Blog A virtual PC in the cloud: how Windows 365, Azure Virtual Desktop and Device-as-a-Service enable the future of work
By Corentin Douny / 5 Apr 2023
By Corentin Douny / 5 Apr 2023
In a hybrid world, employees no longer work from their desktops. Instead, they all log in remotely to a server where their workstation is located. We call this a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) because the desktop runs within virtual machines and is delivered to end users over a network. Microsoft has two VDI options: Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop. In this blog, we compare both and explain how the step to Device-as-a-Service (DaaS) can benefit your business even more.
Bringing your various workspaces together in one central location has many advantages. Not only does it reduce the potential attack for malicious actors, it also gives you more control over your IT environment. Especially if your company has a modern digital workspace where applications must be accessible on demand and employees can work from virtually anywhere. Securing a traditional desktop, for example, is more complex than virtual desktops that are managed on a central server. If one device falls into the wrong hands, it should not pose a risk to the rest of your IT environment.
Microsoft has two virtual desktop options. Both services are supported with Azure Cloud, but there are some key differences. Windows 365 is a single-user desktop application that uses Azure for virtual desktop deployment and storage. There is a one-to-one relationship between the user and the machine that is deployed on the Microsoft 365 platform. Microsoft charges a fixed license fee per user per month. In addition, Windows 365 has two core licensing options: Business and Enterprise. The latter will be more interesting for bigger enterprises with lots of users.
Azure Virtual Desktop offers more flexibility for virtual desktop deployment, but it also comes with a greater need for management and a larger workload for the IT department. While more dependent on architectural design, it integrates more network components into the platform, making Azure Virtual Desktop probably best suited for larger infrastructures.
So what is the best choice for your business? Ultimately, both infrastructures have their pros and cons. Two factors are very important in your decision: price and how you want to use the solution. Windows 365 is easy at the infrastructure level, because it is not deeply integrated into the network. When it comes to speed to market, this will always be your best option. But you also need to consider how much time your users spend on their virtual machine. For example, do they use it more than four hours per day? If you have a larger user base, Azure Virtual Desktop may be a better fit for your organisation.
A VDI solution can also be described as a Desktop-as-a-Service model where you pay as you go. Once you are secure from a data and infrastructure perspective, you can go one step further and choose for Device-as-a-Service (DaaS), where management services and IT equipment are bundled into a paid subscription. As an alternative to purchasing individual devices, DaaS provides an end-to-end solution that delivers pre-configured hardware, lifecycle services and repair coordination to help companies optimise their use of assets and IT resources. To get a complete peace of mind, you can even add optional proactive device management, all for a single monthly fee.
The service supports devices with the latest security updates for the operating system and core applications. At Insight, we maintain a set of best practice policies and a security baseline that is reviewed and updated every month. DaaS also covers the administration by adding or removing users and devices. The service is especially interesting if you have a large number of users and devices in your company. No large upfront investments are required.
All this makes DaaS the perfect complement to VDI. It provides ultimate flexibility and the best possible security for a modern workplace. While Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop help to reduce potential attacks, our team of experts strengthens your defence capabilities at the hardware level by maintaining your devices with the best possible care. Moreover, this subscription model provides organisations with access to best-in-class devices such as Microsoft’s Surface laptops. These devices are inherently among the most secure and sustainable solutions on the market.
Ready to modernise your workplace with Windows 365, Azure Virtual Desktop and/or DaaS? Be sure to contact us! Our experts are happy to answer your questions and help you get started.