Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a Must-Have

Users demand consistency in their workstations. They need their experience to be the same, whether they’re in the office, at home, or on the road. Unfortunately, the current alternatives for work-from-anywhere are either very expensive (Citrix) or less secure (VPN).

But now you have a choice.

Desktop as a Service (DaaS), powered by Azure, offers a secure, reliable, customizable work-from-anywhere solution—and it’s fully integrated with the rest of your office productivity suite. Users can access the applications and documents they need from the cloud using the device of their choice, no matter where they are, while firms enjoy its flexibility, scalability, and cost savings.

Agio DaaS isn’t the future; it is the now.

Why Desktop as a Service?

As COVID-19 erupted, a majority of firms struggled to implement a work-from-home solution. Companies were caught unprepared and had to stitch together solutions using various technologies, but none of those solutions provided the consistency, reliability, security, or usability users needed for optimal productivity.

The fact is, current solutions are monolithic, expensive, and lack the desired performance. Firms currently using Citrix or VPN will look to replace or augment those with SaaS-based solutions that are easier to scale with low capital costs. Agio DaaS is the solution.

Leveraging Microsoft’s growing global infrastructure, DaaS is the most cutting-edge, highly scalable, and secure end-user computing environment with the advantage of having very low capital costs.

Firms are turning to DaaS for three reasons: productivity, cost, and risk.

Increased Productivity

Whether a firm already had users in the field or ended up with a work-from-home model because of COVID-19, remote work options are here for the long haul. DaaS becomes the user’s primary workstation, with the ability to access it from anywhere in the world. The user’s experience remains consistent regardless of what endpoint they are using to access DaaS. Firms no longer need different BCP solutions because users are always operating in BCP mode with zero impact on productivity when offices are inaccessible.

Lower Cost

Operational and financial scaling models are an absolute must. DaaS provides a highly scalable and secure end-user computing environment with low capital costs, eliminating CapEx where possible.

Using a pooled deployment model like DaaS, firms can significantly reduce their total cost of ownership for end-user workstations. Additionally, you never have to worry about replacing your infrastructure hardware because it’s all hosted and powered by Microsoft Azure.

With DaaS, firms will eliminate duplicate and unused licensing; your Microsoft licensing becomes simple and cheaper to manage.

Reduced Risk

Cybersecurity is, of course, always a concern. With DaaS, a user’s workstation is not exposed to the internet directly. Instead, they use a private IP address and are isolated from other workloads. Connection to DaaS is established through reverse connections to the service, so firms never have to leave any inbound ports open.

When a user connects to the Agio DaaS, the use of Azure Active Directory (AAD) as the identity provider allows DaaS to leverage additional security controls like multifactor authentication (MFA) or conditional access to verify authentication attempts. Additionally, Agio DaaS uses Intune Modern Management to leverage a firm’s existing mobile device management policies.

What Can You Expect from DaaS?

DaaS is part of your infrastructure strategy, which includes ensuring reliability and security. It provides:

  • Azure hosted, fully managed workstation environments with best-in-class security configurations to protect a firm’s data and assets.
  • Continuous management of underlying Azure infrastructure and desktop images, including vulnerability remediations and monthly patching.
  • A solution that is easy to scale and manage. Firms no longer need to provide multiple workstations to users because they can access their workstation and all the necessary applications and data from anywhere in the world.
  • Simplified licensing—firms no longer have to manage multiple licensing (i.e., Operating System, RDS, Office, etc.).
  • An operating cost model lowering high capital costs to manage and maintain the workstations and associated infrastructure.

Key Benefits

  • Flexibility in design and customization
  • Virtualize both desktops and apps, then assign and connect users to them
  • Reduce CapEx costs by lessening the impact of hardware product life cycles
  • Lower costs by pooling multi-session resources and reducing the number of virtual machines in your environment
  • Publish as many host pools as needed to accommodate diverse workloads
  • Bring existing RDS, DaaS, and apps to any computer with ease
  • Provide a unified and simplified management experience for admins
  • Leverage Agio’s deep bench of technical experts

Who should consider Agio DaaS?

  • All firms, who have users working remotely – which is everyone
  • More immediately emerging to mid-market firms that leverage VPN and RDP to their office workstation as a primary means of remote access
  • Any firm that is still operating and using Windows 7 or older OS
  • Any firm that has desktops older than three years and is looking for a replacement

How does Agio DaaS Work?

Agio DaaS leverages Agio’s cloud configuration management platform, Nerdio, to configure and manage workstations (VMs) and associated infrastructure hosted on Microsoft Azure.

We offer Agio DaaS in two options:

  1. Pooled. A set of VMs that are temporarily assigned to users as they sign-in. Each time a user signs in, the user may be assigned a different VM.
  2. Personal. A single user occupies a specific virtual machine, similar to if a user had a dedicated physical PC.

You can see below how it works:

  1. A user launches the Remote Desktop (RD) client, which connects to Azure AD. The user signs in, and Azure AD returns token.
  2. RD client presents token to Web Access, and broker queries DB to determine resources authorized for the user.
  3. The user selects a resource, and the RD client connects to Gateway.
  4. Broker orchestrates connection from host agent to Gateway.
  5. RDP traffic now flows between the RD client and session host VM over connections 3 and 4.
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*Service is priced using a metric model that scales up or down with a client’s actual usage and number of end-users.

In Conclusion

Firms require a secure and reliable workspace environment for their end users that is accessible from anywhere in the world. With COVID-19, the need for this solution became obvious as firms struggled to have a robust work-from-anywhere solution independent of Citrix or VPN with RDP to local desktops in the office.

In the new work-from-home era, Desktop as a Service provides a best-in-breed secure and reliable workstation hosted on Microsoft Azure, available from anywhere in the world. The solution delivers a multi-session, personable, and persistent Windows experience with access to essential applications that are optimized for services such as Outlook, OneDrive Files on Demand (per-machine), Teams, etc.

With DaaS, users are happier and more productive, you no longer have to manage multiple licenses, and you reduce your overall budget without the need to manage and maintain multiple workstations. DaaS comes complete with the peace of mind that Agio is continuously managing the underlying Azure infrastructure and desktop images, including critical IT governance like vulnerability remediations and monthly patching. 

Contact us to learn more about how you can implement Agio DaaS.