Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS) are similar in certain ways but very different in others. As the name suggests, VDI involves virtualizing the desktop and giving the user a dedicated desktop environment. On the other hand, DaaS involves using a cloud-based desktop environment and providing shared resources.
VDI technology lets you deliver desktops via virtual machines (VMs) hosted on-premises or in the cloud. These desktops are managed from a central server and deployed to user clients.
As VDI is self-managed, your company’s IT department is responsible for managing hardware maintenance, upgrades, software updates, and general upkeep. Latency is minimal as the IT department has complete control, and work gets done even without internet connectivity.
DaaS is similar to VDI but is provided as a managed service from cloud vendors. Virtual desktops are hosted on managed cloud infrastructure in DaaS services and are remotely delivered to user clients. These services can be combined with the cloud providers’ other services and are billed on a subscription basis. In contrast to VDI, third-party service providers manage DaaS integration for corporations remotely on a subscription basis, including deployment and ongoing maintenance.
The differences between these two ways of working can be significant, and it is up to businesses to assess their needs properly before choosing a solution. Here, we will compare VDI and DaaS and see what benefits each one has.
VDI vs. DaaS: Key Differentiators
On the surface, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and desktop as a service (DaaS) may seem similar as they allow access to virtual desktop infrastructure and eliminate the need of individual software installation and maintenance on multiple devices. But there are striking differences in how work gets done while using VDI vs. DaaS.
Below is a comparison of these two options explaining the differences.
VDI deployments are designed to be a closed, single-tenant environment with all resources dedicated specifically to one role or user. It ensures that other users wouldn’t affect your deployment with their resource demands by giving you control over the configuration and distribution of your VMs, desktops, or applications.
Daas, however, works on a multi-tenant model. Your services are hosted on servers or in data centers shared with other organizations. The services are isolated and only available to that organization, but the resources are dynamically shared. This means other clients’ resource use or security can affect your own if services are compromised.
Cost Allocation and Benefits
VDI for enterprise deployment requires a significant amount of capital expenditure. Setting up servers or a data center to host and support virtual desktop infrastructure can cost a lot upfront. However, once the hardware is purchased and configured, organizations can begin paying down technical debt and not worry about ongoing subscription costs. This is a cheaper model for enterprise-grade organizations with predictable growth and resource requirements.
For DaaS, however, a recurring, subscription-based cost model makes it easier to scale operations dynamically and ensures that you are only paying for the resources you are actively using. For small to medium organizations with fluctuating requirements or those anticipating sharp growth, DaaS options may be cheaper.
Control and Management
If virtual desktops are deployed on-premises, you are responsible for all installation, maintenance, and management. This means maintaining and housing hardware in addition to the virtual machines. Depending on your host provider, they may choose to manage infrastructure for you if deployments are hosted on an off-site private cloud.
On the contrary, with DaaS deployments, you are not responsible for maintenance or management of the infrastructure done by the DaaS provider. The DaaS vendor handles hardware monitoring, upgrades, availability, and troubleshooting and gives you access to technical support from your provider.
Which is right for your business? VDI or DaaS?
While determining which infrastructure model to adopt is a daunting challenge, virtual desktops (VDI) or DaaS may be more appropriate depending on your organizational characteristics and needs. For example, if your organization is at the growth stage, with expanding workforce, mergers and acquisitions, 24*7 service availability, and if you want to have predictable IT expenses, DaaS may be the strategic choice for your business.
There are no one-size fits all solution for virtual desktop infrastructure. However, solutions like Wipro Virtuadesk enable organizations to deploy hybrid-cloud environments, bringing together on-premises deployments alongside public cloud hosting to meet business needs.