Choosing the Right VDI Solution: On-Premises vs. VDI as a Service - A Comprehensive Comparison

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a rapidly evolving technology that is changing the way organizations deliver desktop environments to end-users. With VDI, desktops are executed in the data center and accessed remotely, allowing users to access their desktop environments from any device, anywhere, and at any time. This helps organizations support their increasingly remote and mobile workforce by giving them the tools and resources they require to be productive. 




In this blog, we’ll cover two methods of VDI deployment: as a service or in-house using on-premise infrastructure. We’ll explore the pros and cons of each option and consider factors such as security, performance, scalability, cost, support, and user experience. Whether you are an IT manager or an executive responsible for making technology decisions, this blog will provide you with valuable insights and information to help you make an informed decision about the best VDI solution for your organization.


On-Premises Virtual Desktop Infrastructure:

On-premises VDI is hosted and managed within an organization's own data center. In this model, the organization is responsible for maintaining the hardware, software, and network infrastructure required to support the VDI environment. On-premises VDI is often preferred by organizations that require a high degree of control over their desktop computing environment, or those that have sensitive data that must be kept within their own data center for security reasons.


Pros for on-premises VDI:

  • Full control over the infrastructure, as organizations can configure and manage the hardware and software as needed.
  • Improved performance, as virtual desktops are stored and executed on local hardware.
  • Increased security, as the data and desktop environments are stored on-premise.
  • Reduced data privacy concerns, as the service provider does not have access to sensitive company data.
  • Lower ongoing costs, as organizations only need to pay for hardware, software, and maintenance costs.


Cons for on-premises VDI:

  • Higher upfront costs, as organizations must invest in expensive hardware and software infrastructure.
  • Complexity and overhead associated with deploying and managing a VDI environment.
  • Increased hardware and maintenance costs, as organizations must manage and maintain the hardware and software infrastructure.
  • Reduced scalability, as adding or removing virtual desktops can be more difficult and time-consuming.
  • Limited mobility, as users are tied to a specific device to access their virtual desktop.


Virtual Desktop Infrastructure as a service:

VDI delivered as a service is hosted and managed by a third-party provider, such as HPE GreenLake for Virtual Desktops. In this model, HPE is responsible for maintaining the hardware, software, and network infrastructure required to support the VDI environment, and the organization is responsible for delivering desktops to end users. VDI as a service is often preferred by organizations that do not have the resources or expertise to manage an on-premises VDI solution, or those that want to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness of a cloud-based solution without sacrificing the benefits of on-premises VDI such as security, seamless user experience, and productivity. 


Pros for VDI delivered as a service:

  • Reduced upfront costs, as organizations do not need to invest in expensive hardware and software infrastructure.
  • Improved scalability, as organizations can easily increase or decrease the number of virtual desktops as needed.
  • Ease of management, as the service provider takes care of the maintenance and management of the infrastructure.
  • Improved security, as the data and desktop environments are stored in the service provider's data center.
  • Increased mobility, as users can access their virtual desktop from any device with an internet connection.
  • Avoid lengthy rollouts with quick-to-deploy, preconfigured, turnkey solution


Cons for VDI delivered as a service:

  • Dependency on the service provider: By outsourcing the infrastructure and management of the VDI environment, organizations are dependent on the service provider's capabilities, reliability, and support.
  • Fewer customization options: Organizations may have less control over the deployment and customization of the VDI environment vs. an in-house solution.
  • Network requirements: The quality and speed of the network connection between the organization and the service provider is critical for ensuring a good user experience. Organizations may need to invest in upgrading their network infrastructure to support VDI as a service.
  • Cost: Although VDI as a service can be more cost-effective than an in-house solution, organizations need to consider the total cost of ownership, including ongoing monthly fees, as well as any additional costs for customizing the solution to meet their specific needs.


In conclusion, both VDI options have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the best approach will depend on the specific needs and requirements of an organization, namely, do you have the people and budget to run a more customizable on-premises solution? Or are you looking to free up time and resources with an as-a-service model? Organizations should carefully evaluate their needs and resources before making a decision. 


While VDI can vastly improve employee user experience and performance, it can be a challenge knowing where to get started. Get in touch with a VLCM VDI engineer today to learn more about your options.