-heavy applications such as graphics editing and media streaming in their work.

Varying desktop requirements

Workplaces have unique desktop requirements. For example, different desktop setups may be required for employees involved in processing-intensive graphic design work and those who require access to business software only. Instead of making desktop management easier, such variety can translate to more work for your IT personnel.

Advantages of DaaS

DaaS also has its advantages, including the following:

Increased productivity

Your staff can practically work from anywhere just by accessing their desktops from wherever they may be at the moment, so long as they have a suitable device and an Internet connection.

Lower costs

With DaaS providers offering per-desktop pricing, organizations are freed from allocating a budget for future hardware expansion. It allows you to implement Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in earnest, giving your staff the chance to use their own preferred devices and at the same time helping you save on hardware costs. Without the need for server space, your organization also gets to save on rent and utilities.

Enhanced cybersecurity and business continuity

Providers take care of securing your environment from hacking attempts. Moreover, DaaS removes the threat posed by your staff connecting to your networks using compromised equipment. Redundancy is built into the services offered by most DaaS providers, allowing your organization to take advantage of these capabilities without the need for more spending and putting your organization in a better position to meet regulatory requirements.

Experience Enhanced DaaS Capabilities with Parallels RAS

Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) delivers secure virtual applications and desktops in cloud-computing platforms, such as Microsoft Azure or AWS. Moreover, Parallels RAS supports hybrid deployment that allows organizations to leverage both on-premises and DaaS offerings, without integration complexity.

Parallels RAS supports Azure’s DaaS offering by integrating and enriching Azure Virtual Desktop capabilities. It provides organizations with unified workload and resource management. Parallels RAS maintains and configures Azures Virtual Desktop workloads and other resources alike, supporting private, hybrid or multi-cloud deployments for greater flexibility and end-user productivity.

Download your 30-day evaluation period of Parallels RAS and check out its DaaS capabilities!