Which DaaS (Desktop-as-a-Service) approach is right for you? DIY or SaaS?

SaaS Article - Which-DaaS-(Desktop-as-a-Service)-approach-is-right-for-you_-DIY-or-SaaS (source: SaaS Industry)

At a Glance

DaaS is a critical component of a company’s workflow. There are a few key elements to consider when it comes to DaaS that will assist you in making the best decision possible. A SaaS-based cloud desktop solution can enable the potential of supporting work from anywhere with little or no IT intervention.

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) experienced massive growth in 2020, increasing 95.4 percent to $1.2 billion. Companies that need a long-term strategy for remote and hybrid work and digital transformation have several DaaS solutions to choose from. However, not all DaaS solutions are the right fit for your organization. When it comes to DaaS, some key differences to consider will help you make an informed decision.

There are three fundamental questions to answer when considering the suitable virtual desktop model for your organization.


Does my organization have the resources – people, processes, and tools – to optimize virtual desktop costs? Though an on-premises environment brings with it a predictable capital expenditure, the total cost of ownership in the cloud can vary by cost optimization strategies, regional costs, and price/performance variation between different cloud providers.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Does my organization have the resources – people, processes, and tools – to deliver the best SLA? How can you tell if a user has a poor experience with their virtual desktop or can’t connect? How do you quickly troubleshoot problems when the user complains? With do-it-yourself (DIY) virtual desktops in the cloud, instead of troubleshooting on-premises servers, storage, networking, and software, you will have to troubleshoot IaaS and many other software components in the cloud.

Rate of Change

Multiple services must be coordinated to deliver a cloud desktop service with the very best reliability and high availability. These services change daily and are primarily out of IT’s control. Is your team prepared to deal with the rate of change?

 Legacy DIY Model

There are a variety of DIY options for virtual desktops. Many vendors offer both data center and cloud-based components that customers or managed service providers (MSPs) license, assemble and manage on the hardware of their choice, including IaaS. IT needs a strong comprehension of the project’s scope because they’ll have to do everything themselves – or hire expensive consultants.

DIY is tricky in general, but particularly for on-premises VDI deployments. That’s because IT could seriously underestimate – or, even more costly, over-estimate – the number of users. After the planning phase, IT personnel and hired consultants spend months integrating the stack and testing the solution with a small set of pilot users. And that means it could be up to 9-12 months before the virtual desktop project can go live.

After these time and budget resources have been applied, you end up with VDI deployed in only one data center. Your IT team or a service provider will then need to test, update and patch dozens of hardware and software components, eating up significant amounts of time and other resources. This level of complexity is expensive and rigid, and it can also be challenging to deliver consistent reliability. For many organizations, this DIY approach to delivering desktops isn’t scalable or sustainable.

The SaaS or Cloud PC model

A cloud-native SaaS or Cloud PC solution can deliver consistency across customers and global locations in terms of availability, performance, security, and operational simplicity. The SaaS vendor takes responsibility for all platform elements, including desktop cost, SLA, and performance, with this approach. A SaaS-based solution can quickly deliver the benefits of new innovations and features to all customers. Most SaaS platform vendors maintain close relationships with the IaaS providers, which enables much faster resolution when changes occur that might impact performance or availability. While infrequent, outages of the underlying infrastructure or hyper-scale cloud do occur. If you need high availability, ask your DaaS vendor about their solutions for resiliency and business continuity.

A SaaS-based cloud desktop solution can undergird the ability to support work from anywhere with little or no intervention from IT, which means IT staff don’t have to waste time on configuring, setting up hardware or software, or provisioning physical devices.

Public Cloud PC Options

Public cloud providers like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services offer cloud PC solutions. 93% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, according to Flexera’s 2020 State of the Cloud report. A cloud PC solution that spans multiple public clouds can enable secure, highly reliable access to cloud desktops and applications from any device, anywhere in the world. 

The DaaS Decision

Inconsistent and resource-intensive—these are the words that define the DIY approach to DaaS. Even for organizations with the in-house skill sets to DIY, many don’t want to spend their IT team’s time upgrading and troubleshooting the many other infrastructure components. Taking a lift and shift approach, taking an organization’s existing VDI to the cloud brings along all the same performance, scalability, and resource-intensive troubleshooting problems.

Conversely, the SaaS model of cloud PCs offers support for an organization’s multi-cloud strategy and delivers maximum uptime. It saves time and headaches over the DIY approach and costs less. 

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