It has been over two years since the pandemic struck, and it is clear that remote work and operations would increasingly be the new normal for startups, SMEs, and enterprises alike. The lockdown has proved how effective and popular hybrid work models can be for the workforce across industries.
83% of employees prefer a hybrid working environment. - Accenture
As more and more employees work from remote locations, executive decision-makers need to put the right infrastructure in place. While traditional Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) offers some solutions, it's not enough. That’s where Cloud-based VDIs come to the rescue.
VDI on the Cloud and DaaS
A VDI helps a company manage applications and desktop environments from a central server and deploys them to end-users on request. These virtual desktops allow employees, contractors, and other partners to access applications on-demand. Traditional VDI environments are usually located in an on-site data center and managed by the organization’s IT staff.
Cloud VDI, or Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), is a form of VDI that is a fully outsourced solution hosted on the Cloud. It provides virtual desktops to organizations and offers many more opportunities than traditional VDIs.
VDI or DaaS: What are the benefits?
While there are more benefits to using a Cloud VDI or DaaS, the following are the most noteworthy advantages:
- Ease of Access
- Easier Administration
- Reduced Costs
- Robust Security Options
- Easily Scalable across multiple users and geographies
Ease of Access
Workers get a consistent user experience, irrespective of their location. It can replicate your work environment consistently, regardless of location, device or connectivity. As more employees migrate to hybrid work models, that consistency will prove invaluable.
Another bonus of adopting virtualized desktop experiences is the reduced administrative overhead for IT staff. Whether it’s within the company or through a third-party provider, managing everything in one place really helps IT reduce time spent in maintenance and upgrades.
Traditional, datacenter VDI solutions require significant Capital Expenditure (CapEx), whereas a DaaS turns CapEx into Operating Expenditure (OpEx). When you want to scale, you can either pay per-use or on subscription basis with a DaaS solution instead of paying for physical equipment.
Robust Security Options
The increased endpoints that result from the adoption of hybrid work also increase a company’s attack surface. With virtualized infrastructure, the server is the one and only entry point for an attack. Once it is safeguarded with a robust, Cloud-based security solution, your entire work environment is safe, including your data.
A DaaS is more adaptable and cost-effective for the evolving needs of a business during periods of growth, downturns or seasonal change. Without desktop virtualization, scaling up would mean purchasing more hardware, and scaling down would mean paying for servers you are not using anymore. With DaaS, it is possible for businesses to scale as per the evolving needs and pay only for what is in use.
The best DaaS offerings on the market today
As the workforce moves to remote and hybrid work models, offering employees a virtual desktop will be critical for companies to remain competitive. But not all DaaS offerings are the same, and the landscape around them can be difficult to navigate without context. Let's take you through a comparison between the leading DaaS providers. It will give you a broader perspective so you can decide which platform best suits your business.
Amazon WorkSpaces Solution vs Azure Windows Virtual Desktop
While both products offer a lot of the same features such as remote connectivity (via native app or web browser), persistent file storage and custom applications, let’s look at how the two are different in the following categories:
- DaaS services and benefits
- Cloud scalability
- Network security
- Total cost
- OS Options
- Performance and Scalability
AWS continues to be the leader in DaaS, IaaS, and PaaS markets ever since its rollout in 2006. It has a wide range of services that include developer and management tools, computing and database services, as well as networking and mobile solutions.
Though Microsoft Azure serves desktop applications from the Cloud, it is not a full-scale DaaS solution. The Azure Windows Virtual Desktop, however, fills that gap by offering virtualized desktops that can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, just like Amazon WorkSpaces.
Amazon WorkSpaces is the most scalable DaaS available. Your business can choose the number of users needed and customize it for the end-user. In addition, WorkSpaces can be customized on a case-by-case basis or standardized across the company.
Of course, security is important. The good news is both Amazon WorkSpaces and Azure WVD provide enterprise-level security. The stability of the service is also important, and Amazon WorkSpaces had a four-year head start over Microsoft with a proven track record.
Keeping costs low is important to your business but as you might already know, lowered costs not always mean better quality and output in the long term.
Microsoft Azure may be less costly than Amazon Workspace. However, it is true only if the company is already availing Microsoft licenses. Otherwise, Amazon WorkSpaces may be an equal or less expensive option.
With Amazon WorkSpaces, each user gets their personal desktop which can have either Windows or Linux based operating system. On the Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows will be the only OS option. Sharing a virtual machine is a good way to reduce cost and virtual machine count.
Performance and reliability
Both perform fairly well when using the native remote application. However, you can tell there is a little bit of delay in launching programs and applications. This delay is slightly less with Azure Virtual Desktop. When it comes to reliability, Amazon WorkSpaces offer a 99.9% uptime SLA. On the other hand, Azure Virtual Desktop, strives to attain at least 99.9% availability. In this case, Microsoft does not offer a financially backed service level agreement. If you need a guaranteed SLA, then Amazon WorkSpaces is the best bet.
Simplify your DaaS journey with a trusted MSP: Fully Managed Remote Work Solutions
Now that we’ve taken a look at the features, pricing, performance, and reliability of both the offerings, which one should you choose? Well, that’s going to depend on your situation.
As a certified Microsoft Azure and AWS Managed Service Partner, Cloud4C can help you explore each market offering, deeply. We help you make the right choice when it comes to your way of doing business. At Cloud4C we have unmatched competence in delivering tailored services that fit your needs including fully managed remote work solutions. As an end-to-end partner to address your remote work requirements, Cloud4C helps deploy the correct VDI or DaaS solution, scale up based on user requirements, and manage the entire stack effectively, and fortify the same with advanced security and compliance. Ensure your remote work operations are fully scalable, agile, and compliant without any disruption.