Simplify Desktop Management without Compromising Performance with XenDesktop 5
With the continued evolution of desktop solutions, there are a number of issues tied to conventional desktop implementations that can be prevented with alternative solutions. One of these alternatives is called XenDesktop 5, which is a virtualized desktop solution.
How XenDesktop 5 works is a little different from what most people relate to when hearing the term “virtual desktop”. Many people relate this to what is called a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution; when implemented a VDI solution keeps a separate image for each user at a central location. Each time that user wants to use their desktop; the image is started and displayed at the remote console. While XenDesktop can operate in this way, it also has a number of other modes that decrease both the amount of space required to keep separate images for each user and the amount of support that is required of these types of deployments.
What XenDesktop 5 Has to Offer
XenDeskop 5 provides the capability to run a single master image for each operating system used within a company. Each user’s profile information and data is then separately stored and retrieved when the user logs in. Since this single image is already running on the central system, the time that it takes to have an operating desktop is considerably quicker than other solutions.
XenDesktop 5 builds on top of the work that was completed with XenDesktop 4 but with a number of improvements. XenDesktop 5 no longer uses the Independent Management Architecture (IMA); while IMA was certainly ahead of its time when it was first introduced, it was not able to keep up with the demands of a modern virtual desktop solution. Another major change is the implementation of a different file structure using a standard SQL database.
Other XenDesktop 5 improvements revolve around further refinement of Citrix’s HDX optimizations including MediaStream, RealTime, 3D, Plug-n-Play, Broadcast and IntelliCache.
These different optimizations are detailed as shown below:
- HDX MediaStream — provides optimization for Flash, AVI, and WMV among other multimedia formats.
- HDX RealTime — provides optimizations for audio and video including webcam and softphones.
- HDX 3D for Professional Graphics — provides optimization for CAD and other engineering applications over slower connections.
- HDX Plug-n-Play — enables simple use of local resources including USB peripherals and printers.
- HDX Broadcast — optimizes the desktop and application performance over any network.
- HDX IntelliCache — accelerates the desktop and application performance through optimization and caching.
XenDesktop 5 Deployment
XenDesktop 5 offers the ability to deploy in a number of different ways including:
- Local Streamed Desktops – A centrally located virtual desktop that is remotely delivered
- Hosted VM-Based VDI Desktops – A virtual desktop that is remotely hosted and run at a central location.
- Hosted Shared Desktops – A desktop that is run on a Windows server and shared among multiple users
- Hosted Blade PC Desktops – A hosted blade workstation that is dedicated to the power users who require a large amount of resources.
- Local VM-Based Desktops – An alternative solution that allows mobile users the ability to utilize virtual desktop environment but without the need for a constant network connection. When the central location is accessible, changes in the OS, applications and user data are synchronized.
Is XenDesktop 5 Right for You?
In the modern corporate environment there are a number of different IT issues that complicate the lives of network administrators. One of these revolves around individual management of dedicated workstations; virtual desktop solutions offer an alternative that lowers the support requirements without a loss in provided resources to users.
XenDesktop takes this challenge a little further and offers an optimized solution that when deployed can maintain the high performance that users expect.