VDI or DaaS: Which Desktop Solution Is Best for Your Agency?

The two methods of virtualization have stark differences; understanding them can guide a decision.

Because many organizations want to make it easier to manage end-user devices, interest in ­virtual desktop infrastructure and Desktop as a Service solutions has grown. Both deliver ­desktops through the cloud, with differences. Here are five questions regarding VDI and DaaS.

How Are VDI and DaaS Different?

VDI involves deploying a server in the data center, loading VDI software and pointing end-user machines to it. The IT team manages all infrastructure components. With DaaS, infrastructure is off-premises, managed by a third-party cloud service provider.

MORE FROM FEDTECH: Find out how SBA, CBP, USTDA turn to the cloud to keep work flowing.

What Are the Best Use Cases for VDI and DaaS?

VDI works for offices that want virtual desktops, high levels of security or flexibility and centralized control and management. DaaS is suited for desktops that must be replaced quickly; it’s good for temporary or seasonal workers because it can be rapidly configured from the cloud.

How Do VDI and DaaS Each Handle Software Licensing?

With VDI, software is purchased outright or through a subscription. DaaS is based on per-user, per-month or usage-based pricing.

MORE FROM FEDTECH: Follow the 5 R’s of rationalization for an effective cloud migration.

What Are the Differences in Cost Between VDI and DaaS?

VDI is more expensive up front. Infrastructure and licenses must be purchased, but ongoing costs are low. DaaS has low upfront costs, but monthly costs can be high. DaaS will be cheaper at first, but VDI’s ownership cost is lower; the agency owns the technology. 

Are There Situations for Which VDI and DaaS Should Not Be Used?

VDI should not be used in highly dynamic environments where the number of users can change rapidly. DaaS should not be used when hands-on security is a concern, as the third-party cloud provider protects data and transmission.

Jay Yuno/Getty Images
Nov 12 2019

Sponsors