Difference between VDI DaaS RDP Virtual and Remote Desktops

VDI vs RDP vs DaaS vs Remote Desktops vs Virtual Desktops vs Hosted Apps

There can be a lot of confusing jargon when looking at IT solutions when you are not familiar with the terminology. Here is an easy explanation of the main differences between the most common used phases when looking at cloud solutions.

What are the differences between VDI, RDP, DaaS, Remote Desktops, Virtual Desktops and Hosted apps?

The simple answer is that they are nearly all of the same thing!

Remote Desktops, Virtual Desktops and Virtual computers are all terms used to refer to an end-user accessing or logging into their own Windows 7 desktop (for example) over a remote connection.

If you are unfamiliar with IT or Cloud solutions then you might have questions such are:

  • What is the difference between a virtual desktop and a remote desktop?
  • What is VDI?
  • What are the benefits of the cloud?
  • Why should I use a remote desktop?
  • What is RDP?
  • Do I need a VPN?
  • What is a virtual instance or AWS Amazon instance?

Here we explain the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Cloud infrastructure.


What is a Virtual Desktop or Virtual Server?

Traditionally people and businesses buy physical computers (desktop towers, servers or laptops) which they then use to do their work. These would be a physical machine used by each person on which they write/receive email, create documents, spreadsheets etc. Businesses would also have central physical servers which would host their company filing structure, email exchange and backup systems. These are all physical computers used for one or a number of functions.

Virtual computers and servers are all hosted on a similar computer hardware, but they have their own operating system and software installed, so that they can do the job or function intended. In this case, a single physical server can host multiple virtual machines. A virtual machine can be a virtual desktop or a virtual server.

At Miranex we can host several virtual desktops from a single physical server, this is the essence of the Cloud and means that IT systems can become a lot more efficient and cheaper as multiple users can use the computer power of a single piece of hardware.


What is a Remote Desktop and the difference between a Virtual Desktop?

A remote desktop is nearly the same as a virtual desktop and as such they are often used interchangeably.

Microsoft developed the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to enable network administrators and users to access other people computers. This was to help to diagnose and fix problems, or just to manage multiple servers across a large site or large network covering multiple locations. Using RDP the end-user could log into much more powerful computers from long distances, and multiple users could do this from difference locations. Most Windows Operating System have RDP functionality.

Therefore virtual desktops are remote desktops delivered to the end user from a central computer system. A virtual desktop can be delivered over an internal works network, or can be delivered over the Internet via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a hypervisor.


What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI?

VDI stands for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure which was a concept that emerged around 20 years ago.

In simple terms VDI is the combination of hardware, software and network configuration which enable virtual desktops and virtual servers to be delivered to the end users. The end users can access their virtual machine from anywhere on the network.

Its typical implementation is within a large private network e.g. a large corporation or hospital, where many Users access their own desktop interface by logging on to any computer within the private computer network. This solution has worked well for many years and still does today. Citrix and VMWare are market leaders in the hypervisors which help deliver VDI solutions.

Until recent years VDI has been limited to private networks due to limitations on Internet connection speeds however virtual desktops are now available easily, securely and reliably over the Internet. Miranex has now developed this Public Cloud VDI services to provide high performance for all Users over an Internet connection. The delivery of this over the Internet is also referred to as Desktop as a Service or DaaS.


What is Desktop as a Service or DaaS?

Desktop as a Service is the service offered by companies (Miranex) to deliver a virtual desktop to an end user for a monthly subscription all hosted in the cloud. The user can log in to their desktop from any device connected to the Internet and access all of their programs and files.

For more benefits of using DaaS and remote desktops please see our benefits page.

The acronym DaaS has been created to link with the Cloud Industries’ related services such as SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), BaaS (Backup as a Service), DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) and other similar services.

For a demonstration of how DaaS works in practice, these videos explain in detail how you can switch between devices and locations while continuing with the same work streams.

Do I need a VPN?

Not if you’re using a Miranex virtual desktop, which is a great feature. Many companies make employees access their servers over a VPN which can often be unreliably, slow or intermittent. With a Citrix remote desktop from Miranex no VPN is required, all you need is an internet connection which can be over WiFi or even using a 4G mobile phone hotspot. Working on the Cloud has never been easier!


What is the Difference between a Virtual Desktop and an AWS Instance?

The main difference between a Miranex virtual desktop and an Amazon AWS instance is that our virtual desktops are persistent, meaning that when you log off all of your data is still there and you can return to it for as long as you have agreed to operate the remote desktop. Typically with an AWS instance, once you log off or shut down the virtual machine is wiped and no data can be retrieved.

A persistent desktop from Miranex is a good long term solution if you have a project for a month or longer and can be paid on a subscription basis.

Additionally Miranex charge monthly as opposed to hourly which can work out a lot less expensive for the user. When purchasing a virtual desktop you should also be aware of any additional charges for uploading and downloading data or for security firewalls and backing up of data.

Miranex, VDI and DaaS

Miranex host and provide Desktop as a Service to individuals and businesses. Miranex specialise in GPU accelerated virtual desktops for the use of complex and demanding software using in CAD, HPC, CFD and alike.

Miranex also deign, procure and manage HPC infrastructure solutions which can be Cloud hosted or installed on a local premises.

GPU Remote Desktops

Find out more about our GPU and HPC services.

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