Considering DaaS (Desktop as a Service)?

We’ve recently seen an uptick in interest and attention for the “Desktop as a Service” category.

Spoiler Alert

DaaS is just outsourcing and managed services, wrapped in a sparkly new layer of internet marketing speak.

If you’re continuing to run local desktop apps that require Windows, then the fundamental TCO won't change much.  In fact, your overall long-term costs per user may increase.  DaaS is merely shifting the costs and spreading them around in slightly different ways.

The Market

There are many options and variations of this format depending on what the priorities are.  Supplier options might vary depending on your security requirements, backup and restoration ability, mobility options, cost, flexibility in configurations, deal terms and many more.  Each of the major suppliers have their strengths and weaknesses in each. 

Although total cost ownership might not decrease any (if at all) there are potential advantages in hardware refresh, quality of support, and simplicity of procurement and management.  These offerings can include both traditional on-premise hardware and software, as well as cloud-based virtual desktops.

Below we’ll consider the top 3 things to look for in getting a good deal on a DAAS provider.


Embarking on the DAAS journey, you will find that list pricing can range quite a bit from $7.50 per vCPU to $25+ depending on a Linux or Windows deployment.  The minimum terms also seem to scale all over the map from AWS ‘Workspaces’ requiring a minimum of one seat and a term that can be less than a month, to offerings from Evolve IP having a 12-month minimum term and 25 seats to start.  Most providers offer lower costs if you are willing to sign on to longer terms.

Another payment option is to pay by the hour which can be good options for folks who are not online every day and or their requirements are small.

Finding the right fit here really depends on those requirements discussed at the start.  We recommend finding the best partner to work with whose strengths align the closest to our priorities – then work on cost.  Of course, we have vast experience to help with navigating the best options and deal terms based on requirements.  Not all providers are the same in terms of how they negotiate.    


Given the fundamental premise of subscription services, you’d hope that flexibility is a key advantage.  But that’s not always the case.  Like most other “as a service” options, it’s a trade-off between price, commitment term, and ability to change your subscriptions. 

Capex vs Opex

Here’s one of the real drivers of the subscription approach – converting the large capex of periodic PC hardware refreshes into a monthly variable operating expense. Especially in times of economic uncertainty, “no long-term commitment” is a nice selling point.

Support, Management, Patching, Best Practices

How do you rate your current PC desktop management maturity?  Few of our clients, in practice, are anywhere near “best in class”.  Everyone struggles with the constant chores of patching, refreshes, budgeting, testing compatibility, support and maintaining security.  It’s tempting to expect that a DaaS provider will simply “handle all that for us”, but in reality, that all depends on the terms you buy and the capabilities of the provider. Like everything else in outsourcing, you get what you manage to.

There are notable potential advantages to be gained with a DAAS solution.  As with any supplier solution, the critical factors center on how your deal is structured. 

  • Ensuring it has cost elements that are aligned with how your users are deployed so you are protected from unexpected spikes in spend
  • Flexibility that enables maximum options for your IT teams in executing tasks to support the business

Please contact me or leave a comment below to share your experiences and or learn how we might be able to help your unique situation.

About NET(net)

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