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DaaS Pricing – Understanding the Cost of Desktops in the Cloud

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 19, 2014 11:27:00 PM / by Dana Tee

coin stack.jpgRaise your hand if you’ve heard that Desktops-as-a-Service (DaaS) can help your organization trade capital expense for operating expense, lowering the total cost of ownership for your entire IT infrastructure? Like most of us, you’ve probably learned about the cost benefits of hosted desktops paid on a monthly subscription. If not, make sure to check out this blog on rethinking the desktop to get up to speed. One thing that has not been so clearly laid out is the pricing structures fueling pay-as-you-go desktops. In this post, we aim to demystify DaaS pricing, and call out some of pesky hidden costs you should be mindful of when scoping out vendors.

It’s important to understand the various DaaS options and the wide price ranges available to you. If you’re shopping for DaaS or cloud desktops there are a few questions you should be asking potential vendors regarding price. Below we’ve created a handy slideshare to help ensure you’re comparing apples to apples.



1. Where are the desktops hosted? Semi-private vs. public cloud.

One of the biggest cost differentiators for DaaS vendors is where they host their desktops. The majority of DaaS offerings are provided by companies who build a semi-private cloud in their data center. In this situation, the DaaS vendor takes on the costs and complexity of implementing the virtual desktop infrastructure, and then in sense, rents out a portion of this infrastructure to its customers. The costs associated with building the data center can place a high price tag on DaaS in the semi-private cloud.

To overcome the cost hurdles associated with semi-private clouds, some DaaS vendors turned to the public cloud as their hosting providers. Public clouds are managed by respected enterprises such as Amazon and HP and provide highly available and secure platforms for hosting desktops.

2. What are the licensing fees?

Vendors that build their own data center typically use well-established virtualization platforms, such as those by VMware or Citrix, and offer Microsoft desktop operating systems, such as Windows 7. Add-on licensing fees can become quite expensive.

Public clouds, on the other hand, include built-in Microsoft operating system licenses for Windows Server 2008, which can be used along with a Microsoft RDS CAL as a lower cost cloud desktop operating system.

3. What type of desktop performance level do I need?

Most DaaS vendors offer a variety of desktop performance levels such as standard, premium, or super premium. The more processing power and storage you need the more expensive your desktop will be.  For the best bang for your buck, make sure your requirements align with the appropriate desktop performance level.

4. Are there any long-term contracts?

Yearly agreements have become commonplace in the DaaS space. Don’t get locked into unnecessary payment terms and agreements if you can help it.

5. Is there a minimum desktop usage?

Be careful of minimum orders on the number of desktops. If you’re a small business, minimum desktop orders might make certain DaaS offerings cost-prohibitive.

It’s important to understand the various (and sometimes hidden) costs of moving your desktop environment to the cloud. If you’re interested in learning more about navigating DaaS and Cloud Desktops, make sure to download our free Ebook: Everything you Need to Know about Cloud Desktops as a Virtualization Solution.

Topics: Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

Dana Tee

Written by Dana Tee

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