On Premises vs. Cloud Desktops: Which is Better in 2022?

How the pandemic paved the way for new technology

How the pandemic paved the way for new technology?

In the tech world, it’s no secret that on premises solutions are quickly being replaced by cloud solutions. Companies are finding that seamlessly accessible technology can replace bulky hardware, whether you’re in or outside of the office. During the pandemic, employers rushed to find solutions to get their once in-office employees to begin working remotely. Some employers were able to find cloud-based solutions that helped them work remotely amongst their teams.

The ones that couldn’t achieve this using on premise systems were stuck (isolated) at their offices as an administrator working to process critical information on behalf of the company. On the cloud end, end-users can experience having endless data right at their fingertips using a single platform or applications that can be remotely accessed, while on premises includes extensions and plug-ins that usually requires the necessity to access a system from its direct location. But when it comes to using on premises or cloud desktops: Is one option really better than the other?

Back to Basics: What are VDIs and VMs?

How the pandemic paved the way for new technology

You’re probably familiar with both a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and a Virtual Machine (VM), but aren’t aware of it. A VM refers to a file that depends on a computer’s memory, storage, CPU, and network interface to function. By using a hypervisor, you can create separate VM systems all within one computer, for example using a PC to run a guest machine on macOS or Linux while the PC itself is running on a Windows server.

In comparison, a VDI uses VMs as a host for virtual desktops and applications that hold data sourced on a remote server. VDIs like Microsoft, Parallel, VMware, and Citrix allow users to communicate data to specific workstations using a local area network (LAN) or on a wide area network (WAN). When it comes to on premises VDI, all data stays in-house and requires onsite IT services to manage.

However, with cloud-based VDI, third-party providers or Desktops as a Service providers  (DaaS), host a company’s entire server and data, allowing for remote optimizations, customizations, and remote work capabilities. Keep reading to find out the pros and cons of both implementing an on premises VDI and a cloud-based VDI.

The Pros and Cons of On Premises VDIs

Pro: Complete control over your infrastructure

More often than not, it’s the bigger enterprises that have the budget for extensive resources. Having an on premises VDI works for smaller companies as it allows for full control over an infrastructure, so the IT department can be hands-on in making optimizations to your system and ensuring associated processes run efficiently.

Con: Gets harder to maintain as you grow

It seems practical to run your business on your own infrastructure and hardware. However, it will be more difficult to manage as you grow due to the types of obstacles in maintaining this type of system. Larger data sets require more backups, optimizations, and can lead to adding more headcount to your IT department. The costs in maintenance increase in one way or another.

Pro: Less of a chance of cyber attacks

Using an on premises VDI allows for an organization to store its data to keep critical information stored privately. This lowers the chance of a security breach since the business creates and manages its own user access policies, installs its own firewalls and antivirus software, installs its own security patches, and other methods of manual security processes.

Con: Higher costs come with complete ownership

In the case of on premise VDI deployment, your company will need to pay for all add-on hardware, servers, data centers, and maintenance. This option is one of the most argued, as many have compared using cloud VDIs as more expensive, but that doesn’t ring true. Cloud VDIs are managed by providers and the providers work with your company to identify which services your business needs or doesn’t. This can lead to less of a cost in the long run.

The Pros and Cons of Cloud VDIs

Pro: Less strain on your IT Department

Cloud-based VDI solutions can help your IT administrators immensely as your business begins to scale. This is because they are able to deploy new applications managed by your chosen provider and manage assets all in a single location. Using the cloud requires little down time, as your IT administrator can avoid single-handedly testing, troubleshooting, and deploying an application or managing assets across multiple endpoints within your organization.

Con: Increased chance of a security breach

It’s no secret that some of the biggest tech firms have had their fair share of breaches. Microsoft’s own Cortana and Bling were compromised in March 2022, but that doesn’t mean cloud-based providers don’t have security and risk precautions in place. Using additional measures such as a cloud-based VPN can prevent classified information from being leaked as all data becomes encrypted on the cloud VDI when turning the VPN on. Before choosing your cloud VDI provider it’s important to understand the security protocols they have in place to protect your business.

Pro: Room to grow and scale with provider support

The cloud isn’t such a scary place to be since moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud has scalability benefits. Most VDI providers will work with your organization directly to find out which programs your business will need as it grows and at the best package rates available. You decide how fast or slow you want to transition from a traditional infrastructure to implement a cloud VDI, entirely.

Con: Requires capable hardware to maintain

As you move resources to the cloud, you’ll find that the usage of your applications has grown from a single person on a single server to up to thousands of people using the same applications on a single server. The results could lead to lags in performance if you don’t have the latest technology installed at your organization. As tasks become more complex, so does the need for high performing computers and state-of-the-art equipment. Older systems might not be able to support the amount of time needed to complete a single task and therefore slows down an entire VM and overall computer.

Which is better for your business?

Which VDI is better in 2022, cloud-based or on premises? The answer lies directly with the end-user’s needs. If your business is growing at rapid speed and requires a system that helps it to scale with little downtime in between and allows its workers to be remote, then the answer is moving to the cloud. But if your business is just starting out and requires its employees to be in-person with a robust IT team onboard, then choosing on premises might be your best bet.

However, keep in mind the long term value of investing in advanced technology. Around 81% of companies have chosen to move to the cloud in 2022. Consider the cloud if you plan to scale, lower your risks, and save on costs. When it comes to moving your VDI infrastructure from on premises to the cloud, it’s best to discuss with your company’s IT department to find out which one is right for your business and right for your employees.


Hi, I'm Raj Hirvate & I am a Tech Blogger from India. I like to post about technology, gadgets, How-to, Errors and product reviews to the readers of my website. Apart from blogging i'm a big Anime fan I Love Watching Naruto, Jujutsu Kaisen, One piece, Death Note and any upcoming animes.

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