How is VDI Different from a Remote Desktop

How is VDI Different from a Remote Desktop?

As the list of companies around the world switching to remote office solutions continues to grow, fueling a dramatic shift in collective mindset, plenty of folks are coming forward unsure which solution in particular works best for them. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is one such option, as is RDS, short for Remote Desktop Sessions. 

These aren’t exactly the same. Today, let’s dig into the details – and differences. 

VDI at a Glance

As the term implies, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is a form of technology that allows users to access a complete desktop OS by a virtual or remote physical machine. It’s available in either a static architecture mode, which pairs one user with one system, or dynamic mode, which enables access to a single instance of an OS image. All necessary applications, connected storage, settings, and user data are accessible via a dedicated, highly secure data centre whose permissions can be tightly managed. 

RDS at a Glance

Remote Desktop Services are similar in theory, except multiple users will be sharing a single virtual operating system image along with server-based applications. This approach used to be known as Terminal Services. In essence, the machine a user is on to remotely access the OS and its applications behaves in a manner similar to an I/O terminal, receiving the data from the server while also sending data back as users perform tasks and input commands. 

How They Differ


Generally speaking, VDI services feature slightly more robust and airtight security protocols and stronger encryption than RDS alternatives, though it should be noted that the latter is no slouch. Depending on your operating environment and deployment needs, not to mention your cloud infrastructure and other variables, one or both may be appropriate solutions.


Since RDS only needs to be updated and maintained from a single point of access, you can more effectively allocate IT resources and reduce operating costs in the long run. This option also means you’ll only need a single operating system license, and the same goes for your applications. VDI’s dynamic option behaves similarly in terms of cost reduction by managing a single OS.

System Resource Allocation

VDI environments make it possible to assign CPU, RAM, and storage capacity to specific users. This means that, should your system have the specifications to handle it, one user performing intensive tasks that demand these resources won’t interfere with the needs of other individuals. Many businesses opt for VDI because their users have the option of accessing their own onsite workstations remotely in addition to a shared virtual machine setup. RDS is different, on the other hand; resources can’t be divided up for separate users as everyone is always accessing a single virtual environment (though, again, you only need to install the operating system and applications once to enable everyone to use them).

What if You Don’t Know Which to Choose?

Many businesses of all shapes and sizes are struggling to figure out whether VDI or RDS is the optimal approach for their users and established processes. Sometimes, compliance concerns come into play, such as those regarding data security. Other times, it’s a question of cost and required maintenance. Regardless, you don’t have to make such a decision on your own. Reaching out to an expert team well-versed in hybrid cloud infrastructure setups is an ideal first step. They’ll walk you through your options, help you strategize and conceptualize the right approach for your needs, available resources and operating budget, and ensure everything runs smoothly. We’re one such team, offering a wide range of managed services including VDI and remote access support. 

If you’d like to learn more about VDI and RDS solutions, our team at Zycom is happy to assist. Get in touch with us today, and let’s help you make a well-informed decision!

Please follow and like us:

    Contact Us

    © 2020 Managed IT Services - All Rights Reserved.