Desktop as a Service, a more techy expression for hosted desktop solutions, is a cloud computing service that provides you with access to your desktop PC from wherever you are in the world on any device connected to the internet. In simpler words, a virtual desktop is a desktop PC that can be accessed from the anywhere, provided you have an internet connection, giving full flexibility and making remote working effective.
It is actually quite surprising how quickly SMEs in particular have adopted desktop virtualisation. In a recent survey from Citrix, it was discovered that 40% of adopters of hosted desktops are businesses with less than 50 users, as claimed by DaaS providers.
You might be thinking what is the point of deploying desktop as a service is. Guess what, if you are not yet, sooner or later you’ll end up looking for a tool that will effectively let you work on the go and believe it or not, virtual desktop will definitely be on your radar. Why?
What can Desktop as a Service do?
Everything your computer can do and possibly more, depending on the spec of the computer you would traditionally use. The virtual desktop’s resource pools can be customized to suit your specific needs. For example, if you require a PC that can run more graphical intense applications like CAD or Photoshop, you can have a desktop configured with NVIDIA GRID vGPU technology to handle the graphic demanding tasks, relieving stress on the core CPU and RAM.
In terms of the CPU, the core clock is static meaning that it is set to a dedicated speed. What does this mean? In some Virtual Desktops, the CPU is shared across multiple users meaning that if one user is using a more CPU intense program, the other users on the same server will suffer. By using a statically clocked CPU, the end-user experience is drastically improved as the server doesn’t have to dynamically switch the processor speed between users. The same is applied to the amount of memory (RAM) of a Hosted Desktop, allowing a smoother experience for the end user. In short, you use less RAM and CPU than you normally would speeding up day to day processes.
Security, reliability and constant support from experts
Unlike a traditional machine that you would normally find in the office, a virtual desktop can be configured with advanced firewalls and anti-virus to ensure that nasty bugs and viruses don’t harm any of the important data that is stored. In addition, the servers that run it and store all your data are configured to comply to ISO-27001 standards so ensure business data integrity and stability, with the latest patches and upgrades installed to keep the operations on the virtual machines smooth.
In conjunction with these upgrades, support comes as part of your package. Every issue you might encounter is being taken care of by your hosted virtual desktop provider and best hosted desktop providers will offer 24/7 UK based support as part of your standard package. For those choosing Citrix based virtual desktop, the good news is that it offers two-factor authentication which increases the security over your data while accessing it.
What device can you access a virtual desktop on?
Virtual Desktops can be accessed on any internet enabled device on 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi or LAN. Some of the devices that you can use it on include tablets, laptops, desktops and even a smartphone on almost any operating system such as OSX/iOS, Android, Windows and even Linux. This means you truly can use the service from wherever you are with all your secure business data, such as documents and applications, available at your fingertips.
Difference between RDP and Citrix
There are 2 different types of virtual desktops – RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) and Citrix. The differences vary from bandwidth consumption, which could hinder the end user experience, to capabilities such as the amount of applications that can be ran at any one time. If you only need a very basic virtual desktop then we would advise to go with RDP, this desktop is perfect for many businesses who use the desktop for day to day tasks and work load. If, however, you need or use more graphic intense applications then we would strongly suggest giving a Citrix Hosted Desktop a try as it boasts better performance with slower internet speeds and is more powerful than an RDP solution, while still remaining easy to configure and use.
Freebies with Hosted Virtual Desktop
In terms of pricing, RDP is a much cheaper solution with more limitations but will suit businesses that don’t use high end software perfectly fine. Citrix solutions, on the other hand, cost a bit more but offer better security and more features that can be bundled into the package such as a free Hosted Exchange 2013 mailbox and Microsoft Office. With a Hosted Desktop solution, you pay predictable monthly instalments. If you need more out of the Virtual Desktop such as more space or more users, you easily can add more users and space as and when you need it.
Interested in finding out how hosted desktop solutions can benefit your business? Try it free for 30 days. Request your Desktop as a Service Trial with Cloud4 today!