This is the second in a series of three articles looking into the benefits of the virtual desktop (VD) in the modern workplace.

As we explored in our previous article, Getting to grips with desktop virtualisation, there are many benefits to setting up a virtual workspace – including flexibility for your team, secure remote access, centralised security, improved efficiencies and increased end-user satisfaction.

When it comes to choosing a VD solution, there is no shortage of technology suppliers on the market. Choosing the right provider for your business can seem like an overwhelming task.

To help you on your search, this article looks at three of the more well-known among them – Amazon Workspace, Citrix Managed Desktops and Windows Virtual Desktop. And remember, Correct Solution’s team of experts is always on hand to help you explore your options.

 

VD solution #1: Amazon WorkSpaces

Amazon offers a managed, secure, Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution in Amazon WorkSpaces (AWS), provisioning either Microsoft Windows or Linux desktops on a monthly or hourly rate. As a DaaS, AWS removes the need to operate servers, file shares, network appliances, and third-party solutions.

Where AWS offers only one-to-one resources, its competitors have the upper hand in also offering a one-to-many solution. The one-to-many option allows users to share the cost of VD service with others using the same host – as the environment scales up, the cost per user goes down.

Other limitations of AWS include no support for multi-session Windows 10, no real Windows 10 desktop experience and limited ability to setup OneDrive for business.

 

VD solution #2: Citrix Managed Desktops

Citrix’s answer to DaaS is Citrix Managed Desktops (CMD) – a cloud-hosted turnkey service that enables any organisation with any level of IT expertise to quickly deliver Windows-based applications and desktops to their workforce. CMD is a simplified version of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD).

Designed as a one-stop, pay-as-you-go service, CMD includes everything you need to securely deliver desktops and applications to any device from the Cloud.

While CMD offers many benefits, the solution has proven more demanding on IT departments because of the need to maintain the Cloud platform and the DaaS software separately. CMD’s pricing is also higher than many of its VD competitors.

 

VD solution #3: Windows Virtual Desktop

Last but definitely not least, Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is a desktop and app virtualization service that resides in the cloud – it’s a DaaS powered by Azure.

Both WVD and CMD were released in 2019, whilst AWS first entered the market in 2014. However, since its release, WVD has gone from strength to strength thanks to the significant investment Microsoft has made in the platform. Meanwhile AWS and CMD have both suffered from not receiving the same support and are rapidly depreciating.

WVD boasts four big innovations:

  1. Access to Windows 10 multi-user operating system, allowing multiple concurrent users to use a single Azure virtual machine as a desktop.
  2. User profiles are handled independently of the virtual machine that serves as the user’s desktop.
  3. Microsoft Azure has a new Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering that contains the management and connection broker functionality for WVD. It is the service that determines which users end up on which Azure virtual machine when they connect.
  4. WVD is included at no additional charge with multiple Windows 10 subscriptions, including Microsoft 365 and Windows 10 Enterprise.

 

Why we prefer Windows Virtual Desktop

Since its release nearly two years ago, WVD has been well received with adoption rates of the Microsoft DaaS solution being exceptionally high compared to its competitor counterparts. For a business that isn’t on the cloud yet, WVD can be a better choice than its competitors because of its price point. And for businesses already relying on Microsoft Windows or Microsoft 365 licenses, WVD can be cheaper when utilising Windows 10 multi-session and existing Office 365 licenses – the DaaS solution is already included.

One of WVD’s big benefits is that users run on a Windows 10 desktop – rather than a Windows 10 desktop experience powered by Windows Server 2016. This allows for a much more consistent user experience and ensures greater compatibility with third party applications when compared with alternatives.

It also allows for better integration with Office 365 – especially OneDrive – as users can leverage their 1TB of storage instead of having to buy additional storage in their WVD environment.

If you are weighing up your options and would like to discuss the best VD solution for your business, contact Correct Solutions today.