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RDSH vs. VDI comparison proves use case is everything

In a RDSH vs. VDI comparison, it's not a matter of which is better. The most important thing is which one best fits your use case. VDI is good if users need multiple applications, but RDSH is a more lightweight model.

There has been a longstanding debate on which is better: VDI or RDSH. Ultimately, the verdict is based on use case.

Whether virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) or Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) deployments are better depends entirely on what and who you need to support. Coose VDI if you have more complex needs, such as multiple applications per session and advanced performance. Go with RDSH for simpler models.

RDSH and VDI comparison

RDSH is a shared-user model. If your end users need to be completely separated from other workers' sessions, or they need their own desktop instances, then choose VDI. Additionally, if workers need access to local, virtual, streamed and Web-based applications from the same operating system, then VDI is the answer. With RDSH, users will typically only access RDSH-based applications installed on the farm, which can be limiting.

And RDSH performance is constrained by what the server can supply. But with VDI, you can give users as much CPU and memory as they need. VDI also supports more advanced graphics use cases, and it allows for more third-party peripherals than RDSH commonly does.

If users only need to stream a single application, then RDSH is the easier and cheaper method to deliver it. RDSH is also a much more lightweight option than VDI because all users share the same Windows Server, so the RDSH environment doesn't need as much memory or CPU to handle its user base.

Both VDI and RDSH can help in different situations, and it's up to the architect or administrator to determine what their users truly need.

This was first published in July 2014

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