Converged Infrastructure

Simplifying the mystery of persistent or non-persistent desktops for client virtualization

Author:  Kirk Manzer

Title:  Technologist and Architect, Client Virtualization


With HP VirtualSystem CV2 for Citrix XenDesktop on Microsoft Hyper-V


Discussing client virtualization is like opening up Pandora’s Box—with a seemingly endless number of terms, ideas, and questions.  Client Virtualization can be as broad as implying bringing a desktop to an end user to as specific as a non-persistent streamed desktop, or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). 


A hosted desktop solution is straight forward--all users sharing the same desktop interface from a server on the back-end, with no opportunity for user customization.  Updates need only be applied to the server to affect all of the users.  This approach works very well for entry level users running only a few apps and no requirement to modify or customize their environment. 


For a virtual desktop, persistent and non-persistent users need to be considered.  A persistent user maintains changes to their desktop between logins.  A non-persistent user gets a fresh new desktop from a base image every time they log in.  The primary difference between a hosted desktop user and a non-persistent user is user isolation.  What one user does in the hosted desktop environment can affect other users in that hosted environment; all users are sharing the memory and CPU of the server. 


In many cases instituting a client virtualization solution is not a single solution, but a hybrid model.  Companies that have tried to use hosted desktops for all users have found that not all users fit into the entry level user, nor do they all use the same applications. 


Persistent desktops allow for isolation of users, and allow different user to have different applications.  However, companies that have simply converted their existing desktop images into persistent desktops have found it created bloated images, requires more storage and effort to maintain, and is a more costly model to support than dedicated desktops. 


For VDI, the non-persistent user is the most desired model.  Either a single or several images to maintain, no one user can affect other users, and the amount of required storage can be reduced.  However, and there always seems to be a however, users cannot customize their environments unless user virtualization is done using current Citrix tools or a third party application like AppSense or LiquidWare Labs software  to manage the user environment.  User virtualization allows for each user to customize their environment, and maintain that customization across logins.


Citrix has the FlexCast model, allowing for multiple ways to deliver the desktop to the end user, from using the hosted desktop capabilities of Citrix XenApp, to creating a virtual desktop that is streamed to an end user device using XenDesktop and Provisioning server.  And now with XenDesktop 5.6, Citrix has added personal vDisks, PvD.  One of the downsides to non-persistent VMs even with user virtualization is allowing a user to install customized or specific software that only they have a need access.  The PvD from Citrix allows a non-persistent user to become a persistent user, but still use the same base image.  These users still boot from the master image maintained by IT, but have the capability to customize their environment, even install software, and have those changes remain across logins. 


No matter which types of desktops are created, HP VirtualSystem CV2 for Citrix XenDesktop on Microsoft Hyper-V provides the data center support required.  This solution is designed from the ground up to be complete, simple to deploy and ready to scale. Within a single rack, the solution contains everything you need to deliver desktop virtualization including servers, storage, cabling, PDU’s, Microsoft Server 2008 R2 Data Center, and HP Insight Control for Microsoft System Center.  The CV2 is factory-integrated so all the hardware is installed, cabled, and working together before shipment.  Once onsite, HP services installs the solution, loads the software, and connects it to the network enabling fast time to production.


Come see the HP client virtualization solutions at Citrix Synergy and meet the experts to help you accelerate your client virtualization plans.  Not attending Citrix Synergy?  No worries - get more information at the HP client virtualization website.


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About the Author
About the Author(s)
  • 25+ years experience around HP Storage. The go-to guy for news and views on all things storage..
  • Technology marketing professional with over 25 years of experience in energy, semiconductor and IT industries.
  • More than 25 years in the IT industry developing and managing marketing programs. Focused in emerging technologies like Virtualization, cloud and big data.
  • More than 25 years of enterprise and midmarket Strategy and Marketing leadership and experience. Prior HP appointments included VP of Marketing for Adaptive Infrastructure and VP of Marketing for the HP Storage Division. Past positions prior to HP include VP of Marketing and Business Development for First Virtual Communications as well as Principal and Founding Member of Adjunct Consulting.
  • Over 12 years of consulting, new technology services development and marketing experience covering data center, IT infrastructure, cloud technology domains. Hande holds a M.B.A degree from Bentley College, MA.
  • More than 25 years in the IT industry, managing ITSM, service development and delivery projects in Technology Services. Specialized in end2end support for ISV based business solutions. Certified ITIL and project management expert.
  • Hector has marketing and communications expertise. With vast experience within the Enterprise Digital Marketing communications team at HP.
  • Editor and writer with 12+ years experience in the corporate software and technology sectors.
  • Marketing & communications professional with over 15 years of experience in a variety of industries across multiple continents. Part of HP Financial Services - helping customers build IT investment strategies that support tranformation and the ability to deliver business goals.
  • Eduardo Zepeda, WW TS Social Media Program Manager & Internal Communications for WW Technology Services Blogging on behalf of HP Technology Services (TS_Guest)
  • Julia Mason-Ochinero is WW CME Marketing Lead, HP Enterprise Marketing. In this role, Julia is responsible for driving dialog with CSPs on how they can transition to sustainable, profitable business models and enter into co-opetition with over-the-top (OTT) content providers who are changing this industry’s landscape. She joined HP in 2010 from Accel Partners (where she worked as a consultant.) Prior to Accel, Julia held marketing leadership positions with companies including Adobe, Nuance, OpenWave, Novell, Nuance Communications and RealNetworks. She began her career in Chicago working with organizations including AT Kearney, Andersen Consulting and Ameritech. She currently resides in Silicon Valley.
  • Focused on cloud, virtualization and appliance solutions for HP technology.
  • Hello! I am a social media manager for servers, so my posts will be geared towards HP server-related news & info.
  • HP Servers, Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and ExpertOne
  • More than 23 years of enterprise IT Marketing and Communications experience; working on the HP Converged Infrastructure Marketing team from when it was first pioneered and launched to the market in 2009.
  • I help clients use service management to create business value for themselves and their customers. I am a senior ITIL examiner and I have written many ITIL books and pocket guides. Find out more at or Follow me on Twitter @StuartRance
  • Greetings! I am on the HP Enterprise Group marketing team. Topics I am interested in include Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and Management, and HP BladeSystem.
  • Teri is responsible for the social media program for the HP Networking and HP Storage business units. Teri has has held global roles in IT, Operations, Sales, Partner Programs, Communications, and Marketing at HP.

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