Planning for a Microsoft VDI Deployment
In the past, desktop virtualization administrators have used Microsoft for only part of their VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) while using solutions from VMWare of Citrix as the primary basis.
You may be already familiar with Microsoft’s client-hosted enterprise desktop virtualization solution – MED-V. VDI is Microsoft’s server-based desktop virtualization solution combining all of the following for engine support all the way to complete end-to-end management:
- Windows 7
- Windows Server 2008 R2
- System Center Virtualization Manager
- Remote Desktop Services
Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 adds two new components (RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory) that fill two holes related to management flexibility and user experience that now make Microsoft almost a non-brainer choice for your VDI solution.
Microsoft’s virtualization main page is found here:
First things first,
Licensing Information regarding VDI. One of the first things customers want to know is what are the costs and the potential cost savings:
In terms of how it works, here is Microsoft’s VDI solution at a high level:
The next items of concern are often what infrastructure changes will need to be made. Moving to a VDI environment will require the presence of a Windows 2008 or Windows 2008 R2 domain controller (depending on the Hyper-V/RDS platform being used.) You will also need to update the schema accordingly to support these domain controllers and subsequent services required for the VDI environment.
Here are the outlines of the Windows 2008 and Windows 2008 R2 Schema changes:
Windows 2008 R2:
You will need to have Windows 2008 Schema changes minimally however, the minimum AD domain level supported is Windows 200 native. Windows 200 mixed or Windows 2003 interim are not supported.
The following are important considerations about assigning a personal virtual desktop to a user in AD DS:
- To deploy personal virtual desktops, your schema for the Active Directory forest must be at least Windows Server 2008. To use the added functionality provided by the Personal Virtual Desktop tab in the User Account Properties dialog box in Active Directory Users and Computers, you must run Active Directory Users and Computers from a computer running Windows Server 2008 R2 or a computer running Windows 7 that has Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) installed.
- You must use a domain functional level of at least Windows 2000 Server native mode. The functional levels Windows 2000 Server mixed mode and Windows Server 2003 interim mode are not supported.
- Ensure that the RDVH-SRV computer meets the Hyper-V installation prerequisites (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=122183).
- The user account and the virtual machine must both be members of an Active Directory domain.
- Personal virtual desktops can only use Windows client operating systems. You cannot install Windows Server® 2008 R2 on a virtual machine and assign it as a personal virtual desktop.
- A user can be assigned only one personal virtual desktop at a time.
- A virtual machine can be assigned as a personal virtual desktop to only one user at a time.
- The name of the virtual machine in the Hyper-V Manager tool must match the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the computer.
Alongside of instructure changes and concerns is capacity planning. Here is a good webcast on planning and sizing session virtualization and bandwidth for VDI:
And a good document as well:
RD Web Access Information:
RD gateway Information:
Why VDI for Hyper-v Whitepaper:
Windows 2008 R2 SP1’s RemoteFX feature for Hyper-V
If you have time, also check out the VDI videos on technet Edge: