VDI vs DaaS: The Key Differences, and How to Choose - UC Today

VDI vs DaaS: What’s the difference?

VDI vs DaaS: Is there a difference between the two virtualization solutions? Cloud Solutions Company

VDI vs DaaS: The Key Differences, and How to Choose - UC Today

At a glance  Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) seem pretty similar. Both are ideally suited for hybrid and remote work, allowing users to access virtual desktops and apps from anywhere. They also give companies decent flexibility and control when empowering employees.

However, while VDI and DaaS have some similarities, there are also some major differences. Primarily, the difference is how you manage, access, and pay for your service.

Understanding the core differences between VDI and DaaS is the key to investing in the right technology for your flexible workforce.

Fortunately, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know.

We first need to define both concepts to understand the difference between VDI vs DaaS. VDI, or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, is a solution that allows desktop operating systems to be hosted on the cloud, on-premises, or in a mix of both environments.

With VDI, users can access and remotely interact with virtual desktops and apps from anywhere, on any device. That’s crucial if you have a team of distributed remote, hybrid, and field workers who all need access to the same technology.

One of the defining characteristics of VDI is it’s a self-managed solution. That means your company’s IT department will be responsible for managing upgrades, software updates, maintenance, etc.

There are many excellent examples of VDI solutions today, such as VMWare Horizon, IBM Cloud, and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.

When it comes to VDI vs DaaS, it’s worth noting both options have their pros and cons to consider. The right option for you all depends on the needs of your business. VDI offers companies much control, excellent security, and fantastic customization, but it can be expensive and complex.

There are a few common scenarios where deploying Virtual Desktop Infrastructure makes the most sense. For instance, if you’re building a hybrid/remote work strategy, VDI makes it easy to deploy and update desktops from a centralized location, with complete control over user experience.

VDI is also an excellent solution for environments allowing contractors or employees to use their devices. If you offer a BYOD option to staff members, VDI is a perfect tool. Computer processing is done on a centralized server, allowing for the use of various devices, such as tablets, smartphones, and thin clients. Since data lives on the server, it also helps to mitigate risk.

Additionally, non-persistent VDI, a stateless virtual machine image, is great for organizations like call centers, where employees are involved in task and shift work. If many employees use the same software to perform specific tasks, VDI could be great for your needs.

DaaS, or Desktop as a Service, is essentially a version of “VDI,” which takes some of the strain off you and your team. DaaS is unique because it allows you to pass the management of your virtual infrastructure off to another company.

Desktop as a Service vendors host virtual desktops in the cloud, allowing users to access applications and tools from any location or device. There are various DaaS services, from fully managed options to vendor-assembled solutions, giving users more control.

According to Gartner, the DaaS space will grow to a value of $4.6 billion by 2027, and up to 80% of companies will be using vendor-assembled or vendor-managed platforms by this time.

DaaS’s most significant differentiating feature is that you don’t manage everything yourself. The technology is hosted on the cloud (not your servers). Common options available on the market today include Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop, Amazon Workspaces, and Alibaba Cloud.

Just like VDI, DaaS has its pros and cons to consider. In the battle of VDI vs DaaS, many of the benefits of the solutions may be similar. After all, both tools allow your employees to access technology and applications anywhere, empowering hybrid and remote work.

However, there are some distinctive benefits and disadvantages of DaaS worth noting, too.

When assessing the use cases for VDI vs DaaS, many opportunities for both tools are similar. Like with VDI, you can enable hybrid and remote work with DaaS. Plus, you can create non-persistent DaaS solutions for shift workers.

However, DaaS is likely better if you focus on specific key goals. For instance, if you’re building a global team, DaaS makes it easy to deliver resources to your employees wherever they are. It’s ideal for organizations expanding into new regions who don’t want to set up new servers and resources worldwide.

DaaS is also a better solution if you have limited IT resources. Managed services make it easy to deliver virtual desktops to your employees without technical expertise. You don’t need to manage and create your servers or invest in a huge IT budget. Plus, DaaS can adapt rapidly to changes in business requirements.

Ultimately, the confusion in the VDI vs DaaS debate comes from both solutions offering similar benefits and opportunities. The biggest difference between the options is how they’re delivered, managed, and priced.

Here are the top differences to be aware of when making your choice:

VDI costs a lot more to implement upfront. Setting up servers and data centers to host and support your virtual desktops is expensive. Paying for expertise and maintenance can be costly, too.

However, VDI can be more cost-effective long-term if you already have the right IT resources. DaaS uses a subscription model, which means you get predictable pricing, but you also need to pay for your services on a consistent, monthly basis.

If you have your own IT resources and the skills to set up a data center, VDI may be the cheaper solution. If you’re looking for low upfront costs, DaaS is the answer.

On-premises VDI solutions can be tailored precisely to an organization’s needs. However, they’re usually deployed according to the company’s current requirements. If your business is constantly changing or evolving, you might need the agility DaaS can offer.

VDI can slow your business down if your servers can’t support the scaling size of your workforce or transition with you into new locations. Alternatively, DaaS is highly flexible. Service providers the resources, infrastructure, and integrations you need to scale at will.

The only downside is that if you choose a fully vendor-built and managed solution, you might not be able to customize your DaaS service as much as a VDI solution.

With VDI, your IT team has complete control over everything, from which servers and hardware you use to which security systems you implement. You manage everything from everyday maintenance to network performance, hardware, and software updates.

This gives you a lot of control if you’re operating in an environment with stringent compliance regulations. It also means you have a lot of opportunities to customize your ecosystem. However, you will have to handle most of the technical work yourself. This can be difficult if you don’t have a large, dedicated IT team available.

DaaS offloads maintenance and management to an external company. This means you don’t have to handle updates and upgrades yourself. However, you do still get some control. You can configure your DaaS to suit your needs and manage everything from a cloud-based server.

However, unless you choose a specific DaaS solution designed for customization, you might have fewer opportunities to adapt your solution to your needs.

VDI deployment is typically based on a single-tenant model. This means the resources you access are dedicated to you and not shared with anyone else. You don’t share servers with other organizations, so there’s no risk of interference or interruptions caused by other companies.

However, this also means your resources disappear if your servers or data centers falter. If you encounter an unexpected disruption or power outage, you’ll be left without your virtual desktops. On the other hand, with DaaS, many services are multi-tenant.

This means you share resources with other organizations, which could lead to unexpected disruptions. However, many vendors do offer advanced options to reduce downtime.

As the future of work continues to evolve, the battle of VDI vs DaaS is becoming more relevant to business leaders everywhere. Virtually every company needs a way to deliver agility and mobility to its employees. Even if you don’t have a hybrid or remote team, you may still need field workers to have access to the same resources as in-office staff.

If your organization can handle the resources and costs associated with deploying and maintaining your own Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, VDI has some great benefits. It’s secure, customizable, and offers fantastic reliability.

However, if you’re looking for something more agile that can grow with your business and you have limited access to IT expertise, DaaS may be the better solution. DaaS allows you to empower your employees wherever they are without the initial investment of a VDI solution.

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VDI vs DaaS: The Key Differences, and How to Choose - UC Today

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