This virtual desktop or DaaS comparison guide is designed for those who are looking into hosted virtual desktops or desktops as a service (DaaS). It also compares the technology to Evolve IP’s Managed Desktop as a Service Solution.

Evolve IP has been providing DaaS solutions for over 13 years and is the largest multi-tenant VMware DaaS provider in the United States. Our solution has been named in every Gartner DaaS Market Guide since inception. We also work with Citrix and have deployed virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) for clients. Bottom line, we have a lot of experience to pull from for this comparison.

Why Implement DaaS?

Evolve IP has helped hundreds of enterprise and midmarket clients migrate their servers and desktops to the cloud in almost every vertical market. Over the years, we have found that the projects that get funded and are deployed successfully typically involve one or more of these four business outcomes.

1. Security
Quite simply, IT is looking to create a reliable, efficient and most of all secure platform due to the issues caused by increased threats and the proliferation of remote work and BYOD. They also want an easy way to ensure that the OS instances and varying software applications are up-to-date and secure. By using DaaS, IT is able to protect and secure resources in the cloud and not necessarily worry about the devices being used to access the cloud. Whatever is happening locally isn’t being transmitted up to the cloud instances.

2. Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity
With DaaS, users are no longer dependent on physical devices to do their job. Therefore, if the office is no longer accessible due to fire, flood, even inclement weather like a snowstorm, users can grab any device and do their job.

3. Management
Picture trying to manage and maintain hundreds or thousands of desktops across dozens of offices. What a nightmare. Yes, this is what one of our recent customers was faced with! By implementing DaaS, IT is able to give thin client or zero client devices to their users and they simply log in to the cloud to start working anywhere, anytime. When updates and patches need to occur, and we all know that happens all of the time, IT simply makes a few clicks and the whole environment is updated in one shot.

4. Enabling Remote Workers / Mobility
Businesses know that remote work is on the rise and hiring talent that’s within driving distance is nearly impossible and very expensive. For businesses that have a remote workforce, DaaS improves productivity instantly while also allowing offce-bound workers to become mobile and leverage BYOD. Businesses can now expand their hiring reach and attract better talent. And as noted in the first section, DaaS supports these needs securely!

DaaS Options

Evolve IP has helped hundreds of enterprise and midmarket clients migrate their servers and desktops to the cloud in almost every vertical market. Over the years, we have found that the projects that get funded and are deployed successfully typically involve one or more of these four business outcomes.

Major DaaS Solutions in the Marketplace

Citrix DaaS and VMware Horizon DaaS – We have grouped these two together as they are both very robust solutions and, for the most part, their selection typically comes down to brand preference as opposed to having significant differences in performance.

One important note is that both can be architected in a multi-tenant environment.

When we say multi-tenant, that’s not to say you are sharing the same space with other clients, it’s more like an apartment complex. To continue the analogy, typically each customer is living on their own floor (vlan) and the building supervisors (platform engineers), are caring for the entire building. This gives you a personal, secure, private space. To take it one step further, if Licenses and Inspections checks on the buildings, top providers, like Evolve IP, ensure their apartments are certified for major compliances like HIPAA / HITRUST, PCI-DSS, etc.

VMware Horizon View – This is the enterprise version of virtual desktop technology. We note it here because there are providers building solutions on this technology. For service providers with a low number of clients, this can work. However, as the providers’ customer counts grow, you can think of this as more of a single-family home community. The maintenance crew now has 100 homes to manage instead of 1 large building. Typically, at this point, the vendors economies of scale dry up and there are more things that can go wrong; there are more ways to break in, more management portals to maintain, etc. VMware Horizon View was not designed to be multi tenant.

Azure Virtual Desktops – Azure Virtual Desktop combines the scale, security, and cost benefits of Azure and Microsoft 365 for a secure remote desktop from virtually anywhere. Leveraging a public cloud, such as Microsoft Azure, provides users with the additional benefits of scalability, reduced infrastructure cost, and access to Microsoft’s robust security features.Evolve IP delivers Managed DaaS on Azure to free businesses from the endless cycle of purchasing, supporting, upgrading, and, ultimately, replacing local desktops, by providing an untethered virtual workspace that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, on a variety of devices and for a predictable monthly fee. By leveraging desktop virtualization from Evolve IP and compute, storage, and network resources from Azure, IT managers are freed from the need to “touch” each desktop to fix problems and deliver new applications, saving staff time and keeping employees productive. It is a great fit for any organization looking for:

  • Centralized management to optimize costs and streamline operations
  • Seamless end-user experience for employees and the IT team
  • Secure and compliant
  • Tailored desktop solution that meets their unique user needs and work habits

Amazon Workspaces – Not to be confused with Evolve IP’s Virtual Desktop Solution product below. This is similar to Azure in that it’s a public cloud offering. It seems to be a bit more tried and test and is a decent solution. As with Azure, the consuming organization is left in a DIY state of mind whereby the customer needs to figure out how to tie in all the ancillary pieces a desktop will need like RMM, Antivirus, etc.

Evolve IP’s Virtual Desktop Solution - recognized in the Market Guide, is a highly configurable multi-cloud and multi-protocol solution that enables customers to deploy DaaS in Evolve’s private cloud or via Microsoft Azure using VMware or Citrix desktop virtualization technologies. This approach is particularly attractive to mid-size enterprises and industries such as healthcare, finance and retail that prioritize, security, flexibility and scalability.

Additionally, as a Microsoft and Cisco Unified Communications partner, Evolve IP is uniquely positioned to deliver Real-Time Audio and Video (RTAV) in DaaS environments—enabling companies to optimize DaaS performance for even the most latency-sensitive applications. Many early adopters of DaaS note RTAV as one of the reasons they have been hesitant to fully embrace DaaS.Evolve IP’s ability to deliver RTAV optimization for Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, and Zoom and many other voice/video applications in a virtual desktop environment with 99.999% uptime not only closes this gap, but also enhances team collaboration, user experience and the quality of live communication.

Evolve IP’s Virtual Desktop Solution breaks the “one size fits all” DaaS mold and also gives IT the time they need to focus on IT initiatives while Evolve IP manages the rest.

Evolve IP's Comprehensive Suite of DaaS Offerings:

Managed DaaS: Enables technology leaders to free themself from the day-to-day management of infrastructure, different vendors and users.

Manage DaaS on Azure: Virtual Desktops on Azure combines the scale, security, and cost benefits of Azure and Microsoft 365 for a secure remote desktop from virtually anywhere.

DaaS on Evolve IP's Private Cloud: Leverage Evolve IP’s expertise in SD-WAN, security, and infrastructure to ensure access and uptime, while improving efficiencies, decreasing costs, and eliminating cloud sprawl.

DaaS Comparison Matrix

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) Vendor Comparison Matrix

Compare virtual desktop providers using the Desktop as a Service (DaaS) Competitor Matrix and see why Evolve IP is the work-anywhere, virtual desktop solution your team needs to grow.

Questions to Consider When Looking at DaaS and Evolve IP’s Virtual Desktop Solution

  1. What is your secure remote work strategy today?
  2. Do you plan to continue to issue laptops for end users or would you be interested in exploring alternatives?
  3. What tools do you currently use to deploy, patch, monitor, secure, and support devices in the field?
  4. If you do plan to have a DaaS/VDI solution, are you using VPN to access applications in the data center and if so, are you having any issues relative to cost, security, or user experience?

Types of DaaS Offerings

According to the 2023 Gartner Market Guide for DaaS, there are three distinct types of DaaS offerings.

Self-Assembled DaaS
Self-assembled DaaS is where the client assembles a DaaS solution from components made available by the vendor. Clients would select and configure the cloud infrastructure, profile management technology and associated storage. Clients would be responsible for configuration and management of the user virtual machines. The vendor operates the clientselected components and provides management and updates of the infrastructure through the life of the service. This segment includes Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop, Amazon WorkSpaces, Citrix Systems (DaaS) or VMware Horizon Cloud.
Vendor-Assembled DaaS
Vendor-assembled DaaS is where the vendor defines most of the solution. The client has less configuration work to perform and focuses on management of the user virtual machines. This segment includes Amazon WorkSpaces,Windows 365 etc.
Vendor-Managed DaaS
Vendor-managed DaaS is where the full service is managed and supported by the vendor. Managed DaaS vendors generally manage the virtual machine operating systems (i.e., patch and update the user’s Windows image) and in some cases provide user support. Vendors in this segment include systems integrators, managed service providers such as Evolve IP's Managed DaaS.

According to Gartner, by 2026, 80% of DaaS sales will be vendor-assembled or vendor-managed solutions compared with less than 20% in 2023. It is critical to ensure that the DaaS strategy that you plan to adopt is futureproofed and in line with what Gartner predicts. Evolve IP delivers both, vendor-assembled as well as vendor-managed DaaS solutions. Read Evolve IP's 2023 Gartner Market Guide for DaaS to learn why Gartner describes vendor-assembled and vendor-managed DaaS as the future of DaaS.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you want to handle legacy applications on internal servers?

13 years ago, most, if not all, applications were hosted on internal servers. This architecture meant a desktop was needed as the client toget to legacy applications housed in the business’s data center.

For a customer wanting to offload their infrastructure to the cloud, the obvious choice was to move their servers to a cloud service provider’s (CSP) data center. The CSP would host desktops back to the customer to solve for the latency that had just been created. Technically, a SaaS-like experience was created in that the customer was able to get to their virtual desktop from any device. But they still had to jump into that virtual desktop to get to their legacy applications.

Due to the explosion of SaaS, most workforces are now only using one or two legacy applications. Unfortunately, the DaaS provider industry is still trying to solve these applications by giving everyone a virtual desktop. Simply put, that’s a waste of money and resources, but most importantly what an annoying way to do your job!

Evolve IP is breaking the DaaS industry mold. With Evolve IP’s Virtual Desktop Solution, we are able to publish legacy applications to the user and provide them in a file-based SSO fashion. This makes legacy applications look, act and feel like a SaaS application to the user on whichever device they are using.

2. How does your business handle security?

Security is a huge concern these days. Every week it seems a new malware or ransomware attack floods the chat rooms and airwaves. DaaS greatly reduces your threat cross-section and allows IT to focus on protecting the DaaS instances in the cloud while client devices cannot transmit infections into the environment. With the explosion of SaaS, one particular area of concern however is an increase in users that are not accessing legacy applications and simply logging directly into SaaS applications. This does present security risks along with creating the arduous process for IT of trying to figure out what applications a user needs or has gained access to over their tenure and then disabling all those application one by one during offboarding. With Evolve IP’s Virtual Desktop Solution, you can still provide a virtual desktop to those users that need them. But you can also provide a secure, centrally managed way for users that only need SaaS applications to just go directly to those applications. But, in an offboarding event, all access to SaaS applications that have been integrated into the Clearlogin portal is immediately zapped. This provides a much more encompassing way of managing user access to legacy as well as SaaS applications and securing the Enterprise.

3. How dependent do you want to be on your provider for provisioning?

DaaS provisioning is very … let’s just say, manual. And that goes for Evolve IP and every other competitor in the market. Whether it’s actual provisioning or billing adjustments it’s a manual process. This is due to the fact that VMware and Citrix simply have not focused on orchestration in the multi-tenant space.

Luckily, in 2017 Evolve IP acquired a company that had perfected a backend provisioning system and that engine now drives the provisioning portal for Evolve IP’s Virtual Desktop Solution.

Here’s an illustration of adding 10 new desktops to DaaS (the industry-wide practice) vs. 10 new Evolve IP’s Virtual Desktop Solution users:

DaaS: The customer tells their Account Manager (AM) they need 10 more desktops. The AM sends a quote for 10 more users. The customer signs the quote and the AM passes this on to provisioning and a couple days later, without escalations, the DaaS seats are there. Can it be done in a couple hours in a pinch? Sure, and we have many times. But the default process noted here is typical.

Evolve IP’s Virtual Desktop Solution: IT logs into their portal and creates 10 users, along with their security permissions and applications access, instantly. Resources for pushing out legacy applications or entire desktops are provisioned in minutes. The portal then reaches out to Office 365 and provisions their licenses ... on the fly. Charges are automatically added to their monthly billing. Oh, and should you need to eliminate users, the same is true in reverse to deprovision. Net-net IT can add users, on their own, in a matter of minutes not days. Larger changes may require account management but for the most part, capacity planning can be done at your leisure instead of while under the gun to make a small change.

4. What is the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)?

It's critical for business and technology leaders to calculate the true return on investment for DaaS. One of the biggest concerns business and technology leaders have with DaaS is cost. Some users calculate the cost of DaaS by calculating the cost of laptop and the number of years that it might last for. But this methodology fails to consider the cost of managing laptops, shipping costs, costs of a lost/stolen laptop, costs incurred due to time and resources spent doing this, and most importantly the increased risk of security breach or data loss.

Apart from that the pricing model for DaaS is more or less the same for every provider. You buy a seat, then you outfit the seat with the ancillary parts and pieces needed to actually make the desktop work. The typical seat itemization would include:

  1. RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management) – this is a tool used to manage desktops. In our case, we use N-Able. However, we also allow customers to bring their own solutions to the table and re-use them in our cloud.
  2. Anti-Virus – In today’s environment you had better protect those devices. We utilize Trend AV or allow our customers to bring their own solutions.
  3. Operating System – Pretty straight forward. Again, if customers have their own Office 365 OS they can bring that along.
  4. Patching – This is not a requirement, but more and more clients are asking us to apply Windows, 3rd party and AV patches/updates. We think this is great move because there is ZERO value to the business handling this exercise and you are paying an IT professional WAY too much for such a mundane chore. Not to mention we’ve never found anyone in IT that wakes up thinking, “I can’t wait to patch my desktops today.” (If this is you, put down the white paper and call someone for help!)
  5. Management – Not every vendor provides the option to "manage" DaaS but Evolve IP does. Evolve IP frees IT from the day-to-day management of laptops, infrastructure, vendors and other administrative tasks so IT can focus on strategic initiatives.
  6. Media Optimization – Not every vendor has the capability to optimize real-time audio and video solutions such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex etc. but Evolve IP does. Evolve IP empowers users to collaborate and connect via video conferencing solutions within their desktop environment as seamlessly as they would outside of it.

Price range for Evolve-Assembled DaaS:

Price range for Evolve-Assembled DaaS: $38-$206 per seat per month

Price range for Evolve-Managed DaaS on Azure: $68-$241 per seat per month

*Discounts apply based on term and value
*Talk to sales to learn more.

Common Usecases for DaaS

  1. Security and Compliance: DaaS mitigates risks and eliminates security concerns because the data resides in the datacenter and not on the device. Additionally, you can add an extra layer of security to your platform with Evolve IP’s multi-factor authentication (MFA) and single sign-on (SSO) web portal, all while staying compliant.
  2. Mobility: DaaS enables IT to provide users with remote access to all company applications from anywhere on any device. With Evolve IP's DaaS enables IT to quickly deploy new users from anywhere, making it easier to manage users and increase productivity.
  3. Scalability and Agility: With Evolve IP's DaaS, it's easy for IT to scale up or down your virtual desktops as needed, so you can quickly adapt to changing business requirements.
  4. Performance: DaaS enables organizations to deliver high performing applications to any end point. Real-time audio and video optimized DaaS enables team members to work together on projects from different locations in real-time, making collaboration easier and more efficient. Is your organization planning to or in the process of adopting DaaS? Here are a few recommendations from the 2023 Gartner Market Guide for DaaS to help you find a DaaS solution that meets your unique IT needs

Key Recommendations to find a DaaS solution that meets your unique IT needs:

Is your organization planning to or in the process of adopting DaaS? Here are a few recommendations from the 2023 Gartner Market Guide for DaaS to help you find a DaaS solution that meets your unique IT needs:

  1. Identify the organizational fit for DaaS by assessing whether current (non-DaaS) end-user computing solutions can securely and cost-effectively enable hybrid and remote workstyles
  2. Shortlist appropriate DaaS vendors based on the services (e.g., graphics processing unit [GPU], compliance, support, regional availability, commercial terms) and rank them based on key features and how the service complements in-house IT skills.
  3. Maximize improvements to digital employee experience by carefully balancing DaaS costs with performance.


Evolve IP’s tailored DaaS solution delivers the technology, support, management, and expertise needed to fully embrace hybrid work – in Evolve IP’s private cloud or Microsoft Azure. It frees IT from the day-to-day administrative tasks of managing infrastructure, complex implementations, multiple vendors and remote users. It also frees businesses from the worries of sensitive information being compromised through lost devices, from network failure and from the panic when a computer fails. It empowers businesses to support next-gen mobility and implement Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, all without jeopardizing security. It enhances team collaboration with its media optimization capabilities. Further more, Evolve IP's DaaS fully integrates with unified communications, collaboration, and contact center solutions to enhance productivity and deliver a seamless user experience. Evolve IP's 24x7x365 support with white glove service delivery and implementation enables IT to focus on strategic initiatives. Bottom line, Evolve IP’s Virtual Desktop Solution is a secure, modern way to make your users more productive and mobile. , all while Evolve IP acts as an extension of your IT team. Evolve IP is committed to serving as an extension of each customer’s IT team and working together to make technology work for the business.

Contact us to talk about your business objectives so we can tailor a solution that meet your unique IT needs

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