Which Hosted Virtual Desktop Do I Use?

This question has come up quite a few times in the past week, so I thought I would try to add some clarity. It all comes down to people looking to move to XenDesktop 5 from XenDesktop 4. Most of the XenDesktop 4 implementations are using Provisioning Services for single image management. When you create your XenDesktop 5 site, you need to add your XenDesktop 4 virtual desktops into XenDesktop Studio so it will be part of the new site. But you have five options (Existing, Physical, Pooled, Dedicated and Streamed). Which one do you use?

Existing… Right?

Nope. It will work, but it wasn’t meant for Provisioning Services desktops.





When you select “Streamed”, Desktop Studio wants the Provisioning Services address, as shown:

You select the Device Collections you want to be controlled and managed by Desktop Studio. This allows you to migrate certain groups of desktops at a time.

This is why it is always a good idea to keep the XenDesktop 5 Reference Architecture in mind because it is shows what imaging solution is used or the Hosted VDI desktop:

Daniel – Lead Architect
XenDesktop Design Handbook

3 thoughts on “Which Hosted Virtual Desktop Do I Use?”

  1. Hi, Daniel

    I am a big fun of PVS but IMHO it looks like in XenDesktop 5 PVS play the second role after MCS.
    For example
    1. in XD4 documentation there was steps how-to create PVS vDisk and so-on but in XD 5 documentation there is nothing about it.
    2. The XenDesktop Setup Wizard missed.
    3. Most improvements which make XD5 ease of use rely on MCS and not PVS. In fact it looks like work with PVS is more difficult than in XD4.

    And it looks like XenClient will also like MCS 🙂

    We are Citrix Platinum partners and last year i spend many time in discussion with customer about XD versus VView. One of the main arguments was that PVS is better than linked clones but now i have no idea what to say because MCS looks actually like … Linked clones. But if PVS is better then linked clones why citrix start to use the same technology instead of improving the better PVS technology.
    And the worse things is that this month i will implement XS5 and i have now idea which technology use MCS or PVS. I am not able to find any information about it.

    Please help me 🙂
    Best regards


    1. Dan, is there a “production ready” way to use specifically assigned desktops with XD5 and PVS 5.6? I don’t think you can use Pooled Static or Dedicated Pools with PVS.


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