Definition

Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: What you need to know about cloud desktops and DaaS providers
Contributor(s): Bridget Botelho

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a cloud service in which the back-end of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is hosted by a cloud service provider.

DaaS has a multi-tenancy architecture and the service is purchased on a subscription basis. In the DaaS delivery model, the service provider manages the back-end responsibilities of data storage, backup, security and upgrades. Typically, the customer's personal data is copied to and from the virtual desktop during logon/logoff and access to the desktop is device, location and network independent. While the provider handles all the back-end infrastructure costs and maintenance, customers usually manage their own desktop images, applications and security, unless those desktop management services are part of the subscription.

Desktop as a Service is a good alternative for a small or mid-size businesses (SMBs) that want to provide their end users with the advantages a virtual desktop infrastructure offers, but find that deploying a VDI in-house to be cost-prohibitive in terms of budget and staffing.

See also: hosted virtual desktop, persistent desktop, nonpersistent desktop

This was last updated in November 2015

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Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is the provisioning of remote hosted virtual desktops using a remote server to host personal computer desktops simultaneously.

This means, the days of IT professionals marching from computer to computer performing the same tasks on multiple PCs are thankfully over. With desktop as a service, after a major upgrade is integrated, there is no need to perform any tasks at an employee level—in-house or remote. Their machines are effectively the same, all of which are accessing data and applications through the cloud service provider without storing anything locally.
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DaaS should also be a combination of desktop and application hosting to take full advantage of a Cloud delivery model.
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What roadblocks are preventing DaaS from becoming the most common delivery model?
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