Top desktop as a service (DaaS) providers: Amazon, Citrix, Microsoft, VMware, and more

Desktop as a service adoption lags behind on-premise VDI, but the popularity of cloud-hosted desktops is growing. Here’s a look at the top DaaS providers and their services.

Desktop as a service (DaaS) cloud computing

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Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) hosted in the cloud and paid for as a subscription service, usually charged for by the seat. DaaS solutions use a multi-tenancy architecture where a single application instance is delivered to multiple users, or “tenants”. The third-party service provider assumes the responsibility for managing the desktop infrastructure. 

Features and benefits of DaaS

As with other cloud services, DaaS is an attractive solution for companies moving away from managing their own hardware either in an on-premise data center or cololocation. DaaS benefits can include easier patch management and software updates, faster migrations, quicker new user provisioning, better disaster planning and recovery, and improved application and data security. The costs of deploying and maintaining the hardware required to run each virtual desktop shifts from a capital expense (capex) to operational expense (opex). Users can also benefit from DaaS by being able to access corporate data and applications through a desktop experience on a wide range of either company-provided or BYOD devices using a network or internet connection.

A desktop virtualization primer

Despite its benefits, a 2018 Gartner survey found that DaaS adoption was still significantly lower than VDI adoption, especially among large enterprises. According to Gartner’s 2018 DaaS survey, 75% of vendors “had a customer with more than 1,000 users, with an average largest customer of 5,000 users.” In the same report however, Gartner also stated that their assumption from a 2016 DaaS report, that “By…