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DAAS or Desktop as a Service allows you to cut costs on purchasing and setting up hardware because DAAS works with virtual desktop interfaces, which are priced lower than standard PCs. Virtual desktops allow you to set up all your programs, apps, and servers on an external server and then access everything wirelessly. Virtualization software, including VMWare, Cisco and Citrix, allow you to set up everything you or your employees need for your business. DAAS programs offer a variety of different services, with some including virtual servers, collaboration tools and productivity management.

DAAS: What to Look For

While any DAAS offers basic services, including a virtual desktop and some security, many offer additional features, such as better security, mobile access, compliance, scalable user bases and features like data sharing. The following features can help you choose a DAAS that's right for your business.

Security
Security is an important function for any DAAS, especially if you handle any credit card or payment data on your virtual desktop. Even if you mostly use your desktop for handling email, you still need security. Good security features to look for include encryption with secure connections as well as secure cloud storage. SEC/FINRA compliance regulates financial security and is important if you plan to use the virtual desktop for financial services.

Storage & Memory
A virtual desktop has limited storage and memory, just like a real PC. While some DAAS companies offer unlimited storage or large amounts of storage, others offer limitations based on a pay scale so that you pay for what you need per computer. Memory is important because some programs require specific amounts of memory in order to run. Storage is also important if you want the virtual desktop to store many files. Some DAAS programs provide communal cloud storage, which eliminates the need for per-desktop storage.

Available OS
If you need a specific program or app, then it's important that you verify that the virtual desktop has an OS (operating system) compatible with your software. Many have a list of available choices you can select from while setting up your software while others allow you to switch as necessary. If you want to use the virtual desktop as a server, then it is important that you make sure a server is available.

Mobile Access
Mobile access may not be important for everyone, but it offers a lot in terms of convenience. Mobile access means that you can log into your virtual desktop from any device, including a phone or a tablet, so that you can reply to an e-mail, work on a document or work on projects even when you're not in the office.

Scalable Offerings
While some DAAS companies only offer virtual desktop software to large businesses, many offer fully scalable services for small business. If you choose a small-business option, it is important to ensure that you can scale up as needed, in case your business expands. Most DAAS offerings are scalable with payment options per user plan, which allows you to pick an option that suits the current size of your business.

Choosing a virtual desktop service affects what tasks you can perform, your employees and security. Knowing what you need allows you to choose the ideal DAAS for your business. To learn more about Desktop as a Service, check out some of the articles we have written.

Amazon WorkSpaces Review

Amazon WorkSpaces is a scalable DAAS (Desktop as a Service) solution for businesses, enterprises and organizations, such as schools, who want to cut costs on hardware and move as much data as possible to the cloud. You can also add on premium software and apps for a small increase in the monthly subscription fee, making this virtual desktop a good fit for individual students as well as employees and business owners.

A fully scalable platform allows you to add virtual desktops to your network one at a time. It also lets you access the desktop and a virtual private network from most devices. The fully scalable solution means that a single person can make use of the virtualization software, but you can also purchase as many licenses as you need.

Scalable payment options for storage, memory and CPU options allow you to scale your virtual desktop software up or down based on your needs. With options starting from 2 GB of memory and 60 GB of storage and scaling up to 7.5 GB of memory, plus additional server options with more storage, you can choose a virtual desktop that supports sophisticated software as well as games and entertainment.

Corporate directory integration makes it simple to add virtual desktops into an existing corporate account, integrate information and user credentials. Built-in security, including data encryption, virus and malware protection and multiple device storage, ensures your data is safe from theft or loss due to a power outage or emergency. This allows you to protect your data without paying for additional backup services.

This virtualization software includes a number of apps and programs, and for a small additional service fee, you can add a variety of premium apps, such as Microsoft, directly to the desktop. You can also install any of your own Windows or Microsoft apps as well as other compatible applications for use in the cloud. Because they are in the cloud, you can access all of your data and apps from any device, including tablets and phones.

With flexible and scalable options, multiple computer options and app support, Amazon WorkSpaces are suitable for students and individual employees working on remote computers.

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Apps4Rent Review

Apps4Rent DAAS (Desktop as a Service) is a hosted virtual desktop service with two virtual desktop and two virtual desktop interface (VDI) options, allowing you to choose solutions that suit your needs. With a single desktop purchase option and very limited data storage, this virtualization software is suitable for individuals and small to medium-size businesses; however, it may not be a good fit for most large and enterprise business.

Apps4Rent offers both Microsoft virtual desktops and Citrix virtual desktops, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs. Citrix offers more powerful graphics processing, making it a better fit if you need graphic software. Microsoft's option gives you a dedicated environment, allowing you to choose more customized software and options.

Apps4Rent also gives you a choice between two VDIs, including Microsoft VDI and Citrix VDI. A VDI is a dedicated interface or computer for your virtual desktop software. If you choose to go with a non-VDI option, then you can access it via the cloud, which offers less security but more convenience because you can access your apps and software from anywhere.

Apps4Rent's included office tools consist of several free and premium apps with up to 20 free apps and solutions for project collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Office, suitable for businesses as well as students. A fully scalable plan allows you to purchase virtual desktops one at a time, a good option for individuals. The subscription options mean that you can choose the memory, storage and CPU for your virtual desktop as well as other features. This allows you to scale the computer from a small basic model for accessing the internet and using non-taxing software to using full graphic processing software. Storage starts at just 2 GB, but you can add additional storage for an extra fee.

Full security, including the ability to limit user access by time and location, a firewall, antivirus, password protection, idle sessions, a secure data center and file type blocking, allows you to protect your network or your virtual computer. The virtualization software also offers compliance for network infrastructures.

Apps4Rent offers individual virtual desktops with scalable storage and memory, but with a one-desktop-at-a time function and features from Microsoft and Citrix, they are a suitable for small to medium-size businesses looking for small-scale solutions.

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Cisco Review

Cisco's DAAS (Desktop as a Service) features cloud-deployed virtual desktops and servers with options for virtual desktop interfaces (VDI). While scalable, Cisco's DAAS focuses on offering enterprise-level services, making this program a good fit for medium to large businesses.

A fully scalable DAAS solution allows you to get as many virtual desktop licenses as are needed and then deploy them in the cloud for access via a VDI or a device such as a computer or tablet. The virtual desktop software offers VMware's Desktone VDI, allowing you to quickly set up virtual networks with cost-effective computer interfaces.

The fully scalable computers mean that you can set up a virtual desktop with the storage, memory and CPU needed to run the program you want. This allows you to choose specific virtual desktops for different parts of your organization, with different requirements for different positions. Scalable storage options allow you to add terabytes of cloud data storage.

Built-in security options and security management mean that your network and virtualization software is protected from malware, spam and viruses. You also get some breach protection. Security, data encryption and individual user logins and security offer infrastructure compliance without you having to spend money on the hardware yourself. A centralized management console allows you to manage all of your virtual desktops from one dashboard. This lets you upgrade one as needed, delete it, or lock it out in case of a security issue. Because you can access your virtual desktops from the cloud, you can also lock mobile users out if needed.

This DAAS offers modular cloud infrastructure, so you can add as many virtual desktops as possible to a single server. This helps with budgeting and creating predictable expenses. However, you can scale up and down according to your needs for the month, allowing you to expand your storage, add servers for busy seasons or decrease them for slower seasons.

App support and cloud installation allow you to install all of your apps directly into your cloud for access on all of your networked virtual desktops, so you can use your software without having to install your own servers.

Cisco offers a scalable DAAS solution for medium to enterprise businesses with multiple solutions, including security and cloud organization. However, with mostly enterprise-level support and compliance options, they are a good fit for large business.

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Citrix Review

Citrix Desktops-as-a-Service supports virtualized desktops, apps and servers, allowing you to move all of your business computers off of hardware and to the cloud. While this program is capable for enterprise-level setups, this virtual desktop software is not scaled for small business, and you have to hire a local installation company to set it up for you.

Full virtualization software allows you to create virtual desktops, servers and apps on your virtual computers, so you can run all your business programs and processes. You can download the Citrix Desktops-as-a-Service app on any mobile or desktop device, including virtual desktop interfaces, and then simply log into the app to access the desktops and the apps from any device. This allows you to control who has access, comply with individual and unique secure logins and set up at home employees who need to log into your virtual network from outside of your business.

Citrix handles all of the security for their virtual desktops, including antivirus and malware protection, login protection, cloud encryption, mobile security and validated reference architecture, allowing you to take advantage of enterprise-level security without having to buy all of the hardware.

This DAAS is fully scalable so that you can scale up or down depending on the season and your level of business. This allows you to add more storage and servers and more powerful apps when you need them. Computer memory and storage options are also completely scalable, and you can choose powerful computers capable of running 3D virtualization and other enterprise class software.

Built-in app support and installation options allow you to install any traditional apps, just like you would on a traditional server or computer. Because you have cloud access, you can allow access to the apps from any approved device. You also have access to Citrix Collaboration Solutions, a series of networking and collaboration software that includes webinars. A desktop management solution allows you to manage and see all of your desktops from one console, making it easy to manage data, workflow and employee time usage. A helpful management feature also lets you remotely lock out devices if needed.

Citrix Desktops-as-a-Service offers flexible tools for small to enterprise-level businesses, but with a variety of tools geared for large business, this DAAS may be better suited for medium to enterprise businesses.

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ComputersSupport ITAnyWhere Cloud Review

ComputersSupport ITAnyWhere Cloud is a virtual desktop program with multiple features including security and compliance, collaboration tools and unlimited usage options. The DAAS includes Amazon Web Services and Citrix, allowing it to offer virtual office and virtual desktop services, but scales for small to medium businesses rather than enterprise.

The ITAnyWhere Cloud DAAS offers virtual access to Windows computers and Windows servers, including Windows 8, allowing you to use any compatible software, apps and servers. The company offers up to unlimited data for storage and memory, but charges you for what you use, so that you can scale everything to exactly what you need. This option lets you host as many programs and as much virtual software as is needed because you can simply scale your DAAS up to support more software. However, this software only supports a limited number of virtual desktops per account, which makes it a suitable fit for small to medium-size businesses.

Full security, including secure connections, allows you to work in the cloud without risking your data. You also get full compliance with HEPA, SEC, FINRA, SOX, and other security standards for ensuring that your virtual desktop is ready for use as a server for financial applications, healthcare and most businesses uses.

Online and offline access means that you can log into your virtual desktop from your virtual desktop interface when not connected to the web. This is important if you are concerned about getting work done during internet outages, or have other reasons for working without internet access. You also get full mobile access, allowing you or your employees to log in from anywhere to work from home, check items while traveling or instantly collaborate with co-workers.

Full access from OSX and Windows computers ensures you can use your virtual desktop server no matter which computer you are using. Collaboration and productivity tools that you can use for writing, creating charts and data records and managing employees are included. Other features include office tools that allow you to boost productivity.

With guaranteed 99 percent uptime and 24/7 support, you can use the virtual desktop without being concerned about downtime affecting your business. The DAAS offers free support from anywhere in the U.S. and has multiple offices in most states for better access. ComputerSupport's ITAnyWhere Cloud offers virtual desktop software with instant online access for mobile devices and remote computers via the cloud, it is also scalable, but with a limited user base, is an ideal fit for small to medium-size businesses.

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dinCloud dinHVD Review

dinCloud offers fully scalable virtual desktops with servers, storage, security and virtualization licenses. Because it is scalable, you can get the exact number of desktops and storage needed for your business, making it a good fit for small to medium-size enterprises.

din-hosted virtual desktops or dinHVD is a fully hosted solution for virtual desktops. This DAAS provides everything you need to get started, including hardware, full setup, servers and data storage, so you don't need an IT tech to get started. This makes this virtual desktop software company a good fit for small and medium-size businesses who do not have an IT department. You can choose cloud virtualization, server virtualization or a hybrid option with both.

While primarily a cloud solution, this DAAS offers type one and type two usage, allowing you to access it offline as needed. This means that you can work when your internet is down or if you want to work without risking data. Strong security services, including firewalls, malware protection, secure cloud encryption, antivirus, endpoint security management and intrusion protection, ensure your cloud network stays as safe as possible. Patching and related management means that any flaws or holes in the security are patched quickly. The network offers set amounts of data and RAM per account rather than per virtual desktop.

This DAAS company provides support during office hours, eight hours per day, five days per week. For help outside of office hours, you can use of the online help section, which contains articles and videos. A free P2P virtual network allows you to instantly interconnect all of your virtual desktops for better employee management and communication. This also makes it possible to set up workers at home, who can communicate directly on the secure virtual private network (VPN).

This virtualization solution works with Windows OS via your choice of solutions, including Microsoft RDS, VMware VDI, Blade PC's VMware ThinApp and Microsoft App-V. It does not work with OSX or Linux, so if you want virtual computers with these operating systems, you have to look elsewhere. You can, however, log in from any operating system as well as mobile devices, allowing you to use your own computers, as well as a virtual digital interface.

dinCloud offers a versatile DAAS option with strong security and flexible solutions. However, with no support for OSX operating systems and no productivity tools other than a VPN, this service may not be for everyone.

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Leostream Review

Leostream provides user-friendly and secure Windows desktop as a service (DaaS) using its cloud-based software. The company has over 10 years’ experience with virtual desktop software and have developed tools to manage your cloud-hosted desktop services and users. Leostream’s virtual desktops can give businesses greater flexibility to allocate resources wherever and whenever they need to. Leostream cloud desktops can be created in minutes, granting employees access to the programs and files they use.

Leostream’s virtualization software provides persistent and pooled desktops. Persistent desktops maintain data and settings for one user each time that particular user logs in. Pooled desktops are single-use desktops created on demand from a master image that is then deleted after use. Users can have any amount of pooled and persistent desktops. Users can access their desktops from their smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop, anywhere there is an internet connection. This DAAS also features a secure sign in to protect sensitive data. According to the company, you can choose from a single-use token, or you can verify users using your business's active directory servers.

There are various options to choose from when determining where to host your cloud service. Leostream can connect users to any option you choose. If your company hosts in the public cloud, Leostream can manage your desktops using Amazon Web Services and HP Helion. With public cloud hosting, you don’t have to worry about spending time and money building a data center. OpenStack is open-source cloud operating system used to create public and private clouds; Leostream supports OpenStack. Some organizations require private data centers for security and latency requirements. You can use Leostream to manage your virtualization platform from a variety of companies; it can work with VMware, Citrix, Microsoft or Red Hat.

This software connects users to desktops by using its virtual desktop software to integrate with other clients. It works with several types of remote display protocols based on the needs of your organization. It provides the HTML5 RDP client, which has the benefit of connecting users from any device. The company also supports Microsoft RDP for workers that use more basic applications and HP Remote Graphics Software or Teradici PCoIP for power users.

As your desktop needs change, this virtualization software allows you to manage the costs. For example, it can quickly add desktops due to increased demand from seasonal workers, or you can reduce capacity during less busy times. The service is flexible, and Leostream is ready to deploy desktops in minutes.

Leostream’s DaaS is good for organizations of all sizes. The company can customize solutions based on your individual needs, even when those needs are changing. It works with multiple cloud service providers and supports private data centers.

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SolidFire Review

SolidFire's DAAS (Desktop as a Business) system allows you to add 1,000 or more virtual desktops to a single network, making it a suitable solution for large enterprises. However, with a single-unit option, this virtual desktop software can also work well for students, schools and small businesses.

A real-time scalable platform allows you to instantly expand your data usage and computers for extra workloads, allowing you to take on traffic and tasks outside of your normal business schedule without paying for it constantly. Scalable virtual desktop software allows you to choose computers that fit your specific business needs. Clone options allow you to duplicate computers and servers as much as is needed, with both linked and persistent full clones available. SolidFire's storage management provides a linear setup, so you can reduce storage sprawl and improve data efficiency.

This virtualization software offers virtual desktop interfaces (VDI) for set prices along with other plans. This flexibility allows you to cost-effectively set up your virtual desktops without requiring your employees to bring their own computer. You can purchase cloud solutions separately, but you do not get login capability for any device. This improves security because employees cannot log in from their phones or unauthorized devices, but it reduces convenience.

Built-in security options, including network management, antivirus and malware protection, and real-time maintenance and patches protect your data. Combined with the lack of cloud options, this ensures that the computers are as secure as possible. Granular scalability allows you to instantly add desktops, performance and storage without interrupting current workload or workflow. This ensures you can increase computers' memory and storage, add additional virtual desktops and add a server without taking anything offline.

The all-flash system ensures fast loading from any desktop because you can load it all at once, allowing for faster boot times; however, it does have disadvantages in terms of virus vulnerability if you are not using the antivirus program. SolidFire is not compatible with IOS systems, so you need either virtual desktop infrastructure or a Windows operating system to use the DAAS.

SolidFire offers a flash-based DAAS with fully scalable options and upgrades. While suitable for large and enterprise business, it also scales down for smaller businesses, making it suitable for anyone who wants to work in a flash system.

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TuCloud Review

TuCloud's DAAS (Desktop as a Service) platforms run in the cloud to offer real-time access to apps, virtual desktops, servers and security functions. With support for enterprise-level services like 3-D vectoring and WAN optimization, this virtual desktop software is also suitable for large businesses who need managed virtual networks.

A fully hosted DAAS platform with full-time management means that you get network management, managed security and real-time customer support with your virtual networks. This virtualization software provider sets up your network and then constantly monitors and supports it so all you have to do is log in. This DAAS program also offers network security, network administration and full cyber security with malware, anti-breach, antivirus, anti-spam and web safety. While this is a separate service, you also get basic encryption and security with your virtualization software, allowing you to protect your business data.

This DAAS is fully scalable; tuCloud offers virtualization software suited for medium-size to large business. They specialize in large-scale virtual desktop deployment, which can be a disadvantage if you only want a few desktops. Fully customizable computers and storage options allow you to scale to what you need based on your apps, programs and storage requirements.

Cloud apps allow you to run all of your business programs directly in the cloud including 2-D and 3-D vectoring and large-scale business apps. This makes this DAAS service suitable for everything from schools to large-scale program deployment. Because everything is in the cloud, you do not need a separate server, which saves you money on management, IT and security.

A per-user module means that you can hire a single virtual desktop if needed, but with most of its services geared towards large business, tuCloud does not have a lot of offerings for small business and single users. A single-sign-on option allows you to use the DAAS network as a password manager because it only requires your main password to log into the apps.

Various other features, including WAN optimization for reducing and managing traffic, real-time VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), audio and video streams and rich graphics, allow you to get the same or better solutions from the virtual desktop as you would from a hardware computer. You can also fully manage your desktops using adaptive orchestration. TuCloud offers a scalable DAAS platform for creating networks with unlimited virtual desktops and servers.

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VMware Horizon Air Review

Horizon Air from VMware is a fully scalable virtual desktop solution that you can purchase per computer for a monthly fee that has multiple options for storage, security and memory. While fully scalable and convenient with several hosted apps that are available, this solution requires that you add computers on an individual basis, which can be difficult for enterprise-level businesses.

VMware's DAAS (Desktop as a Service) solution offers virtual desktops with two to 30 GB of memory, allowing you to scale the power and functionality of your network. You can choose between 30 and 120 GB of storage, and you can scale your storage up with separate data and cloud options. Normal virtual desktops come with one to three central processing units (CPUs), while the server option comes with 20 CPUs, allowing you to host several apps and programs without any problems. Additional hosted storage is available in terabyte increments, allowing you to greatly expand your available storage.

This virtualization software is fully cloud hosted, allowing you to access it from any device, so long as you have internet. Built-in security features, including individual users and encrypted storage, offer security compliance, making this DAAS a good fit for medium to large businesses. You get a virtual private network (VPN) with your virtual desktop software, allowing you to connect all of your desktops securely together. This makes this DAAS solution suitable for businesses with multiple branches and for setting up work-at-home employees. It also allows you to securely access files and data from a mobile device.

A public IP address allows you to add your virtual desktops to other networks and VPNs without problems. This lets you use the virtualization software just like you would a regular computer. Available servers include Windows OS and Windows Server, but not OSX or Linux.

Online app hosting allows you to run full software programs directly on your virtual server. This virtualization software supports and sells multiple apps for businesses, including many that you would normally run on a traditional server. Because the apps install instantly and are hosted in the cloud, you get added security and instant digital backups for your apps and programs.

VMware's Horizon Air and Horizon Apps offer flexible DAAS solutions for mid-size to large businesses, but with a per-month payment option and the option to add one computer at a time, it may not be suitable for small business or enterprise.

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