Desktop as a service (DaaS) is a type of cloud computing where the user’s desktop operating system runs on a virtual machine (VM) hosted by a cloud provider. The desktop operating system is usually Windows or Linux and the cloud hosting can be either public, hybrid, or private.
Public clouds are operated by third parties that charge based on the amount of computing resources you use. Familiar examples are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. When using a public cloud provider, you share the same hardware, storage, and network resources with other customers (often referred to as cloud “tenants”).
A hybrid cloud is similar except that your business can specify the architecture (hardware, software, networking) and partners with a colocation service provider to manage the data center hosting the architecture. IIS customers work with a variety of colocation providers such as Equinix and Webair. In a hybrid cloud, resources can be dedicated or shared. A hybrid cloud also provides connectivity with your public cloud and private data center (hence the term “hybrid”). A hybrid cloud solution can provide more control and better security than a public cloud, while offloading the work of managing a data center.
A private cloud is operated by your company in your data center. The hardware, software, and network hosting your systems are dedicated for your use. This option provides the most control, but also requires your staff to manage the physical infrastructure delivering the cloud resources.
With either a public or hybrid cloud implementation of DaaS, users access their desktop through an internet connection. So wherever they are - working from a home computer, traveling with a laptop, in a meeting with a tablet, or at their desk in the office - the user can access their familiar desktop with all their documents, data, and software tools. There is no need for IT to setup and maintain multiple devices for the user. End users access their desktop environment with a browser and an internet connection.
The rise of cloud computing has made DaaS possible, but there are significant organizational and economic benefits compelling more and more businesses to move end user computing to the cloud.