Remote Desktop Services (RDS) vs. Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) : Know the Differences

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic had a tremendous impact on workplace culture, many of us have embraced a new way of flexible working. Do you think it is possible to work only from your office desk now? 

A recent survey by EY showed that more than 54% of professionals would change their jobs if they were not allowed to work as per their flexibility. Therefore, having access to work resources from anywhere, anytime, is the new need for efficient work from home (WFH) process. When supporting the employees to work from home, DaaS (Desktop as a service) or RDS (Remote Desktop Services) are two cloud offerings that can help you out. 

Remote desktop services (RDS) or DaaS (Desktop as a Service) are virtualization solutions that can support you enforce remote or flexible working environments in your workplace. Whenever you consider moving your desktop to the cloud, RDS vs. DaaS question is bound to come up—and for a good reason.


So, to give you a clear picture of which solution is better for which business, we will describe their differences and features in the blog below: 

What is Desktop as a Service (DaaS)?

Desktop as a service (DaaS) is the technology that delivers managed virtual desktops to users from a centralized server. The DaaS provider maintains the centralized servers and data centers. The managed virtual desktops are delivered to end-users after setup, deployment, and up-gradation.

DaaS offers flexibility to the end-users by hosting desktops in the cloud. Moreover, DaaS simplifies desktops management when working remotely. What’s more? DaaS gives mobility to businesses by providing Citrix-managed desktops and applications installed with high-end security protocols on cloud servers.  

What are Remote Desktop Services (RDS)?

Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is a virtualization model that hosts shared desktops on Windows servers. In simple terms, it provides session host-based access to Windows applications with a graphic user interface. It enables you to access applications via a shared server while working from home. Once you log in to the RDS webpage with the credentials, you can operate the applications running on the server from your location.  

How is RDS different from DaaS?

Both RDS and DaaS are desktop virtualization services that deliver desktops to the end-users accessible from any location. But they do have a few significant differences. 

What’s different between the services is the implementation process and how they are delivered to the end-user technologically. Here is an overview of the differences between RDS and DaaS. 

Resource sharing

When using a virtual desktop, the business applications are stored in a secure cloud server. Thus, each user works on an individual virtual machine (VM). The resources are dedicated to individual users in a centrally hosted VM, so no sharing occurs. Whereas, in remote desktop, the users work via remote desktop sessions on the host’s operation system (OS) without storing data on your hard drives. Multiple users work in a single environment in a remote desktop service, so the resources are shared between them.  


In the VDI environment, the users can choose between persistent and non-persistent desktops as per their needs. In persistent desktops, the users can get configured desktops with different applications installed as per the user role.  

On the other hand, in persistent desktops, no configurations are saved once you log out. This choice of persistent and non-persistent VDI makes some room for personalization. 

Coming to Remote desktop services, as every user is sharing the remote connection, it leads to a lack of standardization and customization.  

Scalable Environment

Enterprises with different needs of every user prefer hosting virtual desktops on the cloud as it allows you to scale your resources on demand. Here, you can keep your expenses at your fingertips as you pay only for what you use. Moreover, it is suitable for businesses of any size and industry, be it law, retail, or BPO, as they have an empowered model to scale and de-scale on demand. Basically, in DaaS, every user can work on resource-intensive applications regardless of space or performance issues as there is dedicated storage for each desktop. 

Whereas, while you host remote desktop services, the CPU storage and the number of users depend on the resources allocated in the host VM.  

RDS vs. DaaS: Features They Share/ Features They Both Have 

RDS and DaaS share a set of features. Knowing the features of both desktop services will help you choose the right approach for your business. Here, you will find the common features they both have. 

Easy Manageability

Desktop as a Service delivers fully managed virtual desktops to work from any location. By its name, we understand that desktops are offered as a service. Firms can move their massive desktop clusters into the centralized network by switching to cloud-based desktops. Thus, it increases the IT teams’ bandwidth without burdening them with maintaining costly in-house servers. The DaaS provider handles the patching, maintenance, and up-gradation tasks.

Similarly, when you opt for RDS on windows desktop sessions, the service provider owns and manages the Windows server and IT infrastructure upgrades in their remote data centers, freeing you to troubleshoot and upgrade tasks. 

In both scenarios, the IT management is less, and the service provider is responsible for maintaining the servers, through which they deliver secure remote desktops to the end-users.

Making remote working efficiently

Having access to corporate resources while working outside the office premises is what you get with hosted and remote desktops. Whether you host with remote desktop services or desktop as a service, the resources are available whenever you need them. The employees can securely connect to the company resources and files to complete their tasks from remote locations. Also, the desktops are hosted in faster processing servers with low latency routes to ensure that you get the best user experience, just like your local desktop. 

feature of rds and daas

Prioritizing Data Security

When your data is stored in the cloud or server with a third-party service provider, they incorporate high-end Hosted VDI security measures such as multi-factor authentication, layered encryptions, private cloud, access control, and more. Thus, your information remains safe from vulnerable end-points or viruses.  

Also Read: Why Data Security Is Of Utmost Priority In Remote Work and How To Ensure It 

Reducing Overhead Costs

As both are managed services, they both come with cost-efficiency benefits. You can save big with desktop as a service as you don’t need to hire a large IT workforce. Cloud VDI offers you a centralized form of control over desktops, and you pay only for the resources you use. Thus, it helps you eliminate the enormous expenses of installing hardware or purchasing servers.   

Moving to session-based remote desktop services also gives you a highly operational model as there is no need to spend huge on purchasing hardware and resource-intensive software.  

Here, Ace cloud hosting offers both DaaS and RDS. If you wish to know which of two cloud services can help you save costs and comes up with other mission-critical features, you are at the right place. 

Backups your data for Disaster Recovery

Whether remote desktop or virtual desktop, a cloud infrastructure makes your data accessible and backs it up in scheduled intervals. Thanks to regular backups in redundant servers by a service provider, you never lose data as you can recover it without any challenge, which delivers you a better business continuity strategy. 

Which is better for your business?

A business needs to focus on infrastructural flexibility to remain competitive in a cloud-first market. Therefore, when deploying remote or virtual desktops on the cloud in your workplace, you need to address questions to make an informed decision. 

1. Are they secure and cost-effective?
2. Are they easy to manage? 
3. Can you personalize your desktops?   

Above, we have mentioned which solution works well for these aspects. 

RDS is appropriate for firms where a majority of the users work on the same applications.  

rds vs daas which one is better for your business

For instance, speaking of employees in BPO, they need to work on a specific app for their tasks, so they can host their desktop with RDS.  This is because multiple users are operating the same applications; it eases to share the space without performance issues. As RDS works on a shared computing model, compatibility issues can arise if all users are using different applications. 

Using virtual cloud desktops gives you space for personalization for different users. So, the enterprises that need customized applications go for DaaS. In cloud-hosted desktops, the users can determine which personalization is required to have an enhanced user experience.

About Julie Watson

Julie is a dynamic professional with over 16 years of rich experience as a VDI and Application Hosting expert. At Ace Cloud Hosting, she humanizes disruptive and emerging remote working trends to help leaders discover new and better possibilities for digital transformation and innovation by using cloud solutions with an enterprise-class security approach. Beyond work, Julie is a passionate surfer.
On the weekend, you will find her hanging out with her family or surfing around the North Shore of Oahu.

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