Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a cloud-based type of data visualization service where virtual desktops and apps are hosted on third-party servers (the provider’s servers) for use on personal devices, like computers, phones, and laptops.
By using Desktop as a Service, companies, and organizations eliminate the need to invest in physical infrastructures and spend resources on higher-end computers, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and server-based computing (SBC).
The need for a DaaS provider has exploded since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in large remote workforces, closed down on office buildings, and a need to reduce hardware expenses.
It is no wonder then, that market research studies like the Flexera report and this MariaDB survey show that companies have hurried to implement cloud services into their businesses and in the digital transformation of their businesses during the pandemic.
And this Statista report shows a huge jump in end-user spending on public cloud desktop as a service when the pandemic started in 2020 and projects it to keep growing.
The usage of a DaaS provider can help you reduce costs, provide you with easier scalability than physical infrastructures, helps integrate digital systems, and facilitates the digital transformation of companies.
Companies can have much more effective remote work by allowing data and information to be easily shared amongst different employees and devices, as well as keeping older hardware running for longer by using a good DaaS provider.
Companies will also be a lot more environmentally friendly by employing DaaS, since they’re reducing their consumption of power and electronic waste, and leaving those areas to more specialized companies that can have more efficient power consumption and result in less waste.
And if you’re interested in getting a DaaS provider, then you’ve come to the right place! Here are the 8 Best Desktop as a Service Providers.
1. Azure Virtual Desktop
Azure Virtual Desktop, formerly known as Windows Virtual Desktop, is Microsoft’s Desktop as a Service subscription.
It is an easy-to-use DaaS application that is well-optimized for Windows 10, Windows 11, and Microsoft’s apps like Microsoft Office.
Azure Virtual Desktop provides you with an incredibly secure system that protects your data from potential breaches, a system that comes with VMWare Horizon Cloud and Citrix Virtual apps integrations, and easily scalable service.
One of their security benefits is keeping all the data on their servers instead of a local machine, which helps protect all of your data and information in case of a security threat.
You can also use a wide variety of devices with Azure Virtual Desktop – including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
The Azure Portal also gives you an easy way to manage the organization’s virtual desktops, from which you can easily customize it to your particular needs like changing network settings, integrating new applications, and changing the security settings. This portal is great for reducing the time and effort required by IT to manage your virtual desktop.
Their pricing is completely dependent on your user access rights and infrastructure costs. The more storage and networking required, as well as the more extra features in the plan, the higher the cost. You can use their official pricing calculator to estimate a price.
Having a pre-existing Microsoft service like Windows or Microsoft 365 will reduce the overall pricing of your plan, making Azure particularly useful if you’re already employing other services of theirs, as it can provide you with a strong all-in-one platform for your team.
2. Ace Cloud Hosting
Ace Cloud Hosting is a renowned US-based DaaS provider that promises its customers a 99.99% uptime on their cloud services, a 24/7 customer support team, and 45-day backups to recover old or lost files.
The company has a partnership with Microsoft that results in cheaper prices for its products like Office 365. They’re also partnered with QuickBooks, an accounting software created by the developer Intuit, to help with business payments, payroll features, and other accounting functions.
They also promise industry-specific solutions, such as accounting or retail-specific apps and support that help you reduce costs and increase productivity. And if your business is not a part of their list of industry-specific solutions, you can contact them to craft features specifically for your particular industry.
Their 24/7 customer support lets you quickly get solutions for when you need it most: during an urgent crisis and need the issue solved as fast as possible, and quickly gets you the help you need through email, chat, or phone calls.
Ace Cloud Hosting also includes real-time reports to check your activity and adjustable bandwidth to maintain a stable performance even on weaker networks.
Before you invest even a cent into their services, you can effortlessly get a free 10-day trial.
If you do decide to hire their services, you can get their Business Plan for $30/user a month, which comes with 4GB RAM and 50GB storage plus usage on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chromebook, and on Browser.
You can also get additional extra features separately, like a dedicated firewall, extra storage, or a dedicated file server.
You can also get their Customized Plan, which requires a custom quote based on your needs and includes free setup and high GPU performance.
3. Amazon WorkSpaces
Amazon WorkSpaces is one of the best DaaS providers for startups and small companies, with affordable options and features that are targeted at small businesses.
WorkSpaces provides you with an easy-to-use platform that lets you easily manage your virtual space and effortless access on Linux and Windows devices.
They also have a bring your own licenses (BYOL) support, that lets you bring your Windows 10 license into WorkSpaces.
By using Amazon WorkSpaces, you also get the Amazon WorkDocs service, which gives you 50GB of storage for free and can be upgraded to 1TB of storage for a discounted price.
WorkSpaces offers both hourly and monthly pricing options.
Their hourly plans include a base monthly fee plus an extra per hour used.
Their cheapest plans start at $7.25/month plus $0.17/hour or $21/month, and they offer a variety of other plans with different storage options, video memory, and different prices.
They also have Education-related discounts based for Qualified Educational Users of Microsoft Windows, and if you’re a small business you can opt-in for a 12-month free trial.
WorkSpaces also offers the AWS Free Tier, which comes with 50GB user volume and 80GB root volume, and can be used for up to 40 hours a month for the first three billing periods.
4. Citrix DaaS
Citrix DaaS, formerly known as Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, is a highly secure provider that employs HDX technology to improve the visual quality of your virtual desktop without sacrificing speed. With their high-quality image and video, it’s easy to see why they’ve managed to get over 400 thousand customers.
They’re also fully integrated with Azure Virtual Desktop, where the features of their service truly shine. For instance, you can use the Quick Deploy interface to host your desktops while using Azure and to manage catalogs.
But don’t think that you’re restricted to Azure Virtual Desktop. You can also integrate them with Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
By using the Environment Management interface, you can easily optimize the performance and app resources by intelligently adjusting RAM and CPU based on your workspace.
- The Citrix DaaS Standard Plan has a $10/month pay-as-you-go monetization and provides you with its core features and virtual apps.
- The Citrix DaaS Advanced Plus Plan has a $13/month per user cost and includes advanced monitoring, session recording, and remote access to physical desktops, as additional features.
- The Citrix DaaS Premium Plan each costs $20/month per user and includes advanced security and advanced image management features.
- The Citrix Daas Premium Plus Plan comes in at $23/month per user and offers performance analytics and security analytics.
5. VMware Horizon Cloud
VMWare Horizon Cloud is a flexible service that can integrate with Amazon WorkSpaces, Azure Virtual Desktop, and other DaaS providers.
Horizon Cloud is one of the fastest desktop virtualization services in the market, with very high uptime rates and tools that are available 24/7, and they’re also great at scale.
The reason they’re so fast and provide great scalability is because of their Instant Clone tech, which clones parent virtual machines and does not require the upkeep of the parent virtual machine, which lets you easily expand your servers and scale faster.
They’re also one of the easiest ones to use and set up and also scale incredibly well with more users.
Another advantage of Horizon Cloud is its disaster recovery feature to help salvage data in case of failure or technical problems. They also save your sessions for when the virtual machine crashes, saving you time and work.
Horizon Cloud also comes with great power management to help you lower costs
VMware Horizon Cloud offers 2 main plans, each with two variations based on named users or concurrent users.
The Horizon Apps Universal License at $8.25/month per named user or $13.40/month per concurrent user, and the Horizon Universal License for $16.50/month per named user or $26.70/month per concurrent user.
When integrating it with Amazon WorkSpaces, Azure Virtual Desktop, IBM cloud, or other cloud infrastructure providers, the pricing may differ.
6. V2 Cloud
V2 Cloud is a great DaaS provider with fully integrated features, including highly secure remote access, routine backups, and multi-user desktops.
And besides their 24/7 customer support, they also offer built-in live support on their apps.
For extra security, you can also include multi-factor authentication, as well as integrate the app with SSO (Single Sign-On) providers like OneLogin, Azure SSO, Okta, and other SAML-based providers.
One of their competitive advantages is their Raspberry PI Thin client, which lets you cut features and reduce costs. This client is cheaper, as well as more secure since data is not stored in the client itself.
V2 also offers Microsoft Active Directory integration, either to windows devices or to cloud-based services like Azure.
V2 offers a wide variety of different plans and can primarily be divided into team plans and individual plans.
Their team desktop plans for multiple user virtual machines start at $40/month, which includes 50GB of disk space, and comes with the screen sharing feature. Their higher-ticket team plans come in at $70/month for The Startup plan, $140/month for The SMB plan, $280/month for The Firm plan, $560/month for The Company plan, and $1120/month for The Enterprise plan.
Their individual cloud desktop plans require you to bring your own Windows license and their first plan starts at $35/month per user with The Intern plan, and go up to $60/month per user with The Doer plan, $120/month per user with The Workaholic plan, and $240/month per user with The Magnate plan.
For both the individual and team desktop variants, the higher-priced plans will offer off-site daily backups that last for 7 days, Malwarebytes Business Antivirus, integration with more third-party services, and API access.
You can also pay for increased storage separately.
7. Kasm Workspaces
Kasm offers a slick and clean UI together with a highly secure and customizable platform. They use Containerized Desktop Infrastructure (CDI) to create low-maintenance work environments while still having the depth of options and features available to some of its competitors.
They have a great data loss prevention feature that includes good security measures to prevent malware-based data losses, as well as administrative features to further prevent data loss.
Kasm also offers persistent profiles – each user’s session with their particular settings and files and data can be maintained in between different logins. But if you want, you can still reset them in between each session.
You can also use web filtering to restrict traffic to only specific or appropriate websites and pages by setting up whitelists and blacklists, as well as safe search.
One of the advantages of Kasm is their simple pricing when compared to some of their competitor’s more complex or quote-requiring prices. They can be primarily divided into Server and Cloud plans.
A Server Plan lets you build workspaces in your server structure or on a cloud provider of your choice. They are divided into the following 3 variants…
- The Community Plan is completely free and offers a 5 concurrent sessions limit, but does not actually offer a Desktop as a Service, and has neither web categorization nor dynamic scaling.
- The Professional Plan. This plan does come with DaaS and comes in at $5/month per user with SSO, web traffic filtering, customized images, and more.
- The Server Enterprise Plan comes in at $10/month per user and developer API, private cloud auto-scaling, shared sessions, custom branding, and more.
A Cloud Plan is a Kaas-based cloud service where they’re the ones hosting and managing the workspaces.
- The Personal Plan is best for single users, does not have DaaS support, and comes in at $5/month per user.
- The Teams Plan includes DaaS support and other similar features available in the Professional Plan. It costs $10/month per user.
- The Cloud Enterprise Plan comes in at $20/month per user and includes the same features found in the Server Enterprise Plan
8. Cloudalize Workstations
Cloudalize’s DaaS service is a versatile provider that offers good service whether you’re a big organization with thousands of employees or a small startup with smaller teams.
Cloudalize also comes with powerful processing power, lightning-fast speed, and well-secured services. But where they truly shine is with their unique one-click sharing feature called “1Click”, which you can use to share your workstation with a co-worker or guest to increase work efficiency and more quickly receive feedback.
Cloudalize also prides itself on custom-made services for each of its clients. Instead of only providing the same general tools for every customer, they can work with your company to create specific tools, features, and solutions to best serve your needs and goals.
Their wide array of related services and features, like private GPU clouding or their application as a service solution, can also help you organize all of your different digital services into a single company’s services, cutting out the need of having to work with a bunch of different third-party companies.
Cloudalize offers slightly different prices with different currencies, depending on whether you’re in North America or if you’re in an EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) country.
Their Hourly Plan starts at $29.99 a month plus $1.07 per hour in North America. It costs €29.99 a month plus €0.59 an hour on EMEA.
The 24/7 Always On Plan starts at $219 a month for North America, and €119 a month for EMEA.
And the Business Hours Plan starts at $164 a month for North America, and €79 a month for EMEA.
These prices can increase by paying for extra cloud/server storage.
Now that you’ve finished this article, you know the main players in the Desktop as a Service market and the advantages of adopting a DaaS provider into your business.
You also understand the increasing demand for Desktop as a Service which originated in the COVID-19 pandemic and forced organizations to seek solutions for the new challenges the pandemic posed.
It is now up to you to analyze the different providers and pick the one that best fits your needs and circumstances.