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At first glance, it may seem like Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Desktop as a Service (DaaS) are interchangeable concepts, as they both offer virtual desktop access to end users. However, upon closer look, you will find some significant differences between the two.

With VDI, the business owns and manages the underlying virtual desktop infrastructure, which can require a significant capital investment (CapEx) in hardware, software and highly skilled workforce.

With DaaS however, a third-party service provider manages the virtual desktop infrastructure, and handles all maintenance needs of an enterprise. Having a better understanding of these differences is critical in determining which option is best suited for your enterprise.


For this purpose, this blog explores the differences between DaaS and VDI, to help you choose the optimal solution that fits your business needs.

What is Desktop-as-a-Service or DaaS?

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a Cloud-based solution that provides businesses with a way to host and manage their virtual desktops, applications and data. Instead of having to maintain expensive hardware and software on-premise, a third-party Cloud Service Provider (CSP) takes care of the entire underlying IT infrastructure and its management.

It gives employees the flexibility and freedom to access their digital assets from any location, through any endpoint device having an internet connection. This means that employees can work from home (WFH), or any other location of their choice (WFX). What it does is, it helps businesses focus on their core operations by outsourcing the burden of maintaining their complex IT infrastructures.

The Benefits of DaaS 

Cost Savings

DaaS eliminates the need for significant hardware and infrastructure investments. As a result, it slashes capital expenditure (CapEx), and the ongoing IT-related maintenance costs of businesses.


The on-the-go scalability of DaaS allows businesses to seamlessly adjust their IT resources, as per their evolving needs.


A robust cybersecurity posture is another benefit that comes with DaaS solutions. The security measures that are usually offered by CSPs include encryption, firewalls, anti-virus software, malware, and ransomware protection.

What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI? 

The term Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been around for quite some time now. It is an on-premise solution that involves the hosting of virtual desktops on servers within the enterprise’s infrastructure. VDI also gives end users access to their virtual desktops from any device with an internet connection.

Unlike DaaS, VDI gives enterprises a lot more control over their IT environments. However, this can also mean a greater investment of time and resources, along with the need for a highly skilled in-house IT team. These are some of the requisites for managing and maintaining complex, on-premise VDI environments.

The Benefits of VDI 

Enhanced Security

Since the VDI infrastructure is hosted on-premise, it allows for more control over security measures, and also access management.

Centralized Management

The centralized management of digital assets via VDI greatly simplifies maintenance and reduces IT workload.


With VDI solutions, businesses can also avail themselves of better customization options. They can tailor the virtual desktop environment in accordance with their specific needs.

Key Differences between DaaS and VDI 

In this section, we discuss the key differences between DaaS and VDI:-


DaaS solutions require zero on-premise hardware or infrastructure, giving businesses the freedom to operate without the hassle of hardware maintenance. In contrast, VDI demands that enterprises “cough up” the cash to host virtual desktops on their own infrastructure, adding another item to their “to-do list.”

Management and Maintenance 

DaaS providers take the responsibility of managing and maintaining the entire environment’s underlying infrastructure. With VDI however, this responsibility falls on the “shoulders” of the deploying enterprise.

Cost Structure 

DaaS is a subscription-based service that usually comes with flexible, pay-as-you-go pricing models. On the contrary, VDI requires full up-front investment in the hardware and infrastructure.


DaaS solutions are highly scalable and allow businesses to adjust their IT resources, up or down, as per their requirements. With DaaS, businesses do not have to worry about the need for additional hardware investments.

In contrast, any expansion in VDI does require additional hardware investments, because they are a lot less scalable than DaaS. Most VDI environments are already operating near peak capacities, leaving no room for scaling up.


DaaS providers offer top-notch, multi-layered security measures to ensure secure access to cloud-hosted virtual desktops. On the other hand, VDI offers more control over security measures.

Having said that, VDI does require in-house IT experts for both maintenance and security monitoring. This can not only be expensive but also time-consuming for most enterprises.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Optimal Solution 

To make an informed decision about which virtual desktop provisioning model aligns best with your enterprise’s specific needs, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully.

There are various factors that need to be considered, before selecting the optimal model for your enterprise. Business size is a critical consideration, with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) benefiting more from the cost-effectiveness and scalability that comes with Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions.

Larger enterprises with more significant resources may leverage Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions, with on-premise infrastructure. Due to the large size of such organizations, and highly dispersed operations, VDI proves a really expensive and complex model to deploy, operate and manage.

Apart from business size, other factors such as IT resources, the level of expertise, and budgetary constraints need to be taken into account. DaaS requires minimal IT resources and expertise from the deploying enterprise, which makes it more accessible and cost-optimized, while VDI requires more significant investments in infrastructure and IT teams.

In addition to these factors, compliance requirements, remote work and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies are also critical considerations when choosing the right solution.

DaaS providers offer robust security measures that meet some of the highest compliance standards, while VDI provides greater control over security measures and data management.

Lastly, the presumption that VDI is inherently more secure than DaaS is far from the truth, as the level of security in the case of VDI will mainly depend on the mechanisms that are adopted, and the level of in-house cybersecurity expertise.


Incorporating virtual workplace solutions has now become a central theme for many forward-thinking businesses. Be it Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or Desktop as a Service (DaaS), the final decision to choose between the two depends on each enterprise’s unique needs and requirements.

Regardless of the solution you choose, desktop virtualization has proven to do wonders for many businesses. That said, the scalability, cost-efficiency, robust security, and agility of Cloud-based DaaS solutions have propelled the IT infrastructures of many businesses to the next level!

So, feel free to contact dinCloud, an ATSG company, for highly secure, scalable, and agile Cloud Computing services and robust Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solutions for your enterprise.

With the DaaS solutions of dinCloud, you can drastically improve the digital employee experience (DEX) of your enterprise, and yield much better overall productivity, while also improving employee satisfaction and retention levels.