Desktop as a Service vs Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

January 11, 2021 | Resources

If last year showed us anything it was that employees can be cut loose from their desks. The shift in the way we work, forced upon us by the Coronavirus outbreak, has meant that companies all over the globe are now reliant on remote access for their desktop environments in order to enable their business continuity.

Desktop virtualisation is the name given to the processes that allow a business IT department to deploy a hosted operating system (OS) to remote employees. There are various different ways of deploying virtual desktops, including Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI). Both of these technologies can help companies to provide business continuity to all of their employees and they can also both be easily scaled up and down as needed.

From a user point of view, the method your company decides to go with should be based on the one that provides the employee with the same user experience they get when they are working at a physical location with a desktop.

Let’s take a closer look at both these approaches, in order to help you understand more about the differences (and similarities) between them.

What is Desktop as a Service (Daas)?

DaaS deploys an operating system from a hosted desktop to a remote device using a cloud-based back end from a third-party provider.

Some popular Daas providers are Amazon, Citrix and Microsoft – and all of these providers will handle connectivity and security – and also maintain the cloud infrastructure.

Pros and Cons of DaaS

Pros include:

  • DaaS offers companies the opportunity to tap into the capabilities of VDI while still maintaining a subscription-based pricing model
  • DaaS offers IT departments an easier method of deployment as they do not have to build any desktops in house
  • IT departments act as an administrator over accounts only, with all connectivity and other issues being handled by the DaaS provider
  • DaaS is an easily scalable service, with IT departments being able to update subscriptions quickly without having to make any changes to their on-premise infrastructure

Cons include:

  • There can be challenges around connectivity with DaaS as IT Departments have less insight into the network
  • There is also less control over security and updates

What is a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)?

When a VDI is deployed, the operating system is hosted on a central server which sends the desktop interface to the endpoint device (laptop, mobile or other) through a remote display protocol. Most VDIs require the end-user to be connected to the network to access the desktop, although there is some VDI software which offers offline capabilities.

Pros and Cons of VDI

Pros include:

  • VDIs allow employees to access the full capabilities of a desktop on a thinner machine – as most of the computing and processing happens in the back end
  • VDIs tend to be more cost-effective for large companies as IT can deploy pooled or shared virtual desktops in order to cut down on the number of desktops in the organisation overall
  • As groups of users can share virtual desktops and they can be deployed with little customisation needed, then simplified management becomes a benefit

Cons include:

  • IT departments may have to deal with more support issues with VDI as employees struggle to become more familiar with the software or have trouble with continuity
  • There tends to be a higher initial cost with VDIs as the technology is doing more of the heavy lifting than the cloud-based DaaS
  • Your company will need a robust IT department to support your VDIs as they will need to manage data traffic, deploy updates in a timely manner, as well as developing and customising the desktop environment
  • You will also need a strong network as if it is too slow, employees’ productivity could suffer

DaaS vs VDI: Which is right for you?

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both DaaS and VDI and the choice is really up to you – although VDI does come out on top when it comes to control and security. If you have the time and resources to put into a full VDI deployment, it will repay you in bundles over the coming years.

For more information about VDIs and whether it is right for you, please contact our experienced team on 0203 818 1000 or via email at info@ebb3.com

We’d love to hear what you think;

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