What is Saas? What is DaaS? What is VDI? Analyzing Acronyms: Part I
It’s 2022 and of course we know that DaaS, VDI, and other services have been around for several years – so, why are we talking about them now? For many, the worldwide pandemic brought attention back to the virtues and qualities of DaaS and VDI, etc., as companies all over began turning to these environments and services for remote work set-ups including working-from-home. It also brought attention back to what these services and their acronyms mean – What are they? And how do they overlap?
“What is DaaS? What is SaaS? What is VDI? – Analyzing Acronyms Part I” ... let's tackle these questions. Be sure to look out for Part II coming this April, “Why SaaS? Why Daas? Or, Why VDI? – Analyzing Acronyms Part II,” where we will dig deeper into the pros & cons of these services, their advantages & disadvantages, and provide some information that may help you to decide what, if anything, may be right for your IT staff and environments.
What is Saas?
SaaS, Software as a Service, can be easily explained by example. Adobe Creative Cloud is a prime example. There are others – Salesforce, Google Workspace Apps, Microsoft 365, HubSpot, Trello, Netflix, Zoom, Zendesk, DocuSign, Slack, Shopify, as well as Citrix, VMware, and Microsoft for VDI. But, let’s talk through Adobe Creative Cloud (Suite). Basically, Adobe hosts all the User Applications, in this case – all the Adobe Suite Software products including Adobe Illustrator, PhotoShop, InDesign, and so on – and makes them available over the Internet via the Cloud. The B2C personal user or B2B IT Admin for the organization, simply pays to use the software services through a subscription, typically month-to-month, annually, etc. Sometimes with a SaaS cloud-computing service provider, an independent software vendor (ISV) may contract a third-party Cloud provider to host the applications. Usually with bigger companies like Microsoft, the Cloud provider might also be the software vendor. There are advantages and disadvantages of SaaS products which we will discuss in the next article including benefits for VDI environments.
What is DaaS?
DaaS stands for Desktop as a Service. Note – this can sometimes be referred to as Virtual Desktop or Desktop Virtualization. DaaS is a Cloud-computing service in which a provider delivers virtual desktops to end users over the Internet, normally licensed with a per-user or pay as you go subscription. DaaS is similar to SaaS in that it provides software as a service, but its software services are characteristically much more extensive. Like SaaS, DaaS is responsible for hosting and maintaining user accessibility infrastructure, data storage, and delivery, as well as security for all of these. But, with DaaS services, virtual desktops are hosted on managed Cloud infrastructure and remotely delivered to user clients. So, the DaaS provider takes care of back-end desktop management including maintenance, back-up, updates, and data storage. A few examples of DaaS providers are Citrix Cloud, Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), VMware Horizon Cloud, Cloud PC Windows 365, Amazon WorkSpaces, Nutanix Xi Frame, and Teradici. There are pros and cons of DaaS products which we will review in the next upcoming article.
What is VDI?
VDI is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and can often be mixed around with terms like Virtual Desktop and Desktop Virtualization. The key differentiator is the infrastructure part. Originally called end-user-computing (EUC), this desktop virtualization set-up was made popular by Citrix and VMware among others, which standardized the term VDI. VDI allows IT Admins and organizations to remotely host desktop operating systems on endpoint devices like Thin & Zero Clients, from a centralized server. All data lives in a data center server—and the endpoints are the way for users to access that data over the Internet. As a side note, Thin & Zero Clients are a perfect fit for VDI by replacing fat PCs, but we’ll discuss that more in Part II. The technology of VDI enables delivery and management of desktops via virtual machines (VMs) hosted on-premises or in the Cloud, which is why Virtual Desktop and Desktop Virtualization terms are really a part of VDI. Desktops are managed and deployed from a central server to end users by IT professionals. Examples of VDI products are VMware Horizon, IBM Cloud, Citrix Apps and Desktops, and more. Remember with DaaS products, desktop service is provided as being managed from a Cloud vendor. With DaaS, virtual desktops are hosted and managed on Cloud infrastructure.
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Be sure to stay tuned for Part II on this topic coming this April, “Why SaaS? Why DaaS? Or, Why VDI? – Analyzing Acronyms Part II"...