VDI vs VM – How are they different?


With businesses evolving and continuous use of Cloud in the business, we have come across several technical terms. There are so many technical terms that we need to remember now. As someone who is never really familiar with these terms, it might get a little difficult. In this article, we’ll explain about VDI vs VM, two of the most commonly used terms called VDI and VM.

What do you mean by VDI?

When we need to create a virtualized environment we use VDI. VDI which also stands for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is a machine that helps in segmenting hardware into different virtual desktops. These desktops hosted on a central server. Therefore, it can said that VM is just a part of VDI. VM VDI work hand in hand together.

What does VDI stand for?

VDI stands for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure whose main purpose is to segment hardware into different virtual machines.

Suggested Reading: Containers vs Virtual Machines (VMs): What’s the Difference?

What do you mean by VM?

In order to run our Virtual Machines, it is very important for us to know what a VMI is. VM which stands for Virtual Machine is a software which made for segmenting computing resources into multiple virtual desktops. All of this happens with the help of a hypervisor. The job of a hypervisor is to segment the physical hardware into different VMs.

What does VM stand for?

VM stands for Virtual Machines whose main purpose is to segment computer resources into multiple virtual desktops.

What are the different types of VDI?

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) comes in two types:

  1. Persistent VDI

In Persistent VDI, the data and settings remain saved even if the user logs out of the system. This is one of the best features about the Persistent VDI, it does not require you to change the settings everyday. However, considering the fact that it saves all the data, it may require a good amount of storage space, which will require a heavy cost investment.

  1. Non-Persistent VDI

With the Non-Persistent VDI, the data and settings automatically restored to default when you log out of the virtual desktop. As and when you log in again you will see the default settings every time. It will be advantageous whenever there is a massive workforce and the employees keep on changing their systems. As it does not save your data, it works well even on a low storage. If you have a smaller budget, this might work well for you.

Suggested Reading: Comparison of Persistent VDI and Non-Persistent VDI

What are the types of VMs?

There are two types of VMs:

Process Virtual Machines

Also known by the name of Application Virtual Machines, these virtual machines will allow a single process or application to run independently of the host computer. It can said when developers usually look for simulators like Java machines for testing and compilation of codes. All of this happens without disturbing the host computer.

System Virtual Machines

The system virtual machines often known as the best clones of the entire computer system. By dividing the hardware resources of the host computer, you allowed to create multiple guest computers. By installing the hypervisor, you can split the hardware and then create various VMs. These particular VMs have a quite different operating system called the guest operating system. This guest operating system entirely isolated. While you’re working on the guest operating system, it does not make any difference to the host operating system.

Suggested Reading: What is VDI Thin Client


To give remote work and security to users, VDI is made with the help of virtualized systems.A virtual machine that helps in creating a virtual desktop for any company or user.
Persistent and Non persistent are the two kinds known.There are two kinds of VMs known are: Process and system
With a virtual machine, it allows access to its users anytime and anywhere.Being proper systems VMs run on a Operating systems, storage, and other computing functions.
With an on-premises or a cloud host, VDI can be hosted.with the help of virtual resources from the physical computer VM is created. It runs on a dedicated amount of CPU, memory, and storage.

How is VDI created?

VDI is not a simple term, but rather a much more complicated one. You can create VDI in both the on-premise environment as well as cloud hosted environment. The virtual desktops that created from on-premise data centers made in On Premise VDI. Therefore, you might need heavy hardware and physical computers for setting up. Moreover, it will also require a constant IT check up so you’ll need to have an extremely good IT team.

When Virtual desktops created by a third party vendor in their cloud provider, this means we can make it in Cloud VDIs. The creation and maintenance has done by the provider itself.

How are VMs created?

The first and foremost step is to install a hypervisor in your host computers. There are two kinds of Hypervisors:

  • Type 1 Hypervisor: On a host computer’s hardware or a bare metal hardware you can install hypervisor software like VMware ESXi, this is how you create the Type 1 Hypervisor. This can installed on computers having any CPU or RAM.
  • Type 2 Hypervisor: In order to install Type 2 Hypervisor or any operating system which is similar to the windows or Mac, also known as the Host operating system. With this Operating system, you can enable multi user access. This will also enable you to share your resources with the guest Operating System.

What are the applications of VDI?

Now that we have seen the Covid 19 pandemic, we understand the importance of working virtually. It is very important to have access to your system and records so that it becomes convenient for you. The VDI technology was one of the technologies that helped us well in the covid times. It made our work easier. As times are increasing, it will definitely grow even more.

  • VDI known to promote an efficient remote work system. Many companies in today’s world have adopted the VDI system to promote a virtual setup of work.
  • It helps you in flexible work with properly managed setup. With VDI, you can work anywhere at any time.
  • VDI is the best option for security which is why certain industries like finance, healthcare, law prefers it. It keeps your data safe.

What are the applications of VM?

As we discussed above, VM is just a component of VDI. You can use it for more specific reasons like testing, virtualization or development. Some of its essential uses are:

  • It can be a good guide for you to learn how to operate new operating systems on your host device. With VM, you can run many operating systems on it.
  • Just like a standard operating system, it provides you with a space to run your testings and running software.
  • Considering the fact it keeps your operating system isolated, it is really good for learning hacking. Therefore, this will not affect your main system.
  • When creating VDI for any organization, VM can used. For hosting virtual desktops, companies use virtual desktops.


Modern computing in today’s world has become more complex day by day. Now it needs to add a wide range of terminologies that used in our everyday life. You need to updated with the important tech words. VDI and VM are a very small but important part of it. That’s it for this article. Please reach out to the expert team of Cloudies365 for more questions.

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