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What Is Desktop as a Service (DaaS)?

Help support your remote workforce and reduce capital expenses when you move your business to the cloud. Learn how Desktop as a Service helps keep employees connected and productive from virtually anywhere.

As the demand for remote work increases, businesses are finding new ways to support virtual environments. Cloud solutions, such as Desktop as a Service (DaaS), make it possible for companies to securely enable a remote workforce from virtually anywhere and on any compatible device.

What Is Cloud Desktop?

DaaS securely delivers virtual desktops and apps to any device, anywhere with an Internet connection. It also supplies Security as a Service (SECaaS) software to help protect your data in a virtual environment. DaaS can be delivered on both a private and public cloud and is offered on a pay-as-you go monthly or yearly subscription model. This setup makes it convenient for businesses to scale up or down as needs change. Most cloud providers will recommend integrating DaaS with Identity as a Service (IDaaS) to help maintain identity and access management across various locations and devices.

What Is DaaS in Cloud Computing?

Common features offered on DaaS include:

Master Image

A master image allows you to create a customized snapshot of a desktop based on your users’ needs, applications and security. It also provides a central location to make security updates and upgrades to critical applications without having to manage multiple devices.

Profile Mapping

Profile mapping ensures every user has the same experience with their cloud desktop as they would their physical machine. DaaS stores personal data on a file server in the cloud, so users don’t have to set up their desktop preferences every time they log in.

GPU-Enabled Desktops

DaaS delivers high-end graphics that meet specific application requirements, such as computer-aided design, gaming and video applications. This feature is often more cost-effective than purchasing and maintaining multiple workstations on-site.

Types of Virtual Desktops

There are several types of virtual desktops to choose from, including:

Persistent Desktops

Much like you would set your computer on sleep mode to keep your tabs open, this layout saves your desktop, so it’s preserved when the user logs in next. A persistent desktop usually requires more storage than a non-persistent one, which could increase the price.

Non-Persistent Desktops

Non-persistent desktops close out open applications each time a user logs out, requiring less storage. This type of virtual desktop is beneficial for companies with multiple users sharing access.

Session-Based Hosts

This is a desktop instance hosted by a server, much like having multiple user accounts on the same computer and giving each user access to their own desktop environment.

VDI vs. DaaS vs. RDS

Application and desktop virtualization are great options for businesses interested in enhancing resources, providing remote solutions and delivering consistent user experiences. DaaS provides many advantages, including helping with enabling a remote workforce, advanced security, cost-effectiveness and a managed desktop environment. However, some companies may prefer to run their virtual infrastructure in-house.

Depending on their virtualization needs, businesses can choose from DaaS, VDI and Remote Desktop Service (RDS).

What Is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)?

VDI runs within a company’s on-site data centers. Typically, a company’s in-house IT department is responsible for setting up and maintaining their virtual desktops with VDI. This option requires in-depth knowledge and a higher upfront investment compared to the DaaS subscription model.

What Is Remote Desktop Service (RDS)?

RDS is another VDI option. RDS allows users to remotely access Windows applications and desktops. A Windows server is required.

Benefits of Desktop as a Service

There are many benefits to hosting your company’s VDI in a cloud environment through DaaS, including:


Pay only for what you need using a monthly or yearly subscription model. Predictable operational costs help reduce capital expenditures. In addition, companies can potentially save on software licensing costs by installing one application on a single virtual desktop versus multiple devices.


Cloud service providers make it easy for you to scale. This means you can make changes on demand when hiring temporary employees, expanding your business or merging acquisitions.


Your critical applications and desktops are securely stored in the cloud to help protect against data loss or device theft. Moreover, DaaS also uses SECaaS software to help protect your data anywhere and on any device.


The biggest advantage of DaaS is users can access desktops from virtually anywhere and on any device. Regardless of whether employees are working from home or across the globe, their desktop environment is identical on their computer or mobile device.

Business Continuity

DaaS helps keep your business up and running in the case of an emergency event, such as a natural disaster or power outage. Since your applications and desktops live in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about retrieving your VDI from a physical location. This helps to ensure uninterrupted productivity even during unforeseen events. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is another cloud solution that helps recover mission-critical applications during an emergency event to protect your business.

Cloud Desktop Services

Enable your remote workforce and save money with cloud solutions, like cloud desktops. DaaS can securely connect your employees from virtually anywhere and allow your IT department to focus on important business priorities. Service providers, such as Cox Business, offer a suite of cloud solutions designed to help businesses like yours grow. Get your business started in the cloud today.

What can Desktop as a Service do for your business?

We provide reliable, innovative and secure services to move your business to the next level of IT productivity and profitability.

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