You’ve decided you want to introduce hosted desktops into your firm. And it’s a smart assessment, with a plethora of benefits including increased flexibility, scalability, productivity, efficiency and resilience. In fact with so much to offer, it’s no wonder that many professional service firms are looking to make the switch if they haven’t done so already.
However, deciding to deploy hosted desktops across your business is the easy bit. Once the resolution is made, you then have to think about what kind of hosted desktop set up you want. So, what are your options?
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
With VDI, users access their personalised desktops – including all their data and applications – from anywhere with an internet connection. Users can do this via a traditional PC, thin client or even a mobile device. To work, your IT team loads and manages a server, hosted in a datacentre, with virtualisation software.
There are two main types of VDI:
- Each user creates their own desktop setup which can be customised and saved for future use (just like a physical desktop).
- Non-persistent. Homogeneous desktops which revert to their original state each time the user logs out.
What are the benefits of VDI?
There are many potential benefits to VDI depending on the setup deployed. For example, IT departments might be able to buy cheaper less powerful devices or even prolong the lifespan of older PCs by repurposing them as VDI clients. There are also security benefits to VDI as, should a laptop get lost or stolen, data remains secure as there is nothing held on the actual machine.
However, there are also some downsides to VDI. Primarily, it can be costly to manage, as, despite delivering hardware savings, firms could see their IT infrastructure expenses increase; particularly when it comes to storage. And, as you are responsible for managing your hardware, software, licensing, and deployment in-house, you will have to devote valuable time and resource to keep everything working as it should.
VDI also relies on network connectivity with a weak connection hampering performance. And of course, this also prohibits more flexible, mobile working practices.
Scalability can also be complex as you have to manage capacity needs, and balance these against any increase in costs. But, before you decide to give up on the hosted desktop completely, VDI is not the only option you have.
Desktop as a Service (DaaS)
With DaaS, your data, OS, and applications are hosted in the cloud and managed by a service provider. So, you pay a subscription to your vendor, and they make sure everything works.
What are the benefits of DaaS?
DaaS doesn’t require any large-scale infrastructure investment, so you’ll benefit from decreased up-front costs compared to VDI. Your firm simply pays for the software it uses on a month-to-month basis, without any long-term commitment. What’s more, as your cloud supplier is looking after everything for you, you can save on ongoing maintenance costs, and you don’t have to worry about employing any in-house VDI expertise.
With DaaS, you only ever pay for what you need, with the ability to scale up, or down, on demand. Setting up new accounts for new staff and ordering more storage space or applications can also be done in a matter of minutes. And, your employees get access to everything they need, whenever they need it, on any device; regardless of where they are. This supports more flexible working practices and leads to increased productivity. With a quality managed desktop service you’ll also benefit from best-in-class backup and recovery processes. So you can be sure that your data is recoverable should something go wrong.
Crucially, with robust cloud encryption now available, storing data in the cloud can be safer than storing it onsite. So it’s no wonder that the DaaS model is extremely, and increasingly appealing.
At Cloud Geeni, we’ll work with you to advise on, and devise the right hosted desktop solution for you. We can also advise you on a hybrid approach which combines VDI and DaaS technology. To see how our excellent hosted desktop solutions work in practice, request a demo today.