What is the Difference Between VDI vs. DaaS?

Desktop as a Service vs. VDI: What’s the Difference?

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions are changing the way companies do business. The global desktop virtualization market is growing fast, and is projected to increase from $6.1 billion in 2019 to $10.8 billion by 2025.

But while these solutions are both viable tools for desktop virtualization, they feature some important distinctions, leaving many business owners asking what is the difference between VDI and DaaS?

Let’s compare DaaS vs. VDI to better understand the VDI & DaaS difference. VDI involves purchasing and setting up virtualization infrastructure in your own IT environment.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

You will need to purchase server space, hardware, and manage your own software deployment to enable VDI on work machines. Once everything is set up, your internal IT teams will be responsible for ongoing maintenance and troubleshooting.

Desktop As A Service

With DaaS, everything is managed by your service provider. The cloud-based system is managed by your vendor and hosted through services like Amazon or Microsoft Azure.

DaaS offerings have desktop virtualization infrastructure in place and grant you access to services in exchange for an ongoing fee. All server management issues, maintenance, and troubleshooting is handled by the vendor.

Need help deciding between DaaS and VDI for your business?

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Pros and Cons of VDI

Pros of VDI

The biggest benefit of a VDI deployment is control. Since everything is hosted internally, you’ll be in charge of operating system configurations and maintenance.

For many businesses, this control brings peace of mind that the computing environment is being managed correctly. Plus, it also allows for more granular customization of your virtualization options compared to what DaaS typically provides.

Depending on how mature your IT security strategy is, VDI can also be safer, as nothing is hosted offsite or in cloud servers. As a result, you will retain complete control of your data and IT environment.

Cons of VDI

The inherent control of VDI solutions can be a double-edged sword. Your IT teams will be responsible for managing and updating your server hardware, software, and security systems without the help of a third-party. In addition, there is significant hardware investment required.  Typically this investment is not warranted at small companies.  New server hardware investments are increasingly rare at even larger firms.

If you don’t manage these configurations correctly, it can produce system vulnerabilities that may lead to data breaches.

There’s also scalability to consider. You may find that your VDI needs grow alongside your company. This requires you to invest further hardware upgrades to support your data center computing requirements.

These upgrades can be costly and time-consuming; for some companies, extensive VDI environments reduce their business’s technical flexibility.

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Pros and Cons of DaaS

Pros of DaaS

The primary benefit of DaaS over VDI is flexibility. DaaS solutions eliminate the need for on-site IT infrastructure or thin clients servers, instead letting your DaaS provider handle the details in a cloud hosted environment.

This means that managed desktops can be scaled up or down as needed while also freeing up your IT assets for other tasks. Like most cloud-managed systems, DaaS provides freedom and mobility for businesses who’d prefer not to invest resources in managing in-house virtualization services.

While some business owners enjoy on-site control, others prefer to let an experienced service provider handle the IT details and focus their energies on marketing, sales, and business development.

Cons of DaaS

The DaaS arrangement relies on trust. Companies put their virtualization workflows in the hands of a service provider who may or may not have their IT infrastructure set up in an optimal way.

This can lead to efficiency problems, or worse yet, data security issues from poorly-managed security. DaaS also relies on a stable internet connection to function.

Additionally, DaaS requires software licensing for specific applications you may need to use. This can get complicated, as different vendors (like Microsoft) require different licenses for application suites.

Choosing Between DaaS vs. VDI

Both DaaS and VDI are viable ways to bring virtual application and desktop services to your company. But the difference between DaaS and VDI solutions will make one option more suitable for your business than the other.

It helps to get familiar with both VDI and DaaS to understand how each option affects your desktop environments, business continuity, and the user experience overall.

If you need help choosing the right hosted desktops for your business’s needs, contact Power Consulting. We’ll help you select a solution and walk you through the implementation steps to ensure your integration goes off without a hitch.