Whitepaper – Implementation Guide XenDesktop with Personal vDisk

Citrix have released a whitepaper that describes how you implement Citrix XenDesktop with the Personal vDisk.


This document provides the installation steps required to setup the personal vDisk feature of XenDesktop 5.6 with either Machine Creation Services (MCS) or Provisioning Services (PVS) running on the Citrix XenServer virtualization platform. This guide assumes the infrastructure aspects for Citrix products have been installed, including Citrix Licensing Server 11.9, Citrix XenDesktop 5.6, Provisioning Services 6.1, etc. Upon completion of the steps outlined in this document, an enterprise can provide XenDesktop virtual desktops with the personal vDisk feature enabled.

Implementing XenDesktop is not a difficult or particularly complex process. However, installing XenDesktop should not be performed in a production environment without adequate testing beforehand. It is recommended to install in a test or lab environment and conduct thorough systems and user acceptance testing to determine the optimal configuration for the enterprise environment. Success Accelerator kits are available at http://www.citrix.com/successaccelerator/to ensure XenDesktop projects delivers value to the organization.

Implementation Guide

  • Prerequisites for SQL database, Citrix Licensing, XenDesktop Controller, and Provisioning Services.
  • Preparing Provisioning Services vDisk to be used with personal vDisk.
  • Creating a Citrix XenDesktop site with a Desktop Group featuring personal vDisks.
  • Creating streamed Virtual Machines with personal vDisks using XenDesktop Setup Wizard.
  • Updating the master vDisk and the personal vDisk inventory.
  • Resizing the personal vDisk.
  • Resetting the personal vDisk.
  • Capturing personal vDisk log files.
  • Preparing the base Virtual Machine to be used with personal vDisk and MCS.
  • Creating pooled Virtual Machines with personal vDisks using MCS.
  • Final validation steps.


Read the entire Whitepaper ( Implementation Guide Citrix XenDesktop with Personal vDisk ) here (CTX133965)

TechPreview “Project Aruba” NextGen VDI-in-a-box

Citrix is developing on next generation of Citrix VDI-in-a-box. Next version of VDI-in-a-box “Project Aruba” will have updated HDX components and fixed bugs and Citrix Personal vDisk and much more. Some of the new components are “Optimization pack for Google Earth”, New HDX ADGroup Policy Mgmt, Profile Management 4.1.

Technology preview of Project Aruba is now available.

Project Aruba

Project Aruba delivers a simple, complete  VDI solution with personalized and pooled desktops available both on-premise and as a cloud-service.  Project Aruba extends Citrix VDI-in-a-Box with personal vDisk layering technology to preserve personalization of end-user applications and data while IT only has to manage a single instance of the master image.  This saves time and costs while delivering a highly personalized end-user experience.

Key features in Project Aruba

  • Personalized virtual desktops: You no longer have to choose between consolidating management using desktop pools versus delivering end-users the flexibility to install their own applications and data.  Project Aruba eliminates the need to create separate static desktops to carry forward end-user customization by coupling single-instance management with the ability to have individual user workspaces for their applications and data.
  • Single instance management: Rather than juggling many persistent desktops, IT can maintain one master copy of desktop images while preserving the personalization of user applications and data. This dramatically reduces maintenance efforts and cuts datacenter storage costs up to 90 percent.
  • Support for Windows 2008 R2: Project Aruba manages Windows 2008 R2, Windows 7 and Windows XP –based virtual desktops – enabling customers to select the ideal virtual desktop environment based on compatibility and costs.
  • Cost-effective Windows-as-a-Service with VDI: Project Aruba extends the Citrix vision of enabling Windows-as-a-Service and adds a simple yet highly cost-effective VDI option based on Citrix VDI-in-a-Box to the already successful Citrix Service Provider (CSP) portfolio of hosted-shared desktops with XenApp, and enterprise-class desktop virtualization with XenDesktop.  The newly released reference architecture for Desktops-as-a-Service provides a validated blueprint for service providers looking to deliver VDI-based Desktops-as-a-Service at a fraction of the costs of other alternatives while complying with Microsoft licensing.
  • Windows 8 support (Beta): Project Aruba runs Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 virtual desktops.  All features of Windows 8 including the new Metro interface are fully supported.  Since Windows 8 is not yet generally available, this feature is currently in Beta.
  • Simpler, more flexible: Project Aruba makes management even simpler and more efficient with added features such as access to multiple data stores for optimizing storage, and a touchless DTAgent that updates the desktop agent on all golden images and their desktop instances  automatically when the VDI-in-a-Box software is upgraded.


Download here (Require MyCitrix ID)


Citrix Personal vDisk Technology Planning Guide


XenDesktop offers IT administrators many options in order to implement virtual desktops. These options are tailored to balance flexibility that many demanding end users require with the security and standardization that IT administrators need. Citrix Personal vDisks have been incorporated into XenDesktop 5.6 which can allow even greater flexibility in achieving the goal of providing end-user personalization while maintaining the control of a centrally managed desktop image.

Traditionally, the most impactful enterprise option for virtual desktops involved deploying large numbers of desktops based on a centrally managed master desktop image. These desktops offer excellent density and service levels, however offered limited personalization options to end users. In many enterprises, the desire for complete personalization eclipsed the benefit of a small set of centrally managed desktop images. This led many IT administrators to fall back to providing Dedicated Desktops.

While a Dedicated virtual desktop may meet the needs of demanding end-users, they can present a set of unique challenges to the IT administrators. In large environments, these desktops will need to be administered by an enterprise desktop management tool. These tools, in turn, offer their own level of complexity and overhead that can significantly alter the return on investment of any virtual desktop implementation. Perhaps even more importantly, Dedicated Desktops present a significantly greater initial storage footprint as well as ongoing storage burden to the enterprise. Over time, the cost of shared enterprise storage may even erode the value of consolidation and centralized management.

Recognizing the need for virtual desktops offering comprehensive personalization, yet still preserving the consolidation benefits of Pooled or Streamed desktops, Citrix is introducing Personal vDisk technology into the 5.6 release of XenDesktop. Deployed via an enhanced Virtual Desktop Agent and working with upgraded XenDesktop Controllers, Personal vDisks allow the separation of user configuration and application changes from the base image of the virtual desktop. This allows IT administrators to deploy images based on a centrally managed image that still offers end users the ability to personalize as well as accommodate departmental applications, without resorting to dedicated virtual desktops.


Read the full whitepaper “Citrix Personal vDisk Technology Planning Guide” that Adeel Arshed from Citrix have created.