FAQs: Hosted Desktops

A full list of our frequently asked questions around our hosted desktop offering.

A hosted desktop (often also referred to as Desktop as a Service or DaaS) – much like the name suggests – is a desktop that is hosted in the cloud. In essence, a hosted desktop combines multiple cloud offerings such as email, applications and data storage into one solution, providing similar functionalities and capabilities. A hosted desktop looks no different from a traditional, physical desktop; the difference between the two is the location where apps, data and email are stored. A physical desktop accesses and stores data, apps and email on the actual device. With a hosted desktop, everything is stored in a secure data centre and the device merely serves as a medium to display images of what is accessed.

Yes, you can set your existing printers up to work with your hosted desktop. We use Citrix Universal Printing to allow you to print to any local printer/photocopier from your hosted desktop session (regardless of what device you are using).

At Atlas Cloud, we store your data in ISO 27001 (security) certified data centres in the UK.

You don’t need a fast internet connection to use the Atlas Cloud. Current internet connectivity models such as ADSL and FTTC are perfect for hosted desktops as almost all of the traffic is downloaded.

The slowest connection we’d recommend you use is 200Kb per second, per user.

Yes, all data and e-mails are backed up automatically and regularly by the Atlas Cloud team.

Anti-virus software is included as part of our desktop, as to is an enterprise firewall. However, we recommend that you always protect your device as well and we’re happy to provide you with suitable software.

It uses AES 256-bit encryption with Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2 between the device and the hosted desktop, which protects the session from outside audiences.

Yes. Desktops can be accessed on any internet enabled device, in any location all over the world.

For example, recently our Head of Marketing worked while on holiday in India and was able to work just the same as he would in the office. This included working from a tuk tuk!

Yes, you can access your work desktop on any internet enabled device without having to transfer data or install applications beforehand.

One of the benefits of the Atlas Cloud solution is that it doesn’t require new, high quality hardware to work as devices merely serve as an access point. Obsolete hardware can be phased out over time and replaced by energy saving Thin-Client devices if needed.

It depends on the type of virus, but for example if it was ransomware which locked down all the network drives & files, we would stop the session immediately to prevent the virus spreading further. Data would then be restored from the backup and the user’s session would be started back up. By killing off the original session it stops the hacker from going any further, this is a great advantage hosted desktops have over traditional desktops.  

The cost depends on the number and complexity of the applications you require, the amount of storage and the number of users. Payment works on a pay-as-you-go basis, so you effectively pay for what you use.

Yes. Our solution is highly scalable and thanks to our pay-per-user-per-month pricing, adding or removing users is not a problem.

At Atlas, we can deploy a new office with little to no business disruption. Our team can be at your office premises on Friday night and everything will be set up by the time you come in on Monday morning. A member of our tech team will be there to help you get started and answer any questions that might come up.

Standard business hour support included in the solution is 8am-6pm Monday to Friday.

Our hosted desktops are Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops (formerly known as XenDesktop).

The shortest contract we offer is a 12 month one. At the end of which you’ll go onto a rolling 12-month contract. We do offer the ability to create proof of concept setups for shorter time periods e.g. one month, should you wish to trial the software before purchase.

In the event of this we can move you onto a single factor authentication profile temporarily so you are able to still work until you get sorted with a new phone with Authenticator on it.

Depending on the nature of the software patch released from Microsoft we’ll follow this process: Rather than roll the update out straight away we’ll test the update on a non-critical server and then check it over to make sure the update hasn’t caused any issues to performance. This will then be tested on other servers and within 3 weeks it will be rolled out to customers.

All our hosted desktops* are backed up daily. In the event of an outage our SLA is to have you back up and running in 24 hours. Anything you were working on in Office 365 will be recoverable via the auto-save function, usually set to save every 5-10 minutes. For other software, the auto save times will vary. If you need to recover a file from the daily backup we can go back as far as 4 weeks (we also take an annual snapshot of your data).

*This information applies to a hosted desktop without any additional disaster recovery service.

The default setting is every 42 days but the frequency of this is completely in your control. Want to get users to change their password more or less often? Just let us know and we’ll adapt your setup accordingly.

Obviously we’d recommend using the latest version of IE, Firefox, Chrome etc but we appreciate that in some companies this might not be possible. In situations like this we can support customers who need to use IE8. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to support older versions.

Without letting us know you would be locked out initially, but if you know in advance we can arrange for access outside of your normal operating hours.

This is a very straight forward and quick process. We only charge 15p per GB per month.

Yes, we’ll get your hosted desktop setup with a suitable background image of your choosing.

Absolutely, if you want to narrow it down so that only work issued devices can access your hosted desktops then this is possible.

Unfortunately not. At present we can only support Windows based software (although we’ve yet to come across a piece of software that didn’t have a Windows version so this has yet to be an issue for us!)

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