With the ever-changing world of trade, working remotely has become a fact. Almost all businesses need remote access for various reasons, and it is not always access to simple cloud applications such as email. Many organizations need to offer remote access to the line of business applications such as CRMs, ERPs, finance, accounting systems, healthcare, and more, but there are a lot of specialized apps that need reliable and secure remote access solutions.
Due to the restrictions organizations have implemented in response to recent unprecedented events, most of the world’s office workers are now working remotely, and IT departments are scrambling to find how to support the massive increase in remote workers. The new norm of remote working brought new vocabulary such as VDI and VPN in our everyday lives. If you are a business or administrator that had to start thinking about establishing a new system to allow your employees to work remotely safely, you most likely came across these terms.
But which type of remote access solution is suitable for your business? With so many choices out there, it is easy to become lost in a sea of marketing. Unluckily, the answer is complicated and depends on various things. In this blog, TechNinjaPro will explore these choices to help you know what is better: VPN vs. VDI.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network is a solution that allows user devices to safely connect to the network from remote locations with the internet. This technology is generally restricted to devices and offers access to network resources remotely via a secured connection. Users will need to install an app or have a connection set up on their device.
What is VDI?
VDI offers remote access to a virtual desktop, but in this case, each user has their own dedicated Window-based system, which can be configured to their priorities. In this situation, virtual machines are being hosted on a single server with dedicated resources for each device, enhancing performance and security.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure has a centralized management system in which administrators take care of operating system updates and configuration. It is straightforward to install new software and maintain workstations by utilizing the golden image. This golden image gets replicated across various desktops inside a cluster.
VDI vs. VPN: What are the key differences?
Using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, all users have their own dedicated station to customize, even though the administrator can define strategies to decide what can be modified and what is uniform between the different virtual systems.
Users will get a more familiar Windows 10 environment to connect to. As the resources are defined and dedicated to each system, this means that each system works independently of the other, which ay be essential to highly regulated or secured environments.
Using a virtual private network, the app on the client device establishes a safe and secure connection and develops a tunnel between the system and the corporate network. The end user’s system then behaves as if it was in the office. All apps and services provided can send information securely over the encrypted tunnel. The processing is done on the client device, unlike VDI.
A virtual private network creates a safe and secure connection between the device and the network. In this situation, a firewall acts as a VPN terminator. While in a VDI, there is a pre-configured desktop that sits on top of a data center. Through this, the VDI delivers all desktops and applications.
In general, VPN solutions are offered at a lower cost. This is because there is added hardware needed for a virtual private network. Moreover, users can use their existing devices. But for a VDI, there should be an added software required for hosting the VDI system. This makes it expensive compared to a virtual private network.
A VDI setup needs a different VM for them to function. This can often be challenging for a user as he needs to support and maintain these machines. However, in a virtual private network, the management can be fully done through the existing hardware. Therefore, it needs the least number of maintenance.
The customer experience in VDI is faster compared to a VPN. This is because of resources that are shared and used by each other. As a result, the overall experience when using the device is quicker. It is the best option for all the people out there working with graphics-intensive apps. But the virtual private network completely depends on the speed of the internet and the hardware. Moreover, the information sent through a VPN connection is encrypted. This makes the process of sending big data files to be actually slower.
All the processing of the apps takes place from the server in the virtual private network. Hence, the hardware used by the client is not crucial here. Exactly opposite to this, user hardware is essential since it is where the processing is being done.
Since the information is encrypted in a virtual private network, the information sent from the user to its destination is secured. But still, the information has to be moved as the employee needs. Hence extra precautions are required to be taken for security. But in VDI, there is nothing that can be done except restricting the information flow. Therefore, the VDI has to be configured in a way that it never leaves the corporate network.
VPN vs. VDI: Which is Better?
There is no straightforward response to the question of whether VDI or VPN is better. Generally, it depends on your specific need, use case, and the factors that play an important role. To sum up, a virtual private network is more suitable for businesses as it is cost-efficient, easy to implement, and simple to use. However, if you are dealing with a significant workforce where high performance and graphic processing are needed, VDI is a better option.
Every business has different requirements that will require to be taken into consideration. A virtual private network is simple and most cost-efficient for a small number of users with limited needs. For a massive workforce, a VDI might be better suited to deliver the required user performance. After reading this blog post, you should better know the difference between VDI and VPN. You should know how both solutions work and which one would fit better for your business requirements.