Windows VDI and RDP clients
Windows VDI and RDP clients
Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is a type of desktop virtualization that revolves around the hosting of desktop environments on a central server. In this article, we explain the relation between Windows VDI and RDP clients and discuss whether RDP clients should consider moving to WVD.
What is Virtual desktop infrastructure or VDI?
Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is a technology that uses virtual machines as hosts for virtual desktops. Whenever an end-user sends a request to a desktop operating system hosted by a VDA, the VDA sends the requested desktop images to the user, over the network. Said desktop operating systems are run and managed on a centralized server in an on-premises or cloud data center. End-users can be PCs or other devices, such as tablets or thin client terminals.
VDI is a rather complicated technology and not really simple to set up. So, it may not be the right choice for some companies. But if used in the right place, it can bring qualities like user mobility, ease of access, flexibility, and security to the table.
What is Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)?
Remote Desktop Services , formerly known as Terminal Services, is a built-in feature in Microsoft Windows that enables users who have the right permissions to access and take over any remote computer over the Internet or the network. RDS uses Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), a proprietary protocol owned by Microsoft which facilitates remote connections between systems. Remote Desktop Connection is the default client application for RDP.
RDS can be used in virtualization solutions to deliver individual virtualized applications and provide users with secure mobile and remote desktop access. RDS also enables RDP clients to run applications and control desktops from the cloud.
RDS environments are supported by Windows Virtual Desktops.
There are different ways to set up RDS for your company. Session-based virtualization is a very popular RDS use, in which, Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) server is in charge of doing all the processing activities, while the results are transferred and displayed on the Remote Desktop client.
Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) also offers desktop-virtualization. Alternatively, you can combine RDS and VDI technologies.
How to connect a Windows VDI and RDP Client?
In order to connect to a Windows VDI through an RDP client, you first need to know your VDI’s basic information such as IP address, username, and password.
Once you open Remote Desktop Connection, which is pre-installed on Windows, it asks you to enter the IP address to your VDI. Then, you should click Connect. Next, enter your Username and Password, and you are ready to go.
What is Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)?
Windows Virtual Desktop (WMD) is a comprehensive Azure-based desktop and app virtualization service that enables remote users to enjoy Windows desktop and apps in real-time.
Microsoft announced its new Windows VDI in September 2018 and has only recently made it available for the public. So, it is still an unfamiliar technology for most people and users may have many questions about how to set it up and how it works.
This new Windows VDI runs in the cloud and helps Windows users scale and manage their virtual desktops easier. It allows optimizations for Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise. WMD also supports Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environments.
The Windows Virtual Desktop client is available for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and HTML5.
Windows Virtual Desktop supports Windows 10 multi-session, Windows 10 single-session, Windows 7 single-session, and Windows Server 2012 R2 and newer operating systems.
Microsoft has tried to make Windows Virtual Desktop a solution for issues around VDI and RDS environments. You can think of WVD as a hybrid between RDS and VDI, that inherits several helpful aspects of both technologies.
Remote Desktop Services pros and cons
Remote Desktop Services is a mature, well-tested product that many of us feel comfortable using. But it does have some limitations which, depending on your current situation and resources, may or may not affect your organization's functionality.
For example, unlike WVD, in RDS, single-session experience cannot be expanded to multi-session, So users are unable to have multiple access instances at the same time.
That said, you may have other reasons to not want to move to Windows’s newly released VDI, just yet. For instance, some applications you need to use may not work properly in Windows 10 multi-session.
Windows Virtual Desktop pros and cons
Let’s look at the pros and cons of the new VDI solution Windows has created. First of all, you should bear in mind that Windows Virtual Desktop is cloud-only. This can be a problem for some organizations, for security reasons. In contrast, neither RDS nor VDI necessarily needs cloud technology.
Another important concern can be the cost of WVD. The truth is the cost of the new Windows VDI mostly depends on your company’s current equipment and needs. There are three main areas that you should consider to estimate how much moving to WVD would cost for your organization:
- The cost of Azure Infrastructure: Personal and pooled desktops are supported by the Windows Virtual Desktop. You should consider several factors when assessing how much you need to pay for consumption cost for Azure resources in WVD.
- The cost of management of RDS roles: This is the area you can save money in WVD vs RDS. Because in Windows Virtual Desktop, WVD Management Service hosted in Azure is responsible for the configuration and management of RDS roles, so this expense is no longer on you.
- The cost of software licensing: This is where the current assets of your organization may affect the cost of moving to the new Windows VDI. For example, you need a Windows 10 Enterprise edition for WVD. If you are using any other Windows editions, WVD can impose extra expenses on you, comparing to using RDS.
Therefore, If you do not have any issue with going on the cloud, and the cost of WVD is acceptable for you, Windows’ new VDI can have some remarkable advantages for your organization; First of all, WVD is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), so most of the stuffs which usually needs the attention of the end-users are now carried out by Microsoft. This can increase security and ease-of-use.
WVD also makes deploying virtual desktops at scale much easier and simplifies resource management on the cloud. Plus, it exploits the public cloud so you do not need to worry about setting up your separate infrastructure. WVD also provides users with an up-to-date, Windows 10 desktop with all the features and options.
WVD vs RDS? Which one is better?
Whether you are a veteran RDP client or you have just decided to deploy some sort of remote desktop solution for your company, you may be considering using Windows’ new VDI, called Windows Virtual Desktop, soon.
So, is WVD really better than RDS? The answer mostly depends on your needs and conditions. To sum up, we can say that other than the cost, the most important factor is whether or not you are willing to place all your resources on the cloud. If you are ready to go 100% on cloud, Windows Virtual Desktop seems like a more rational solution for you. But if you need to stay on-premise (even partly) for any reason, you should keep RDS.