Understanding the Basics of Hosted Desktops: VDI and DaaS

By CRA | March 08, 2016 | 0

Many organizations, small to large, have been faced with similar challenges relating to technology. Whether you are a business or IT executive, you have been tasked with increasing scalability and mobility while maintaining security and compliance, all for a cost that doesn’t break your budget. If you are like most organizations, the growing trend of BYOD has not made this easy.

Luckily, there are solutions that touch on these areas. Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions have evolved and become integral aspects of enterprise IT. The goal of a VDI or DaaS solution is not to just deliver a virtual desktop to end users. However, it is to deliver a set of applications and services to end users, which are accessible from any device.

Many businesses implement these solutions to solve the wrong problems, in turn, costing the business more than expected. This blog post will touch on what VDI and DaaS are as well as some scenarios in which businesses can successfully leverage these technologies.

VDI and DaaS 101-Understanding the basics of Hosted Networks: VDI and DaaS

Let’s start with the basics, by definition, VDI and DaaS consist of the same blueprint; the process of hosting a “desktop” within a Virtual Machine (VM) located on a centralized server or servers. VMs are provisioned and imaged for each user. Applications are published and stored in a centralized location. All of this is done through the backend server environment. Unlike traditional desktop computing, end users access these resources via the internet and all the end users resources are located and stored on the centralized server(s).

Since all of the end users’ resources are no longer stored locally, businesses no longer need to provide users with expensive desktops or laptops, instead, they can implement thin clients, saving businesses hundreds, if not thousands on each user’s computer a year.

VDI and DaaS also benefit businesses who are adopting the BYOD trend. Business and IT executives do not have to worry about an employee downloading confidential files or running business critical applications locally. Instead, all of the business’s resources are stored on the centralized server(s).

Now, let’s talk more specific.  At its heart, DaaS operates the same as any other cloud-based service offering: a third-party service provider builds out and maintains the hardware and software infrastructure for the service and charges a pre-determined and usually fixed fee for clients to purchase that service. In this case, the service consists of a complete hosted desktop, which employees can access over the Internet.

One reason why a business would implement DaaS over VDI would be to reduce their CapEx spending on infrastructure. Many businesses with an aging server environment would implement DaaS because it provides you with the resources needed through a hosted platform, saving you thousands on new infrastructure cost. Furthermore, if a business is growing rapidly, DaaS would provide you the ability to provision new desktop in minutes, without having to purchase new hardware.

VDI operates similarly, but typically over internal networks or Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections. The centralized server environment is normally located at the business’s headquarters or in a private datacenter. VDI functions in a similar way to DaaS but with more control and security.

Many businesses choose to implement VDI when security and control are top priorities. For example, if your business has a lot of confidential information, one may feel more comfortable knowing this information is storage in a dedicated and private date center. Likewise, if a business has many legacy applications that may not integrate with the new operating systems DaaS would offer, VDI may be a safer route.

Utilizing the right provider, DaaS can offer better scalability, more predictable cost models, and greater accessibility for more remote staff. On the other hand, VDI solutions allow businesses to better oversee security precautions and maintain control over corporate data. VDI allows more customization to the individual desktops and may be necessary for deployment of certain specialized industry software that a DaaS provider might not support.

Again, the goal of a VDI or DaaS solution is to provide end users with a set of applications and resources, via the internet or VPN, with the ability to access from any device. Mobility, control, and reduced administrative overhead are only a few of the benefits these solutions offer to businesses.

What does my business need?

Every business is different and their needs and requirements vary. VDI may be best for some while DaaS for others. Alternatively, neither may be a potential solution for your business. Stay tuned to our follow-up blog post that will dive deeper into the differences between VDI and DaaS as well as further elaborate on when a business should implement one over the other.

CRA has developed a solution that integrates the best of both VDI and DaaS. ConnectManage360 was created based on CRA’s 25 years’ experience helping support and managed clients’ technology. Taking into account the needs and requirements of their clients, CRA has created a service offering that makes their life easier. Connect offers simplified management, scalability, and enhanced data security with minimum administrative maintenance.

Don’t feel like waiting until we post the next blog? Download our white paper to instantly learn more or reach out to one of our experts by email at [email protected] or phone 212-376-4040.

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