What Are the Types of Desktop Virtualization?
Regardless of the type of implementation used, virtualized desktops are functionally identical. But in the back end, differences vary across resource usage, costs and licensing considerations.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, or VDI, describes the implementation of a dedicated virtualization stack, such as VMware's ESXi or Microsoft's Windows Server Hyper-V. These platforms run on a server in an organization's data centers and manage resources and connections for virtualized systems. Known as hypervisors, these virtualization managers run "close to the metal," so any impact caused by an additional layer between the server hardware and the user software is minimized.
Remote Desktop Services (RDS)
Most IT teams are familiar with Microsoft's Remote Desktop Services, or RDS. With RDS and the Remote Desktop Protocol, organizations can enable remote access to desktop images and applications provisioned on internal servers. As opposed to an actual virtualization model, RDS is a session-based approach that allows users to access desktops via "thin" clients, effectively accomplishing the same approach. Since RDP is built into most enterprise IT solutions, using RDS as a virtualization solution reduces complexity.
Desktop-as-a-Service, or DaaS, is a cloud-based approach to virtualization. Like other cloud services, DaaS solutions are hosted on external servers that users connect to for a desktop environment. Using a DaaS provider for virtualization provides the same benefits as other cloud services, like increased flexibility, decreased complexity and more effective resource management.