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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.

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