Jan 30 2020

VDI vs. DaaS: Which Is Best for Your State or Local Agency?

The two methods of virtualization have clear differences; understanding them can guide a decision for IT leaders.

Agencies turn to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solutions to ease the management of end-user devices. They both achieve the same goal: delivering desktops via a cloud model. However, there are some stark differences between the two. Here are five questions regarding VDI and DaaS.

What Is the Primary Difference Between VDI and DaaS?

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 STATETECH: Discover the benefits of hybrid IT for agencies. 

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 STATETECH: Find out about the cloud certifications state and local government employees need. 

What Are Cost Differences 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.

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