End users are frequently confused between the terms Desktop Virtualisation and Desktop as a Service (hosted desktop) as they appear to offer the same solution, however they are slightly different.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure(VDI) is the data centre technology that supplies the hosted desktop images to remote users. It is the most popular method of desktop virtualisation. It makes running another operating system easy and more efficient than dual booting for the operator. Virtual machines are also much easier to rebuild should something go wrong. Reimaging a physical system might take several hours, whereas creating a new virtual machine can take a matter of minutes.
Virtual desktop infrastructure tends to be an on-premise solution which helps to reduce desktop IT costs, increase security and control whilst expanding connectivity. With this solution, your desktops are hosted in your own on-site server room or data centre and can be accessed from any device, anywhere. This solution has to be managed, maintained and deployed by your in-house team of IT specialists or outsourced if you use an external IT company. As well as having to cover the cost of this support, VDI requires you to have your own hardware, so this can soon become an expensive solution, especially if hardware fails or there are any software issues that all have to be handled in-house.
In contrast, whilst Desktop as a Service (DaaS) provides the same benefits as on-premise desktop virtualisation, the services are provided from an offsite cloud-based data centre. It is an economical, pay-per-user approach that provides desktops and reduces the day-to-day IT management for the end users.
The provision and on-going maintenance of all data-centre hardware is the responsibility of your DaaS provider, thus eliminating any investment in hardware required by you the customer. Everything you need is included in the price-per-user that you pay each month, making DaaS an attractive solution, especially for business startups and small businesseswho may not have the funds or expertise to support an on-premise solution. The cloud-based data centre servers and hardware used by DaaS providers are typically highly powerful and more advanced than any on-site solutions, giving you a faster, more accessible and efficient service for less.
To learn more about virtual desktop and how they compare to physical desktop please see our guide.
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