Choosing a Desktop as a Service: Amazon WorkSpaces vs. Citrix Managed Desktops


The differences between Amazon WorkSpaces and Citrix virtual desktops could decide the success or failure of your remote work infrastructure

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) platforms are a means of providing cloud-based WorkSpaces to your employees. This technology allows employees to connect with a fully functional desktop that has all your business’s applications and access points from any device you allow to access the network from anywhere in the world. 

With DaaS access, your employees have access to every system they need to help your business be successful, no matter where they’re working from. DaaS is a solution ideally suited to times like these, when many people are working from home or remotely from somewhere else. These systems allow your team to work from wherever they are while still moving prospects through your sales funnel to become happy, repeat customers.

Cloud-based services have become more popular as they’ve become easier to access, more reliable, and more secure. But not all DaaS are created equal. Let’s look at some of the differences between Amazon WorkSpaces and Citrix Managed Desktops (CMD).

Amazon WorkSpaces vs. CMD: 5 Comparisons

1. Costs

One of the benefits of Amazon WorkSpaces is the ability to pay for only the desktops you need and only for the length of time you need them. This can be charged by the month or by the hour. 

With the CMD DaaS, there are flexible payment options as well. But the minimum term is one month, and other terms available run from one to five years. You can keep costs low by carefully planning for the desktops you need and the timeframe you’ll need them to optimize the best pricing, but be careful not to be stuck overpaying if your plans change. 

The costs associated with CMD are higher than several available tiers of Amazon Workspaces, but you should do a specific analysis based on your expected needs to figure out the optimal plan for your business.

2. Scalability

Plan cost is only one factor in the total financial suitability of a DaaS provider. Scalability lets you expand the program as your business processes adapt to the new normal. 

Amazon WorkSpaces is generally more scalable than it’s Citrix counterpart. With AWS, you can have as few as one seat or as many as you need. That minimum number with Citrix is 25, but it is scalable up to enterprise levels and supports enterprise IT oversight and assistance. 

Amazon WorkSpaces has a wide array of virtual hardware and software, as well. It can help your team accomplish anything from simple data and word processing to operations requiring significant computing power and specialized software. There are seven tiers available, covering a simple Microsoft Office desktop to an advanced, specialty graphics suite, depending on each user’s specific business requirements.

With Amazon WorkSpaces, each desktop’s storage can be tailored to your business requirements as well. With all of the scalability of Amazon WorkSpaces, you never have to pay for things you do not need. Yet, you can give each person on the team the exact tools they need to perform to top standards, no matter where they’re working from or what type of device they are most comfortable using.

Whether you are a small business with big needs or an enterprise-level company with highly sophisticated software requirements, Amazon WorkSpaces can give your team exactly what they need in a way that makes sense to their workflows.

3. Machines that can be provisioned

With Citrix, customers can provision a variety of Windows machines including Windows 10 EVD, Multi-Session, and Windows Server 2016. Citrix can work on a variety of devices such as Androids. Chromebooks, or thin clients.

Amazon Workspace, conversely, allows users to provision either Windows of Linux machines. AWS allows use via Windows or Mac computers as well as Apple iPad, Amazon Fire Tablet, Android Tablet, and Chrome or Firefox browsers. With Amazon Workspace, you will also have the ability to provision groups of desktops with standardized hardware and software bundles. This allows you to create just what your team members need for their place in your organization. If that does not fit your needs, you can also provision each desktop environment individually. Whatever variation in between works for your organization, you can accomplish it with Amazon WorkSpaces.

4. Installation and setup

Citrix may prove more labor-intensive for IT departments than Amazon Workspace. In recent surveys by Amazon WorkSpaces ranked higher not only in installation and setup ease, but also ranked better in ease of use and ease of administration.

5. Security and compliance

Amazon WorkSpaces not only allows for less work from your IT department, but it also offers Fortune 500-level security that business demands in these challenging times. Amazon WorkSpaces provides multiple compliance options that may be important to your business. 

When you are researching DaaS options, it can be confusing, and you may be unsure where to turn or how to implement the plan you would like to see in place. Take a deep breath and know you are in the right place. CloudHesive will set your business up with what you need from either Amazon WorkSpaces or Citrix to work in conjunction with their Centricity application, which powers DaaS solutions. Contact CloudHesive today to see how a DaaS can fit with your specific needs.

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