Best virtual desktop services 2021

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The best Virtual Desktop Services or Desktop as a Service (DaaS) providers can provide secure, flexible and cost-effective solutions for remote working.

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Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is not an entirely new phenomenon, but it has certainly experienced significant growth in terms of technology and market share over the years, and especially due to the recent pandemic .

The reason for their take-up is that virtual desktops are a secure and flexible means for businesses to support remote work employees and support their own device (BYOD) practices.


In the DaaS framework, a provider takes care of the technical and logistical aspects of the cloud desktop and app environment, and a business rents these services for less than the cost of building and maintaining it themselves. We’ve scoured through several DaS providers on the market and picked six of the best based on services, security, scalability and cost.

  • We’ve also highlighted the best remote desktop software

1. Amazon Workspace

Highly flexible pricing with pay by the hour

reasons to buy
+Scale up CPU, GPU and storage as needed+Hourly Pricing: Pay What You Use+24/7 phone/chat/email customer support+Includes AWS Security Hub and Application Manager
reason to escape
No text/data transfer from local machine to VMAdditional technical support is paidOnly users can add/assign desktops manually

Amazon Workspace is an industry leader in DaaS, with great features and pricing options for small businesses. It uses the PCoIP protocol for compression and encryption of data transfer, and the workspace also uses Amazon’s SDX protocol.

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Customers can provision Linux and Windows virtual machines, while AWS runs on Windows, macOS, Chromebooks, iPads, Amazon and Android tablets, Chrome and Firefox. Both operating systems come with default software such as Internet Explorer, while Microsoft Office and others can be added for a monthly fee.

One of the biggest benefits with Amazon Workspace is flexible pricing. Businesses that are interested in trying out the services can take advantage of a free tier with two workspaces for up to 40 hours per month. There are several paid options depending on disk size, number of CPUs, memory, and whether you bring your own license (BYOL).

Bundled services may be charged monthly or hourly, so you pay for what you use. There is no one-time fee and no commitment: you can cancel your subscription at any time.

2. Citrix Das

A trusted name in DaaS, suitable for the mobile workforce

reasons to buy
+great BYOD support+Supports remote access to physical machines+Encrypted data, never stored on the device+good centralized management
reason to escape
at least 25 usersno autoscaling

Another big name in DaaS, Citrix Managed Desktop has great hosted desktop services that are especially suited to the mobile workforce. Users can connect to Android, Windows, macOS, Chrome OS and iOS/iPadOS and seamlessly switch between devices while maintaining workflow: the service adapts to different screen sizes, so employees can work on a computer, tablet or mobile device. You can also connect over the phone.

Plans vary according to the number of users, applications, features, and licenses. A standalone version deployed as a cloud service includes Windows and Linux provisioning, while the Workspace Premium Plus solution adds open support for any public cloud or hypervisor and a comprehensive suite of tools for managing Windows, Linux, Web, SaaS, and Marketed as a digital platform. mobile apps.

Citrix also integrates and virtualizes with collaboration and communication tools such as Skype for Business and can manage graphics-intensive jobs with support for Intel, AMD and NVIDIA GPUs.

3. Windows Virtual Desktop

Customize plans to meet your needs and budget

reasons to buy
+no minimum users or machines+Excellent backup and data protection+Supports Windows, Apple and Android devices
reason to escape
Cloud only, no on-site optionWindows only; no linux provision

Windows Virtual Desktop on Microsoft Azure enables businesses to provision Windows 7 or 10 virtual machines, complete with support for Office 365 and many third-party applications. WVD also has excellent device support for: Windows, iOS/iPadOS, MacOS, Chrome OS, Android, and all major browsers.

Pricing depends on region, operating system, virtual machine (CPU, GPU, and memory), and usage (in hours, days, or months) and is thus flexible. Discounts are available for a further three years of membership, or you can pay as you go. The Windows Virtual Desktop website also has one comprehensive calculator To estimate your costs based on the needs of your business.

With Azure, customers get to enjoy great backup and recovery features, making it one of the best providers for data security. Scheduled backups, snapshots, offline and encrypted backups of virtual machines, and automatic failover all help reduce the risk of data corruption or loss.

4. VMWare Horizon Cloud

DaaS from the Desktop Virtualization Giant

reasons to buy
+Supports all major devices and browsers+Available on site, IBM Cloud, or Microsoft Azure+Scale Complex Custom Machines Easily
reason to escape
End users cannot up/downgrade computer powerBYOL ONLY

Well known name in virtualization, VMWare Horizon Cloud is available as a standalone, on-premises service or hosted on IBM Cloud or Microsoft Azure. Unlike previous providers, however, this is strictly BYOL, as VMWare does not plan to sell Windows licenses.

Horizon has great features for maintaining scalability and uptime. Instant Clone, for example, enables customers to rapidly deploy customized virtual machines by cloning them from a parent or “master image” machine. The resulting machines are completely independent, so they can be further customized as needed for easy scalability. Clones can also share a virtual disk and thus consume less storage, a practical money-saving feature.

Pricing depends on user style (named versus concurrent), payment plan (pay as you go or contract), and version (Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise). More advanced versions include Properties Such as Linux provisioning, virtualization for Skype for Business, and SSO and MF authentication.

5. Nutanix XI Frame

Easily set up your infrastructure

reasons to buy
+Simplified approach to VM creation and use+Strong integration with clouds, identity providers+Auto-scaling and auto-decimation
reason to escape
no native appsWindows 10 only

Nutanix XI Frame is a great choice for anyone who is wary of complexity and knows IT to take advantage of a full-featured DaaS environment. The company aims to provide administrators with a more streamlined experience, without sacrificing end-user experience and functionality.

For example, the provision is broken down into five simple steps. Choose an infrastructure (AWS, Google Cloud, etc.) and the apps you need (Office 365, Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk, Google Chrome, etc.), integrate with your existing cloud storage (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.). And then access your machine on any HTML-5 capable browser.

The simplicity is quite refreshing compared to other overly complex, jargon-saturated services. While there’s no native app, which may be a turn-off for some, the end-user experience is still pretty impressive, with high-performance 3D graphics and drag-and-drop file sharing.

The real benefits here are speed and access. You can get a working virtual desktop environment in less than an hour with little or no technical experience. This is a great option for small businesses with limited IT support.


Promising newcomer with affordable price

reasons to buy
+Affordable monthly plan with no hidden charges+very easy to use+Can be used with low spec devices+have their own infrastructure and data centers
reason to escape
relative newcomerData center numbers less than some rivals

Shell is a newcomer to the DaaS scene, providing a multi-platform offering that can be used in almost any device (including gaming consoles or TVs) and multiple operating systems (Windows) running via a web browser. , various Linux distros).

Shell uses SPICE (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments), a new protocol that enables access to cloud desktops from different machine architectures.

The plans are divided into four tiers (Lite, Basic, Plus, and Pro) for businesses as well as casual users. Shells Pro, designed with professionals in mind, offers a quad-core virtual CPU with up to 160GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, along with unlimited access and bandwidth. Every plan includes up to 7 days of free daily backup, which is a neat touch.

What is Desktop as a Service?

Anunta Tech’s CTO Vinod Jayachandra answers that question for us.

Desktop as a Service, or DaaS, is a type of cloud-based service that allows you to run a desktop environment on a virtual machine hosted in a public cloud. With DaaS, you create a virtual machine using a public cloud service like Amazon EC2 or Azure Virtual Machines, install a PC operating system (such as Windows 10) on it, then use LogMeIn, GoToMyPC or DesktopReady to access it. Use applications like .

Like RDS, DaaS gives users access to all the applications and system resources they would be able to use if their virtual machine environment was a physical computer rather than a virtual desktop running in the cloud.

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