VDI vs. DaaS: Which One is Better for You?

VDI is a technology that allows you to integrate a cloud desktop framework of any operating system with the help of virtual machines within your infrastructure. DaaS is the same; the only major difference is that DaaS is a managed service offering the same capabilities. However, the differences are more comprehensive than managed solutions; there’s a lot that can be achieved using DaaS that VDI cannot provide.   

Businesses need help finding a service that can equip them to meet corporate needs and deliver remote access to end-users anywhere and anytime. Cloud solutions such as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS) can support remote working in the long run. Which solution works for them? 

In this following blog, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both VDI and DaaS. We’ll also examine the differences between VDI and DaaS concerning security, performance, architecture, deployment, and pricing. By the end of this, we expect that we have cleared every doubt within your mind so that you can make an easy selection.   

VDI vs DaaSSo, let’s dive into the blog to find out what these both are and how they are viable for your business.  

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Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Explained 

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, or VDI, is a technology that hosts multiple virtual desktops on a central server. In simple terms, virtual desktop software is installed on virtual machines and is delivered to end-users via a network. It is a conventional way of setting up servers in a local data center and offering virtual desktops to employees internally.  

VDI is a centralized form of desktop virtualization. It means that the IT department has complete control over licensing and setup.  

VDI: Pros and Cons  

The VDI market has been seeing exponential growth for the last two years, reaching $10,154 million in 2023 with a CAGR of 16.5%. VDI is the most suitable solution for many firms, as it lets the company control security. VDI keeps the data secure within the firm’s network with minimal latency.  

However, on-premises VDI gets expensive and heavy to deploy. It requires a dedicated IT team to have hands-on experience to address contingencies.  

VDI Pros 

  • Easy Setup: Pooled desktop setup allows multiple users within a single organization to work, saving IT implementation time and cost on setup. 
  • Long-Term Saving: VDI acts as a cost-saving factor as there will be a less on-demand requirement for procuring end-point devices. 
  • Dedicated resources: Since the VDI infrastructure is hosted on a Virtual Machine rather than on a shared server, the resources are dedicated to you only. 
  • Data Security: Handling confidential and critical data with the help of centralized management internally 

Cons of VDI 

  • Expensive initial expenses: Implementing VDI involves buying new server hardware and setting up a data center, which can be costly. Furthermore, VDI entails ongoing expenses for upkeep, improvement, and modification as your company’s requirements evolve. 
  • Robust IT infrastructure required: Since VDI is managed internally, all aspects, such as hardware, security updates, operating systems, and related software, must be managed internally, which necessitates ongoing maintenance and support. 

Also Read: VDI Requirements & Components 

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) Explained 

Desktop-as-a-Service, or DaaS, is a virtual desktop technology delivered by a third-party cloud service provider. In layman’s terms, a business hosts virtual desktops and applications on the cloud, and third-party cloud service providers handle all the deployment hassles.  

DaaS: Pros and Cons 

Desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) is a cloud VDI solution that delivers a multi-user experience to the organization. DaaS supports a hybrid workplace with virtual apps on-premises or in public clouds. It offers better scalability and eliminates the need to deploy in-house VDI infrastructure servers.   

Pros of DaaS 

  • Cost efficiency: DaaS eliminates the need for expensive in-house hardware and infrastructure, as the service provider manages and maintains the data storage and processing. 
  • Scalability: DaaS allows for easy data storage and processing power scaling as needed without additional in-house resources. 
  • Accessibility: DaaS enables remote access to data and applications, allowing for flexible and convenient collaboration among team members. 
  • Security: DaaS providers typically have advanced security measures, such as regular backups and data encryption, to protect against data loss and breaches. 
  • Maintenance: DaaS eliminates the need for in-house IT staff to maintain and upgrade data storage and processing systems, allowing for cost savings and increased efficiency. 
  • Flexibility: DaaS allows for a pay-as-you-go model, which enables businesses to only pay for the data storage and processing resources they use. 

Cons of DaaS 

  • Limited control: With DaaS, businesses have less control over the data storage and processing systems, as the service provider manages them. 
  • Recurring Costs: DaaS providers may offer limited customization options for data storage and processing, which can be a limitation for businesses with specific needs. 
  • Limited Data Accessibility: Businesses may face limitations in data accessibility and ownership, as they may not have full control over the data and may not be able to export the data out of the DaaS platform. 

VDI vs DaaS: Top 7 Differences 

VDI vs DaaS differencesSingle-Tenant vs. Multi-Tenant  

VDI delivers a single-tenant model that offers an organization’s or user’s virtual resources. VDI is well suited for a business that wants extensive control over its hardware infrastructure and servers. It eliminates the burden on your IT team from deployments due to other users’ demands.  

On the other hand, DaaS is a cloud delivery model that gives an isolated space for multiple users. Various users from different industries can share the space but work differently. It means the user’s security is not compromised as each user works in a separate cloud space. 


The underlying cost of any virtual infrastructure makes a big difference when deploying any solution.  

To begin with, VDI deployment involves the installation of high-end hardware. Also, you need physical space to set up the machines. For enterprise-grade businesses, setting up VDI on-premises is easier than it is for small-medium enterprises. Capital expenses are significant when purchasing or upgrading servers and data centers.   

Coming to DaaS, the capital expenses are comparatively less. While fewer capital expenses are associated with deploying DaaS, some setup fee is still involved. The service provider handles the hardware upgrades and charges as per the subscription model, leading to low DaaS pricing 

You can deploy it in less time because of the easy configuration of the infrastructure. Also, you pay for the number of virtual desktops you use. And the rest is taken care of by the cloud provider.  

Control and Management  

With VDI deployments, your IT professionals get complete control over on-premise virtual desktops. From network performance to troubleshooting, every task is at your vigilance. However, it’s not easy for your in-house IT team as maintaining the virtual desktop infrastructure utilizes many working hours.   

Having hosted desktops or DaaS offloads the server maintenance tasks as a cloud service provider manages them. Desktop on the cloud reduces the day-to-day burden on in-house teams so they can commit to more crucial and strategic endeavors.  


Cybersecurity is critical for every business as the employees function from various locations. In-house VDI gives secure access to sensitive applications as it isolates the software. But, if the virtual machine is exposed to a security threat, it will also impact the operating system. All security measures are in your hands.  

On the other hand, the DaaS providers deploy multi-layered security like multi-factor authentication, data encryption, and intrusion for the hosted VDI solution. It keeps your corporate information secure with privacy regulations, including files, data, applications, and credentials.  

Suggested Reading: VDI Security  

Business Continuity  

Enterprises have strived hard to implement business continuity during the COVID crisis. From ensuring security to backing up data is vital to achieving business continuity. With VDI, you need to employ a dedicated team and deploy backup servers. Moreover, the team will have to identify risks and methods to mitigate them.  

A portion of disaster recovery gets solved with cloud VDI. The desktop provider backups up the data to ensure no hassle in business processes when disaster hits. Moreover, they back up the data on redundant servers to ensure swift recovery for mid-level to enterprise firms.  

Flexibility and Scalability  

As remote working evolves, so do the technology needs. While deploying VDI for the long run, the company has to look forward to the flexibility of having it for ‘work from home’ employees.  

VDI setup includes maintenance, device up-gradation, IT team hiring, and increasing costs. No wonder VDI makes you a person in control, but it can also slow business down if you have fewer workers or cannot secure your servers. Also, increasing or decreasing the number of desktops used per the business needs is challenging.   

DaaS is an efficient business model for companies fluctuating and anticipating sharp growth. Since the cloud service provider is deploying it, a growing business can focus more on supporting its workforce remotely. With a DaaS pay-as-you-go model, firms can scale their investment as per the resources they use. Cloud-hosted desktop solutions are tailored to meet every firm’s dynamic needs. It makes DaaS a scalable model for constantly changing or evolving organizations.  

Use Cases of VDI and DaaS solutions 

Virtual technology is like a coin; DaaS and VDI are its two faces. But they have some typical use cases like remote working, BYOD, and mobility in work. Other than this, let’s look at the difference in practical use cases of both. 

Running High Graphic Intensive Apps  

Running a graphical application in VDI could be more complex as it requires high-end hardware in your office premises. So, it can be time-consuming to manage the complexities of creating virtual desktops.   

If you are a small or medium-sized company, you can save considerably with DaaS as the virtual desktops have built-in design or development apps per your subscription model. And that means you can spend less of the funding on hardware.  

Scaling Temporary Workers  

In companies, many employees work on a contractual or freelance basis. So, that requires time and funds to provide the resources with up-to-date software.   

If you are a large enterprise, you may have the resources to manage the deployment time without worrying about costs. But a medium enterprise may only bear the cost of some time deployment. In this case, DaaS providers help you with flexible pricing plans.  

Running business optimally  

With on-premise VDI, serving the workforce with the designated tools and apps may become challenging. Suppose a new team member joins; you must go through a lengthy deployment process. DaaS allows you to have the utmost resource optimization. You can provide your employees with only those required resources, saving your business expense.  

Contractors or Partners Access  

With VDI, your IT team creates secure access for partners or contractors to work virtually. If you don’t have a full-time support team, you might face issues resolving users’ problems.  

DaaS solves this problem by offering continuous support for all user queries. Hence, your contractors or partners get constant accessibility to virtual desktops. For instance, you can get round-the-clock support even on holidays without additional charges with ACE.  

Recommend Reading: Top Use Cases of Desktop as a Service or DaaS  

Which one to choose: Desktop as a Service vs. VDI   

Since you know the differences between VDI and DaaS, making an excellent choice is more accessible. Which factor helps you make the best choice for your remote business model?  

We suggest you go for DaaS if you want a cost-effective solution that offers a great user experience working remotely or in an office.  

However, if you wish to have underlying control over your resources and have a workforce to operate a VDI on-premise, you can go for it.  

Now you can address the challenge of handling complex infrastructure by adopting our DaaS subscription model. Our Citrix Managed Desktop helps organizations meet the challenges of 2022 by building a digital workplace.   

If you wonder how DaaS solves your problems, contact our experts. Our team is always there to guide you in making the best decision and delivering fully managed desktop solutions. 


About Julie Watson

Julie is a dynamic professional with over 16 years of rich experience as a VDI and Application Hosting expert. At Ace Cloud Hosting, she humanizes disruptive and emerging remote working trends to help leaders discover new and better possibilities for digital transformation and innovation by using cloud solutions with an enterprise-class security approach. Beyond work, Julie is a passionate surfer.
On the weekend, you will find her hanging out with her family or surfing around the North Shore of Oahu.

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