What's the difference between desktop as a service (DaaS), virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), & PCs? Discover the best solution for your use case.As desktop offerings grow and evolve, the line between VDI and DaaS weakens and blurs. As each new desktop solution adds features and extends use cases, it can be incredibly challenging to identify the right choice for your organization.

 

Gartner researched how complexity, security requirements, and user experience lend themselves to each solution, and they offer three major tips for choosing a desktop.

Tip #1 – Determine technology fit

Increased endpoint types means increased complexity – especially when you need to deliver a high-performing end-user experience. So how can you determine the right technology fit for your organization?

 

First, identify use cases where there is strong technology alignment. Your use cases will help you understand which desktop type makes the most sense for your needs.

PC, VDI, and DaaS use cases
Source: Gartner (September 2018)

Second, consider worker and data locations. Globally distributed users work best with DaaS, while less-distributed user groups may benefit from a single VDI instance.

Tip #2 – Control expenses by comparing TCO, not just direct costs

When considering a desktop solution, it’s important to account for TCO, not direct costs alone.  

Total cost of ownership for Desktops, VDI, and DaaS.
Source: Gartner (September 2018)

Although DaaS may have the highest direct cost, other solutions may have higher indirect costs. And of course, it’s crucial to consider factors beyond cost, like security, compliance, speed, and user experience.

Tip #3 – Adopt a hybrid workspace strategy

For most organizations, a hybrid workspace approach is inevitable. In most cases, VDI and DaaS are complimentary, especially with mobile platforms. When adopting a hybrid solution, organizations need a migration plan that  complements their converged management strategy, whether extending to cloud or to a data center.

Learn More

To learn more about Gartner’s research and the numerous desktop configuration options, read the full report here.

Bill Peterson

William “Bill” Peterson is Principal Technologist and Strategist at NetApp. Previously, Bill was VP, Industry Solutions for MapR and the Director of Product and Solutions Marketing for CenturyLink. Prior to CenturyLink, Bill ran Product and Solutions Marketing for NetApp’s Analytics and Hadoop solutions. In addition to his marketing role at NetApp, Bill was the Marketing Co-Chair for the Analytics and Big Data committee, SNIA. Bill has also served as a research analyst at IDC and The Hurwitz Group, covering the operating environments, content management and business intelligence markets.

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