DaaS and XaaS in plain English

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DaaS is the abbreviation for Desktop-as-a-Service, and it is a type of virtual computing. DaaS is also called hosted desktop service, and it is usually offered as a cloud service.

A Desktop as a service provider usually manages hosting, backing up data, securing, and upgrades for the supported applications and DaaS service. Some of the most popular desktop-as-a-service providers include WorkSpaces by Amazon, VMware through Horizon Cloud and Citrix through its XenDektop.

While in a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) your IT team handles the installation of other software and maintenance, part of the security, with Desktop as a Service, you don’t have to worry about the technical component, licensing, and your IT department will get smaller and smaller with time.

DaaS helps reduce cost, time, and potential legal implications when an employee makes an error, because the data (and the entire desktop) is located elsewhere. Using the DaaS infrastructure means that all apps and data are being accessed in a more secure manner, basically from any location. However, in DaaS environment, sensitive information will not be stored on local machines.

A recent study published by the Citrix Service Provider Center of Excellence revealed that the Desktop as a Service market has continued to evolve and expand in the last few years. DaaS is a modern and efficient way of providing cloud-based workspaces to employees. The technology uses a physical device: a laptop, PC or tablet, to communicate with a workspace hosted by the company’s cloud provider.

However, there are fields like government, healthcare, and insurance that can't always adopt DaaS simply because some vendors aren't compliant with industry standards - data security remains a top priority and it will probably take time for all the major providers to become fully compliant with all the relevant regulations while remaining competitive.

Everything as a Service (XaaS) and its benefits

Everything or anything as a service is a product distribution model where instead of selling regular products the providers sell its functionality as a service. For instance, in a traditional model you’ll purchase a light bulb, use it when it is in working condition and replace it when is needed. On the other hand, in a XaaS model you will buy lighting services from the manufacturer and the maintenance of the bulb is also the responsibility of the service provider.

There are many benefits to this approach for both the consumer and service provider. The consumer gets full service without making huge investments in technology, security etc., while the service providers get long-term contracts. This delivery model is an extension to the already popular software as a service - SaaS model.

The XaaS method brings several benefits for the consumers and here are some of them:

  • The consumer does not make a complete purchase, so the price he pays for the service he gets is lower compared to a consumer who pays for the whole infrastructure.
  • Since there is no investment from consumer’s end it is easier for him to upgrade or downgrade depending on needs and budget. He can scale easily, both horizontally and vertically. Furthermore, he can use the latest innovations at a small part of cost he would have paid in the traditional model.
  • Since the provider takes care of maintenance, the consumer saves time, and brings regular cash flow to the service provider.
  • New businesses, products and services can easily enter the market since it is easy for consumers to upgrade.
  • Because it is a service model business, it can respond faster to market requirements and take advantage of opportunities for better profits.

Eventually, we can assume that everything as a service will soon become a feasible distribution and consumption model.

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