The New XenDesktop Design Handbook


All I want is a list of documents that will help me design my XenDesktop environment.  Who else wants the same thing?  I bet many of you are saying “Yes, Me too!!”  That’s great and everything but how do you know when a new white paper is released that relates to XenDesktop design?  Do you keep your own personal library of white papers for XenDesktop design?  And even more, how do you keep informed when updates are made to previously released white papers?

I’ve got a special treat for you, the NEW XenDesktop Design Handbook.  Instead of trying to create a 1,000 page document that discusses all of the different design options and best practices, we are creating a kit for XenDesktop architects.  In the kit you will find some goodies:

  1. Reference Architectures
  2. Reference Designs
  3. Implementation Guides
  4. Planning Guides

This is just the start.  If you subscribe to the kit, you will be able to receive notifications when updates are made to the Design Handbook. We are in the process of developing many new best practice documents focused on different design areas that you won’t want to miss.  Interested yet? Then how about I give you the link to the NEW XenDesktop Design Handbook (note: you must log on to MyCitrix). You can also get the link via the Documents menu item above.

And finally, if you have requests for new design planning guides, please email Ask the Architect.

Daniel – Lead Architect

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Optimize your Virtual Desktop Image


Building a virtual desktop is simply a matter of installing the Windows operating system. Right?  Slow down… although this will work, it won’t give you the best performance and scalability.  One of the items that many people mistakenly forget to accomplish is to optimize the base operating system.  This is the 7th mistake out of the top 10 mistakes made with virtual desktops: Continue reading Optimize your Virtual Desktop Image

Windows 7 Optimization – Disable Services


Looking to virtualize Windows 7 and deliver it as a virtual desktop?  Good for you!  But what are you going to do to the operating system to optimize it?  Not sure?  How about disable some services.  That always saves resources.  There are so many, which ones make the most sense?

Let’s assume you are using XenDesktop and Provisioning services single image management. That means changes made during the user session are deleted upon reboot.  If we keep that in mind, we have a better idea of what services we can disable because their value is severely diminished if changes are not stored across reboots.  Additionally, there are some services we don’t need or want in our corporate environment and others we don’t think are important but our users definitely want. Continue reading Windows 7 Optimization – Disable Services

A Virtual Desktop Storm Approaches


Rush hour. Something we all can relate to. Way back in time when I used to go to an office daily, I hated rush hour.  If I left home at a certain time, it would take me 45 minutes just to get to the office. But if I left just 15 minutes earlier, that same 45 minute trip would only take 15 minutes.  You might be asking yourself what this anecdote has to do with virtual desktops. Well, it’s all about managing a storm. I managed the rush hour storm by changing the time I left for work in the morning.  With virtual desktops, we need do something similar. If you don’t, you will encounter the fifth mistake in my list of top 10 mistakes to avoid Continue reading A Virtual Desktop Storm Approaches

What I learned at BriForum 2010


For those of you who didn’t know, last week was BriForum and I was able to attend as a speaker and as an attendee.  I think it was a great event, and I believe it was the largest one ever, so congratulations to Brian, Gabe and the TechTarget team.

What did I learn last week?  I learned 10 things, which ironically fits nicely into this blog. Without wasting more of your time, here are the Top 10 Things I Learned At BriForum all for your enjoyment 🙂

10. Lou Malnati’s is great pizza and only 2 blocks from the hotel. Is there anything better than Chicago Deep Dish pizza? Continue reading What I learned at BriForum 2010

Protection From Anti-Virus


Protection from antivirus.  Are you wondering if you read that correctly?  Yes, it is correct.  Odd isn’t it?  Anti-virus is there to protect us, but we also need to be protected from antivirus. Antivirus solutions are critical, even in a virtual desktop environment. Many people believe that because a hosted VM-based virtual desktop image is created from a real-only image that they are immune from virus.  That is only partially true.  When you reboot, the virus goes away because the changes to the base image are destroyed (including the virus), but what about that time period between getting infected and the next reboot? Those few hours are dangerous. Continue reading Protection From Anti-Virus

Windows 7 Migration at BriForum


What would you say if I were to tell you that migrating to a virtual desktop was no different than if you were going to migrate to Windows 7?  I’m being serious.  Migrating a user to a virtual desktop has many similarities to migrating a user to Windows 7 on a traditional desktop.  With a Windows 7 migration, we are concerned with hardware, operating system, applications, personalization, and more.  With a virtual desktop migration, we are focused on hardware, operating system, applications, personalization and more. Same focus areas. Interesting

Of course there are some differences. For example, regardless of the path you are taking, most organizations will create their “Corporate Desktop Image”. At its core, the standard desktop image would have similar configurations like removing games, disabling Media Center, adding anti-virus software, etc. This would be done if Windows 7 were on a traditional desktop or on a virtual desktop.  But on the virtual desktop we will likely do more. Continue reading Windows 7 Migration at BriForum