Illustration of cloud computing for virtual desktops

VDI vs DaaS: A Breakdown of Virtual Desktop Services

Virtual Desktops

Are your business and employees still operating with traditional, physical desktop computers? Have you noticed how easily those machines get bogged down and require constant upkeep?  Are you tired of having to manage multiple software licenses for each individual user and machine? Do you fear that there is the slightest chance that your critical business information isn’t secured or backed up and you could lose everything?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’ll be thrilled to know there are better alternatives that can help you and your business reach the next level. We’re talking about virtual desktops, and we’re going to break down what they are, how they work, and how they can save you from daily headaches and help prevent catastrophic business incidents.

Migrating from physical to virtual desktops for your organization—whether on site or in the cloud—is no small decision. Virtual desktops have been around for a while, and for years, the only available solution was Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). But now, Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) has emerged as an alternative to VDI. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand what you’re getting into with either service.

We want to ensure you’re making an informed decision, so we did some digging and came up with the pros and cons for both VDI and DaaS.

Keyboard and devices connected by paperclips in shape of a cloud


In a nutshell, VDI uses a centralized, on-site server to manage an operating system—usually Microsoft Windows—that provides each user with their own desktop image to work from. It works just like your traditional computer, and you can customize and save files to the desktop image and expect them to be there when you come back.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of VDI:


  • Everything is managed and sent from a big, powerful server. Older, otherwise-obsolete machines can be hooked up as endpoints and work just as well as newer machines on the same network.
  • The servers are hosted on site, so the IT department has total control over the goings-on of the entire computer and network infrastructure.
  • It’s easier to tailor individual machines to the needs of specific users.
  • VDIs have minimal latency, and they’re not as vulnerable to internet outages; work can still be done offline if the internet goes down.
  • Since it’s an older service, software licensing is easier with VDI setups than DaaS.
  • VDIs are compliant with heavily regulated industries like healthcare, financial and government work.


  • Total, on-site control by IT means they’re responsible for anything and everything that can go wrong with hardware and software.
  • IT is also on the hook for hardware upgrades and maintenance, which can get expensive with new equipment and the hours involved in setting everything up, so they’re less flexible and agile with concern to business needs.
  • Though they’re more secure than a physical desktop, VDI requires robust security measures to prevent data breaches.
  • Software licensing for VDI is still complicated and more expensive than licensing for physical-desktop computers.


In another nutshell, we have DaaS. It’s very similar to VDI, but they differ in one large way, and the pros and cons of DaaS are a result of that big difference. DaaS is essentially a cloud-based, third-party VDI, and that third party handles virtually everything.

DaaS systems are an appealing new technology, and they’re becoming increasingly popular, but there are still benefits and drawbacks like anything else:


  • Off-site, cloud-based computing means that IT doesn’t have to worry about purchasing servers and other hardware and physical rack space, and they don’t have to deal with hardware failures and maintenance. Instead, IT can focus its attention on the virtual desktops, endpoint clients and applications.
  • Without the need to buy server racks and all their accoutrements, DaaS has lower up-front investment than VDI.
  • DaaS is agile, flexible, and easily scalable when it comes to business needs. Adding new employees only requires an additional subscription for access to the cloud desktop.
  • Like VDI, DaaS users can access the network from common, inexpensive machines like retail computers and mobile devices.


  • With monthly service subscription costs, DaaS can be more expensive than VDI in the long term (though there’s a lot more up-front capital required for VDI). The cheaper DaaS services currently being offered are often bare bones, base subscriptions.
  • Organizations must entrust their sensitive information to a third-party, so a substantial amount of faith in that provider is critical.
  • DaaS requires an internet connection to access the virtual desktop image, so any internet outages will leave users with limited to no access.
  • Software licensing can be even more of a headache with DaaS since anyone with access to the cloud can access the licensed software.
  • Compliance in heavily regulated industries can often be an issue with DaaS. For such organizations, you must make sure your DaaS provider is 100% secure and compliant within your industry, which often isn’t the case.

MAXcloud DaaS

DaaS is new and only getting more popular. If you’re interested in exploring what DaaS can do for you and your business or organization, look no further than CompuCorp’s MAXcloud service. It’s the best DaaS in the business and takes care of the cons mentioned above and then some:

  • MAXcloud subscriptions include a fully licensed subscription to the entire Microsoft Office 2016 suite for each virtual client. You don’t need to pay anything extra for this service, and you don’t need to worry about being audited by Microsoft.
  • Semantic Endpoint Protection Cloud keeps you safe from hackers and malware and lets you manage all devices on your network in one easy-to-use tool.
  • Furthermore, bolstered by Barracuda Networks’ anti-malware and email encryption technology, MAXcloud is Payment Card Industry (PCI) and HIPAA compliant to boot. Organizations in those industries need not worry about keeping customer information secure.
  • If latency and downtime are a concern for you, rest assured that MAXcloud’s 99.99% uptime SLA will keep you up and running better than any other virtual desktop service.

With MAXcloud, gone are the days of inconsistent and unreliable machines and IT micro-management. There’s no more worrying about equipment, software licenses, security, encryption and data backups. Our superior technology, added security features, additional offerings and dedicated support staff will keep things running nicely and smoothly in the background, and you and your employees can focus on what’s important: making your customers happy and growing your business.

Whether you’re a small startup, a large corporation, or a nonprofit or government organization, MAXcloud will work great just for you. If you’re looking for more information, or you’re ready to make the switch to MAXcloud DaaS, our experts are always ready to help.

We’ve been helping businesses in the Columbus area and beyond for over 30 years. Call us at 614-245-2224, or contact us through our website here to see how we can help you.

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