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Occasional Contributor
First published on CloudBlogs on Nov, 16 2009

With Windows Server 2008 R2 we support two VDI deployment scenarios: virtual desktop pools and personal virtual desktops. The two scenarios present two different models of assigning virtual machines to end users: shared and dedicated. This blog post describes personal virtual desktops.

What is a personal virtual desktop? - A personal virtual desktop is a virtual machine hosted on a Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RD Virtualization Host) server and assigned to a user. Unlike a virtual desktop pool, where a virtual machine can be configured to rollback the changes when a user logs off, a personal virtual desktop retains all changes made by the user.

How do you assign a personal virtual desktop? - The Remote Desktop Connection Broker Manager (RD Connection Broker Manager) can be used to assign an unassigned virtual machine to a user. The assignment is stored in Active Directory. The assignment stays intact even after the user logs off from his or her assigned personal virtual desktop. An administrator can reassign a personal virtual desktop or make changes to the assignment through RD Connection Broker Manager.

How do you access and log off from a personal virtual desktop? - Users can access their assigned personal virtual desktops through RemoteApp and Desktop Connections or RD Web Access. When a user clicks on the personal virtual desktop icon, Microsoft VDI solution prepares a pre-assigned virtual machine for a remote RDP connection. Whether the user has logged off or has a disconnected session he is assigned the same virtual machine each time.

Can a personal virtual desktop be made part of a virtual desktop pool? – No. It is a misconfiguration to add a virtual machine designated as a personal virtual desktop to a virtual desktop pool if the goal is to allow only the assigned user to access that virtual machine. When the designated user makes a connection to his personal virtual desktop which is now part of a virtual desktop pool, the connection will fail and a type mismatch event will be logged.

What is the cost of ownership of personal virtual desktops compared to virtual desktop pools? - Since there is a one-to-one mapping between a virtual machine and a user in the personal virtual desktop scenario, the initial cost and overall cost of ownership of a personal virtual desktop is higher than in the virtual desktop pool scenario in which virtual machines are shared between users.

How many personal virtual desktops can be assigned per user? – One. ISVs can extend the inbox solution and provide users access to more than one personal virtual desktop. Refer to: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd401684(VS.85).aspx

Can the same Hyper-V server be used to deploy personal virtual desktops and virtual machines from virtual desktop pools? – Yes. It is not required to have personal virtual desktops isolated from virtual desktop pools.

For details on how to set up personal virtual desktops, refer to:

Technical Library

Microsoft Download Center

Deploying Personal Virtual Desktops by Using Remote Desktop Web Access Step-by-Step Guide ... ( http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=147909 )

Deploying Personal Virtual Desktops by Using Remote Desktop Web Access Step-by-Step Guide ... ( http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=147908 )

Deploying Personal Virtual Desktops by Using RemoteApp and Desktop Connection Step-by-Step G... ( http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=154801 )

Deploying Personal Virtual Desktops by Using RemoteApp and Desktop Connection Step-by-Step G... ( http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=154800 )