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

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

  Desktop cloud computing as a service (DaaS)

Getty Images / iStockphoto – scanrail

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

DaaS features and benefits

As with other cloud services, DaaS is an attractive solution for companies that move away from managing their own hardware, either at a local data center or at a joint location DaaS benefits can include easier patch management and software updates, faster migrations, faster provisioning of new users, better planning and disaster recovery, and improved application and data security. The costs of implementing and maintaining the hardware required to run each virtual desktop change from a capital expense (capex) to an operational expense (opex). Users can also benefit from DaaS by accessing corporate data and applications through a desktop experience on a wide range of BYOD devices provided by the company or via a network or internet connection.

A desktop virtualization primer

Despite its benefits, a 2018 Gartner survey found that DaaS adoption was still significantly less than VDI adoption , especially among large companies. According to Gartner's 2018 DaaS survey, 75% of sellers "had a customer with more than 1,000 users, with a larger average customer of 5,000 users." However, in the same report, Gartner also stated that his assumption from a 2016 DaaS report, that "by 2019, 50% of new VDI users will be implemented on DaaS platforms," ​​may still prove correct since the deployment of DaaS solutions "cannibalizes in – VDI premises in the update".

The DaaS market has definitely gained an additional boost in 2019 with Microsoft expecting to make its own DaaS solution, Windows Virtual Desktop, generally available in September, Citrix Managed Desktops reaching general availability in August, and heavy industry weights as Dell and Microsoft announce virtualization and cloud associations focused on VMware.

Main providers of DaaS

Here is a look at many of the leading players in the market for desktop services as a service and the services they offer. Service providers are listed in alphabetical order by company name. The name of the virtual desktop service of each DaaS provider appears after the company name. A complete breakdown of the virtual desktop service of each DaaS provider is below the list.

  • Amazon Web Services – WorkSpaces
  • Citrix – Managed desktops
  • Cloudalize – Desktop-as-a-Service
  • dinCloud – dinWorkspace
  • Evolve IP
  • Microsoft – Windows Virtual Desktop [19659016] MTM Technologies – AnywhereApp
  • VMware – Horizon Cloud


Amazon Web Services – WorkSpaces

Public cloud compatibility: Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Minimum term: <1 month
Minimum places: 1
Price: Monthly or hourly; dependent on the geographic region

Amazon launched Workspaces, its patented cloud desktop service, in 2013 and 2016 announced hourly billing for WorkSpaces desktops. Customers can provision Linux or Windows desktops in a wide variety of virtual hardware and storage configurations. If you deploy Windows desktops, companies can use their own Windows 7 and Windows 10 desktop licenses or pay them as part of the subscription.

  Desktop DaaS as an Amazon WorkSpaces Service


Amazon offers a default set of applications with each WorkSpace depending on the operating system. Linux desktops include applications such as LibreOffice, Firefox and Evolution mail. Windows 7 and 10 desktops include applications such as Internet Explorer 11, Firefox and 7-Zip. Customers can also add several versions of Microsoft Office Professional for an additional cost or create their own custom images.

WorkSpaces is compatible with Microsoft Active Directory (AD) at the customer's premises for group policy management and end-user accreditation. Applications can be deployed to virtual desktops through existing tools, and WorkSpaces allows customers to use their existing RADIUS server for multifactor authentication (MFA). Users can access their WorkSpaces through a client application on a Windows or Mac computer, Google Chromebook, Apple iPad, Amazon Fire tablet and Android tablet, or through Chrome or Firefox browsers. WorkSpaces supports root volume encryption and user volume encryption and does not store user data on the local device. Amazon WorkSpaces also offers multiple compliance options that include, among others, HIPAA, PCI DSS and GDPR.


Citrix – Managed Desktops

Public cloud compatibility: Azure
Minimum term: 1 month
Minimum places: 25
Price: Monthly or term (1 to 5 years)

Citrix, virtualization provider, thin client and remote desktop since A long-time desktop solution as a service, Citrix Managed Desktops (CMD), generally available in August 2019. The company was already offering from DaaS through Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD), but this solution required companies to try With multiple suppliers. Citrix Managed Desktops is designed to be a simplified version of CVAD and a "turnkey service" where all costs are billed directly to Citrix.

  Citrix Managed Desktops Desktop-as-a-Service DaaS "data-original =" 0fe965876d78 / resize / 770x / 244e979a6564ad06961bce64757b27dc / image3.png


CMD uses Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop to deliver virtual desktops hosted on Microsoft Azure IaaS (computing, storage and networks) and managed by Citrix. Customers can provision a variety of Windows machines, including: Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 EVD (Enterprise Virtual Desktops) Multi-Session and Windows Server 2016 (with RDSH). The operating system and application licenses can be paid through Citrix subscription or customers can use their existing licenses through a Bring Your Own License (BYOL) program. CMD will offer a variety of AD authentication options and will support desktops attached and not attached to a domain.

Citrix offers monthly and term pricing options (1 to 5 years) for CMD. Customers can expect to pay around $ 30 per user per month per CMD for a minimum of 25 users. In a CMD presentation at its Synergy event in May 2019, Citrix itemized that monthly price of ~ $ 30 for desktop computers managed as follows:

  • $ 16 (per user per month) for Citrix Managed Desktops [19659052] $ 6.25 (per month) for Microsoft Licenses (not charged by BYOL)
  • Minimum of $ 5 (per user per month) for the consumption commitment (workload management)


Cloudalize – Desktop-as-a-Service

Public cloud compatibility: N / A
Minimum term: 1 month [19659027] Minimum places: 1
Prices: Per hour or per month

Cloudalize, based in Belgium, provides a DaaS solution for office workers and knowledge only in EMEA and one for advanced users ( engineers, architects, etc.) worldwide. Subscriptions include the cost of operating system licenses, but customers will need their own application licenses. According to a 2018 Gartner report, the company "hosts its own data centers using both Citrix and proprietary infrastructures" and "all workspaces must run a Windows 10 experience on a Windows 2016 server." As of August 2019, Cloudalize DaaS prices start at $ 79 per month per desktop computer.

dinCloud – dinWorkspace

Compatibility with the public cloud: N / A
Minimum term: 1 month
Minimum seats: 5
Prices: Monthly

DinCloud's dinWorkspace DaaS solution allows customers to provision virtual desktops hosted on hardware in dinCloud data centers in the United States. According to dinCloud, its data centers "maintain compliance with SOC 1 type II and SOC 2 type II, ISO 27001, NIST 800-53 / FISMA and PCI compliance." Customers can provision a variety of Windows and / or Linux desktops managed through proprietary or Citrix-based tools.

Evolve IP

Compatibility with the public cloud: N / A
Minimum term: 12 months
Minimum seats: 25 [19659027] Prices: Monthly

The Evolve IP cloud services company offers its DaaS solution using VMware View and PC-over-IP (PCoIP). Windows virtual desktops from Evolve IP can be accessed from a variety of endpoints, including Windows and Mac computers, thin clients, IOS devices, Android, ChromeOS or web browsers that support HTML5. Evolve IP is compatible with VMware and Citrix batteries and virtual machines are hosted in the company's data centers in the US. UU. As an authorized authorized timeshare hosting partner (QMTH) with Microsoft, Evolve IP can support full versions of Office 365 and access to Exchange. Evolve IP offers a range of compliance and security certifications, including SOC2, HIPAA, HITRUST CSF and PCI DSS.

Cloud compatibility: Microsoft Azure
Minimum term: N / A
Minimum seats: N / A
Price: N / A

Officially presented at Microsoft Ignite 2018, Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) (formerly known as "Windows 10 Enterprise for remote sessions" and "Windows 10 Enterprise for Virtual Desktop Computers ") allows companies to run Windows desktop computers hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. In August 2019, Microsoft indicated that WVD was "full function", but had not announced a general availability date (GA). A public preview of WVD has been available since March 2019. According to Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, "this could happen before the end of September 2019."

  Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktops DaaS desktop as a "data-original =" service -a967c63d15cf / resize / 770x / f0051a7309ba496218c5525560db2f05 / image1.jpg


Using WVD, customers can provision virtual machines with Windows 7 or 10 running Office 365 ProPlus and third-party applications. After the official support for Windows 7 ends in January 2020, companies can still host Windows 7 virtual machines for three years without paying for extended security updates. Companies that use Remote Desktop Services (RDS) will also be able to migrate their existing remote desktops and existing Windows Server applications to Azure.

Companies with eligible Windows or Microsoft 365 licenses gain access to WVD machines by paying the Azure computing, storage and network resources used to host each virtual machine. As of August 2019, Microsoft had released WVD preview prices for different workload scenarios, but not specific prices per user per month.


MTM Technologies – AnywhereApp

Cloud compatibility: AWS, Microsoft Azure, CenturyLink, Oracle
Minimum term: 12 months (36 months to get the best price)
Minimum places: 50
Price: Monthly

MTM Technologies is an IT services company that provides technical consulting and management infrastructure in areas such as cloud design / management, virtualization and data center. In 2017, MTM launched AnywhereApp, a "workspace as a service" solution that allows customers to deploy Windows 7 or Windows 10 virtual desktops with support for a variety of mission-critical enterprise applications such as Jack Henry & Associates and OpenText , productivity software such as Office 365 and Google G Suite, and cloud-based solutions from vendors such as Salesforce and Adobe. Hosting can be provided through a private cloud, on-site data center, placement facility, AWS, Azure or CenturyLink. MTM can support a full range of virtualization stacks of Citrix VMware and Microsoft. MTM can provide software licenses for Microsoft, Citrix and VMware products on a monthly basis, or customers can provide their own licenses if they use a separate environment. Users can access AnywhereApp virtual workspaces through a variety of endpoints, including Windows and Mac computers, iOS and Android devices, and thin clients of companies such as IGEL and Dell. MTM is accredited to comply with HIPAA and SOC2 Part 1.

VMware – Horizon Cloud

Cloud compatibility: IBM Cloud , Microsoft Azure
Minimum term: 1 month
Minimum places: 1
Price: Monthly

VMware's Horizon Cloud DaaS solution allows companies to provision virtual desktops Windows using your existing Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure or an IBM cloud infrastructure managed by VMware. VMware offers two types of Horizon Cloud subscriptions … "per named user" (for users who need dedicated virtual desktops) or "per concurrent connection" (for virtual desktops that will be shared by multiple users). Horizon Cloud customers with IBM Cloud purchase the user license and Horizon Cloud capability on VMware's IBM Cloud. Horizon Cloud customers in Microsoft Azure purchase the VMware Horizon Cloud user license and purchase Microsoft's Microsoft Azure capability.

Like Citrix, VMware plans to support Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop. However, unlike Citrix, VMware has said it has no current plans to become a Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and therefore will not resell Microsoft licenses or Microsoft Azure capability. Customers must purchase their own Microsoft software licenses and Azure capability.


UPDATED 09/13/2019: Added information on additional DaaS providers.

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