A DaaS Faceoff: Amazon vs. Citrix vs. Microsoft Remote Desktop Services


How do the Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) competitors from Citrix and Microsoft measure up to AWS Native End User Computing?


Amazon Web Services End User Computing suite of solutions is a complete platform for implementing a cloud-based infrastructure for an organization’s information technology needs. However, in the crowded IT marketplace, doing due diligence on the available options is just par for the course. So, how do the competing products from industry players Microsoft and Citrix compare?


Microsoft Remote Desktop Services builds on a legacy platform


Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Services (RDS) builds upon virtualization technology first released in late 1998 as “Terminal Server” in “Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition.” Terminal Server was renamed Remote Desktop Services with the release of “Windows Server 2008 R2” in 2009. The Remote Desktop Connection client application is one of the most common implementations of the Remote Desktop Services protocol.


Windows Desktop Sharing, introduced with the Windows Vista operating system, allows the sharing of multimonitor desktops over a network. The first cloud implementation of RDS came with the launch of Microsoft Azure (formerly Windows Azure) in 2010, but it is not considered a full DaaS solution. It serves applications from the cloud but not full desktops. Microsoft is now previewing its full DaaS service, called Windows Virtual Desktop, and it expects to release it fully later this year.


Citrix supplies a reliable platform


Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, Like the AWS End User Computing suite, is a world-class DaaS solution. In fact, many installations of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops are deployed on the AWS Cloud – see an AWS/Citrix Quick Start here – and Citrix itself is a member of the AWS Partner Network. Citrix also has a long partnership with Microsoft, and one use case of their DaaS service is to easily upgrade an entire workforce to Windows 10.


Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is a strong player in the DaaS space. A few drawbacks:

  • A Citrix DaaS installation may prove more demanding on IT departments due to the need to maintain the cloud platform and the DaaS software separately.
  • Pricing is higher than many tiers of Amazon’s offering.

AWS Native End User Computing is the best of all possible worlds


Amazon AWS’s combination of integral cloud hosting and its XaaS (that stands for “Anything-as-a-Service”) products makes for better economies of scale and simpler management, especially for small- to medium-sized organizations. Whether users have primarily data and word-processing needs or require significant processing power and specialized software, AWS Native End User Computing offers a range of virtual hardware and software bundles to meet their needs. Seven tiered packages cover from 1 to 16 CPUs and software from Microsoft Office to advanced specialized graphics suites.


Each desktop’s storage allocation can be easily adjusted, and users can create customized software bundles for the most specific use cases – they can even use the software licenses they already own. Companies can also provision desktops in groups, with a standardized set of hardware and software bundle specifications or one particular user at a time – and anything in between – as needed. The Amazon suite of services can satisfy the IT needs of an organization with greater ease and more cost efficiency, with a Fortune 500 level of data security.


See how AWS Native End User Computing will transform your IT department


If your business is like many others, it has been asking its IT staff to do more with less for far too long. See how AWS Native End User Computing will empower your IT department with the tools and technologies to satisfy your data management needs, and with the easy scalability to help support your ongoing growth. Learn more by getting in touch with CloudHesive at 800-860-2040 or through our online contact form.

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