At first glance, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS) would seem to be two very different technologies. However, VDI and DaaS share many features and offer many of the same benefits.
The shared benefits include these:
- Improved workplace flexibility,
- Increased user mobility,
- More efficient desktop management, and
- Reductions in computing hardware needs.
In particular, DaaS facilitates the outsourcing of virtual desktops, allowing end clients to access this technology through their choice of service providers.
Differences Between VDI & DaaS
While these two technologies share many features, there are also numerous characteristics that set them apart. Businesses need to be aware of these disparities and make careful evaluations before choosing one over the other.
One of the key differences is that DaaS technologies liberate IT departments from managing and maintaining software and hardware. This is all done remotely by the service provider, who will take care of responsibilities such as these:
- Load balancing
- Software and security updates
- Network maintenance
Even though the third-party provider will take care of the vast majority of maintenance and management tasks, IT departments must still facilitate and monitor the interaction between applications and end users.
On the other hand, VDIs do require more active maintenance from internal IT departments. However, VDIs also provide more control over the storage, sharing, and accessibility of data. With DaaS, data security lies solely in the hands of the service provider, which isn’t always ideal when sensitive or proprietary information is in play.
VDI vs. DaaS: Which Is Better for Specific Applications?
Generally speaking, DaaS is a better solution for businesses and IT departments that lack direct experience with VDIs. DaaS also tends to offer a better cost-benefit proposition. It also runs more quickly because data does not have to be transmitted behind a firewall. In addition, DaaS is easier to upgrade and restore, and it can be moved more easily because virtual desktops in the cloud are not directly connected to servers inside a data center.
VDIs are recommended when data security is a top priority. Though they tend to come with higher costs, and though their performance tends to be slightly slower because of firewalls, there is no question that VDIs provide superior security. In addition, DaaS providers usually require end users to have their own user-based Windows operating system licenses, while enterprises running VDIs don’t need to deal with this added cost.
At the end of the day, it is a business’s needs and preferences that will dictate whether VDI or DaaS is the right choice for that business.