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Citrix XenDesktop is Central to Microsoft Enterprise VDI


I was doing a bit of reading this weekend, I just finished “The White Tiger”,(good book BTW) and so to liven things up a bit I downloaded Microsoft’s free eBook: Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions –By Mitch Tulloch with the Microsoft Virtualization Teams. I don’t think it’ll win the Booker prize, but it was good to get the Microsoft perspective on how they believe Virtualisation fits into their world. The book is sub-titled “From the Desktop to the Datacenter”, and it covers the full scope of how virtualisation affects the Microsoft World. It covers the topics:

·         Server virtualisation
·         Application virtualisation
·         Desktop virtualisation
·         Presentation virtualisation
·         Profile virtualisation
The Desktop virtualisation section covers Med-V and VDI. Being a Citrix guy, I was please to see that Citrix XenDesktop is central to the Microsoft VDI infrastructure: –  
From a Microsoft perspective, as per their book, the VDI components are:
1.       Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V
2.       System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008
3.       Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop (VECD)
4.       Citrix XenDesktop, a session/connection broker partner solution
5.       Client devices
 I must say I was amused to see the following:
It is a rather pointed response to the common habit of some vendors omitting the Microsoft licensing whenever specifing the costs of a VDI solution. The moral of the story is, always check that the VECD licensing has been added.
Another key piece of the VDI architercture is the use of dynamic images.
The dynamic images technology utilises Citrix Provisioning Server, to create a single shared OS image, rather than using multiple individual images.
I did a little introductory video for Citrix Provisioning Server over a year ago, so the versions have all changed, but the basic concepts all remain the same. If you would like to understand better how to use this technology have a look at this video feed
The full Microsoft document can be downloaded here
And another handy link on the Microsoft Website is here, there is a VDI 101 kit, and a (somewhat dated) Evaluation Guide.
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