Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, is shown in Figure 8. in this approach to desktop virtualization relies on the VMs that Hyper-V provides. This option, called
Figure 8: Illustrating Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
As the figure shows, VDI runs on a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine configured as a Remote Desktop Virtualization Host. This server runs an instance of Windows 7 or Windows Vista in each of Hyper-V’s child partitions (i.e., its VMs). Both Windows 7 and Vista have built-in support for RDP, which allows their user interfaces to be accessed remotely. The client machine can be anything that supports RDP, such as a thin client, a Macintosh, or a Windows system. The result is similar to session virtualization: desktop applications run on a server with only their user interface projected across the network.
This similarity raises an obvious question: How should an organization choose between Session Virtualization and VDI? Here are some simple guidelines:
§ Session Virtualization is a mature, proven technology, while VDI is newer and less commonly used. Session Virtualization is also less hardware-intensive than VDI; one server can support many more users, since it’s not required to run multiple VMs. Put simply, Session Virtualization is probably the best option if the primary goal is lowering the cost of providing user desktops.
§ VDI gives users much greater control over their desktops, since everybody has his own VM. The user can set his own wallpaper and even reboot the VM without asking an administrator. While creating a VDI environment will probably cost more than relying on Session Virtualization, it can provide significantly more flexibility.
It’s also possible to use Session Virtualization and VDI together. To establish a connection in this scenario, an RDP client talks first to a connection broker, which then sets up an RDP connection to either a Remote Desktop Session Host or a Remote Desktop Virtualization Host.
© Copyright Microsoft Corporation 2009. All rights reserved.