Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, or VDI, technology is a virtual desktop solution that hosts users’ desktops remotely. This VD model stores individual desktop configurations on a separate server either in the company’s own datacenter or one operated remotely by a third party. In this way, user desktops can be accessed from various places on various devices, without the limitations of a single, self-contained desktop computer.
The desktop’s operating system, applications and data are separated from the hardware and stored alongside others on a single server using hypervisor virtualization technology to create a number of individual “virtual machines.” Each of these retains the unique configurations of a user’s full desktop, and apps and software can be changed or updated as needed. In a local network, servers are maintained by a company’s existing IT staff or by support staff at a third-party provider.
Desktop as a Service: Desktops in the Cloud
Desktop as a Service, or DaaS, is an exclusively cloud-based version of the virtual desktop, which puts all content and functions of user desktops on remote servers that can be accessed through the Internet. For companies already using cloud services for some or all of a company’s computing needs, DaaS can be incorporated into an existing cloud structure, or it can be set up and managed separately by a dedicated DaaS provider.
Because it’s entirely cloud-based, DaaS eliminates the need for any local data centers or server management, and a variety of plans is available for customizing services to fit individual needs. DaaS offers all the general benefits, as well as the drawbacks, of cloud computing, and allows users to separately manage individual desktops for differing needs.