Technology is never idle - it keeps changing, and new things keep providing additional value in the market. One such technology is VDI or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. VDI is a technology that allows IT teams to create virtual desktops on local or remote servers, and has been a game-changer when it comes to enabling remote working.
You can either deploy VDI on-premise to offer employees virtual desktops or opt for Cloud Hosted Desktop (HVD) solutions. HVD is a managed service offered by cloud providers, where they create virtual desktops on their cloud server and deliver them to end-users.
VDI and HVD are both desktop virtualization platforms that enable remote working, allowing users to work on multiple personal devices like laptops, phones, tablets or external desktops. Additionally, both offer scalability of desktops to companies. But what sets them apart?
Differences between VDI and HVD
In VDI, all the desktops are created on a local remote server. Hence, you’ll be able to bring your team on a central IT network. However, as your in-house IT team manages all the IT infrastructure, desktop deployment, installation and updates, it puts an additional burden on the team to control and maintain the quality of desktops.
As a managed service, providers take care of all the work like desktop provisioning, deployment, maintenance, installation and upgrades. As providers closely monitor the virtual desktops, quality is maintained throughout. Hence, as an owner, you can concentrate on other essential aspects of the business.
In VDI, servers and storage devices are kept on your office premises. Therefore, it isn't easy to continuously monitor all by yourself when you have other things to look after on the plate. Although you can install physical security cameras, install multiple firewalls and antivirus to avoid theft and malicious activities, virtual desktops in office premises are still vulnerable to becoming victims of internal threats, cybercrimes or ransomware.
Providers keep your data under multiple security safeguards like OS patching and hardening, encryption methods for transmissions, intrusion detection and prevention for continuous monitoring against data breaches. Moreover, your data is stored in data centers with high surveillance where only authorized officials are allowed to enter the center.
VDI involves initial capital on purchasing servers, high-end desktops, LAN cabling and other infrastructure. Also, you may require more IT professionals to handle the deployment work, which may increase your spending. Moreover, continuous air conditioning for server rooms consumes more power.
As providers offer you a pay-as-you-go model, you can save huge initial investment and shift from fixed expenses to your operational expenses. You can opt for monthly or yearly subscription pricing plans according to your requirements. Here electricity expenses or on-site IT team expenses will come down considerably as providers charge for their service on a rental basis.
In case of mishaps and disasters like earthquakes or floods, your on-premise setup like servers and storage devices could be damaged, leading to loss of crucial data and capital. In VDI, it’s very challenging to continue business in times of crisis. These natural disasters may lead to complete business failure.
HVD: Providers offer you a DRaaS facility inclusive or exclusive in their plans which you can always opt for. DRaaS is Disaster Recovery as a Service in which your data is replicated in multiple data centers kept at different geographical locations. Hence, even if there are any mishaps in a particular place, you can continue your work as providers can restore data within no time.
Which one should you choose?
It always depends on your business requirement. You may choose VDI if you’re looking to have complete control on hardware, server and other infra. But obviously, it will need considerable investment. You may choose HVD if you want to save capital and don't want any IT hassles while working.
Therefore, it always depends on what you want to offer to your employees and yourself as an employer. The size of the workspace is one more factor that has to be looked at before you make a decision, too.
If you’re a large enterprise, you can afford to build your own VDI setup HVD is beneficial for all industries, but perhaps more easily leveraged by small and medium-scale businesses.