Hosted vs Virtual Desktops: The Key Differences in Remote Desktops

Cloud computing has created a wide range of new business solutions. Understanding the differences between similar-sounding solutions can be confusing at best, and remote desktops are particularly complex. This article will outline the key differences, pros and cons between hosted desktops (Desktops as a Service, DaaS) and virtual desktops (Virtual Desktop Infrastructures, VDIs). Understanding these differences is crucial in making the best decisions for your business.

Hosted Desktops – DaaS

Hosted desktops allow for cloud-hosting of company computers. With DaaS, your company’s desktop computers are not connected to in-house servers. Your DaaS provider is responsible for providing network management, load balancing and resource provisioning.

A third-party data centre is responsible for hosting your company’s desktops. Your staff are thus able to access their desktops, applications and data from any location. With the correct setup, hosted desktops can stream to almost any other device.

Virtual Desktops – VDIs

Virtual desktops and hosted desktops offer similar functionalities. The fundamental difference is the solution’s setup. VDIs are managed in-house and not by a third-party (external) solution provider.

Virtual desktops are the same as hosted desktops in that your staff can access their data, applications and desktops from any location.

While virtual and hosted desktops may sound very similar, important distinctions make each solution suitable for different companies’ requirements. Deciding which one you need is a matter of comparing the pros and cons of each to your company’s requirements and available resources.

Pros and Cons

The greatest benefit of utilising a virtual desktop infrastructure is control. Since a VDI is set up and managed by an in-house department, businesses retain total control over their IT solution. This level of control is vital within industries like finance or law.

The drawback to an in-house solution is the increased workload on your company’s IT department. Additionally, third-party providers can provide extra benefits in terms of security.

The setup of virtual desktops is both expensive and time-consuming. A large initial investment is required when obtaining the hardware and software for a VDI.

Hosted desktops are the opposite in that they require very little in the way of an initial investment. These desktop solutions are usually sold as a subscription-based service, and businesses do not need to own a data-centre to utilise DaaS. This way, businesses unable to build VDI can benefit from remote desktops.

Companies that offer hosted desktop services are run by experienced professionals with cutting-edge hardware. Businesses that pay for other companies to host their desktops benefit from reduced IT overheads.

Hosted desktops are usually more secure than virtual desktops. Since hosted desktops are provided by specialist companies, they utilise enterprise-grade data centres equipped with the best in physical and cybersecurity measures. Even though your business’ data is held off-site, it is much more secure since most companies cannot afford top-level security systems. Additionally, as a company’s remote desktop requirements grow, hosted desktop providers are capable of scaling the services they provide to match.

Hosted Desktops

Managed by professionalsPartial loss of control
Low initial costs
Fast implementation time
Quickly scalable
High levels of security.

Virtual Desktops

Complete controlHigh initial costs
System and staff familiarityRequires intensive management.

Remote Desktops

There are strong benefits regardless of whether your business adopts hosted or virtual desktops.

All remote desktop solutions allow your staff to work from any location. Salespeople travelling abroad, staff working from home and other employees operating outside of a normal schedule can all work just as efficiently as if they were in their usual offices. All positions within your company benefit from increased productivity.

More opportunities for remote work lead to happier workforces. At least 30% of the average workforce waste one or more hours every day, all because of issues experienced in office environments. Problems include irritating or noisy coworkers and unnecessary meetings.

The average remote worker is 13% more productive. Remote workers suffer from fewer distractions, have more productive hours and take fewer sick days.

Finally, all remote desktop solutions are good for the environment. As businesses look for more ways to reduce their carbon footprint, remote desktop environments provide reductions in energy usage and carbon emissions.

Find out more about our Nebula Hosted Desktop Solutions.

Sami Malik

Written by Sami Malik

Marketing Campaigns Manager