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MED-V V2, V1, or XP Mode?


It looks like both MED-V v1 and v2 will be around for the remainder of the Windows XP support lifecycle. Because of this, I often I get asked the question, “Which version of MED-V should I be using?” as well as “Why should I be using MED-V instead of Windows XP mode?” The following table lists the differences in the basic feature set between versions 1 and 2 of MED-V. This decision making relies on comparing several factors. You also have to take into consideration that MED-V v2 was a complete re-engineering of the product. There is no direct upgrade path between MED-V v1 and v2.

 General Feature Differences between MED V1 and V2

This table focuses on the Primary feature changes and enhancements that drove development of the MED-V/Windows 7/Optimized Desktop Strategy. These include features added into the product as a result of customer feedback for version 1.

Feature MED-V V1 MED-V v2
Policy Source XML-based from Server Local Registry (can be deployed by policy)
Authentications Source AD AD
SSO Support Host-Client? No Yes
SSO Client-Workspace Yes Yes
Workspace Support Persistent and Revertible Only Persistent

General Component Differences between V1 and V2

If you are an experienced MED-V v1 users, you will need to be aware of  some functional component differences. The following table lists the differences between the installable components available between versions 1 and 2 of MED-V.

Component MED-V V1 MED-V v2
MED-V Policy Server Yes No
Image Distribution Server Yes No
MED-V Client MED-V Client MED-V Host Agent
MED-V Workspace MED-V Workspace (Manually Installed) MED-V Guest Agent (Auto-installed)
VM Preparation VM Preparation Tool MED-V Workspace Packager
MED-V Management Console MED-V Management Console MED-V Workspace Packager
Diagnostics Kidaroreport.exe MED-V Toolkit

Differences that Affect Enterprise Decisions

There will be many customers who have been surveying MED-V for enterprise deployments. Many may have looking at MED-V version 1 and are trying to determine whether MED-V v1 or MED-V v2 is suitable. The following chart outlines many factors that determine adoption in the enterprise. Use this to help you make that decision.

Feature MED-V V1 MED-V V2
Client Host OS Support XP, Vista, and Windows 7 Windows 7
VPC Engine VPC 2007 (VPC 6) VPC7  (Non VT requires Patch)
URL Redirection Basic (Bidirectional) Host-to-Guest only
Full Desktop Mode Yes Only through VPC
Reporting (SQL) Yes No
Policy Source Server (XML) Registry/GPO
Seamless Integration Yes – Manual Yes – Automatic
Application Publishing Foundation Kidaro RDP/RemoteApp
Console Yes Yes (Workspace Packer)
Integrated Image Distribution TrimTransfer/BITS/Pre-Staging Pre-staging Only (ConfigManager Integration with DCM)
WMI Support No Yes

 The Feature Comparisons between XP Mode, MED-V V1, and MED-V v2

Finally, how both MED-V v2 and v1 stack up in comparison with XP Mode is outlined in the table below. XP Mode is designed to be a consumer solution while MED-V is for the enterprise.

Feature XP Mode MED-V v1 MED-V v2
Seamless Application Compatibility Environment X X X
Host/Guest Folder Integration X X
USB/Smart Card Redirection X X
Dynamic Application Publishing X Manual X
Custom XP Image X X
Domain Joined X X
SCCM Integration (Bridged) (Bridged and NAT)
IE6 Web Redirection Bi-Directional Host to Guest only
Shared VHD Support X X
Guest Wake-to-Patch X
Automated First-Time-Setup X X
Packaging/Configuration Wizard X X
WMI Monitoring Interface X
Network Printer Syncing  Steve Thomas X
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