You might have seen these two terms on the internet- VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) and DaaS (Desktop as a Service), being used almost interchangeably. If you are not familiar with virtual desktop deployment methods, these may be confusing to grasp at first. This is why we created a list of parameters by which we assess the overall performance of these systems in the context of business and IT planning.

Having said that, we created this article as a helpful reference from an organizational perspective, in terms of which solution would suit your company better. The Individual end user cares very little about the individual specifications of these deployments, unless they are not the IT staff maintaining the system. Non-IT users’ main consideration is in fact the availability of the tools and applications, provided with the service, so that they can do their tasks quickly and efficiently.

Common Grounds

VDI and DaaS are both desktop virtualization deployments that can be accessed remotely from any physical device of the user. Another common thing between them is the great scalability of the service they provide, allowing companies to be flexible with adding new workstations to their employees.

Differences

Architecture

When it comes to VDI, the server setup can be hosted either on-premises or in the cloud. The actual virtualization of desktops is using one or more servers which are managed fully by the IT department of the company internally. This means that there is a EUC (end-user computing) team which takes care of everything-from the design of the hardware platform, to running its operation round the clock. This is a complex task consisting of far too many sub-tasks that a lot of IT departments can’t handle effectively- without the proper expertise. With DaaS, your virtual desktops will be hosted on a cloud that is managed by a third-party vendor and provided to you as a subscription-based service. This is a revolutionary advancement in the sense that you will experience no issues with staffing, high capital costs for hosting your own infrastructure etc., as it’s all being outsourced to you..

Cost

Since we mentioned cost, it’s probably a good idea to carry on that front, since this is of major consideration to most businesses. If you wish to deploy virtual desktops for your staff by hosting your own servers, you might need a substantial upfront investment to make. Upgrading your servers can also add a lot to your capital costs as well as the general maintenance expenses required by keeping experienced IT staff on-premises. As to DaaS, there are no capital expenditures involved, which means that even small and mid-sized companies can afford to join the cloud and use the benefits of cloud desktop services. Migration to the managed cloud server happens much faster and without costly commitments for your company.

Geography

The third main consideration by most enterprises that are looking to use a virtual desktop service is the ‘remoteness’ of their data. This is actually of primary importance since most companies that are making use of cloud desktop service may want to provide the environment to their end-users in many different regions, rather than a single centralized company location. In that case, VDI is certainly not an option for you. With an on-premises infrastructure you need your deployment to be in a close proximity to the locations that it will support. Having an end-user which is far away from your data center means that they will experience low latency and poor performance of their desktop service. DaaS solves this problem by giving you a managed service which is provided from a datacenter closest to the location of your end-users. IT-Fabrik provisions your cloud desktops from a large number of data centers which you can choose from, based on the location convenience.

Flexibility

Last but not least, we must mention the elasticity and the agility of your service when it comes to virtual desktops. The main point here is that DaaS is far more advanced in terms of greater flexibility when accommodating workers on a short-term basis. By having an outsourced service you have no sunk costs from expanding on your infrastructure to accommodate more seats and higher operation, like you do with VDI. Desktop as a Service makes it easier for companies by allowing them to add and remove seats for new users when they need by paying only when they are utilizing them. DaaS is a lot easier and faster to provision, as it takes a very short space of time to migrate to the cloud of your provider (specific to the provider).

As a conclusion, we can say that both VDI and DaaS are highly scalable and efficient solutions but DaaS is certainly outstripping its competitor for many reasons. The cost is a major factor as well as the better flexibility of the service overall. Small and mid-sized companies could never before afford to deploy fast and efficient desktop service to their employees at remote locations. Now this is all possible thanks to the great advancement of cloud computing and DaaS.