Windows Server 2012 Pooled VDI

VDI has been possibled with Windows Server 2008, but setup, operations, and high availability have been either lacking or very difficult.  This has changed with Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services (RDS).  There are two primary types of RDS deployments in Windows Server 2012:

  • Virtual machine-based desktop deployment (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
  • Session-based desktop deployment (RDSH – Classic Remote Desktop Services and Remote Applications)

With VDI deployments, pooled desktops can be desirable and there are two types of Pooled Virtual desktop Collections in Windows 2012 RDS:

  • Pooled Managed – the Virtual desktop machine is created using the Sysprep Template of a virtual machine. We can recreate the virtual desktops from this image at will.
  • Pooled Unmanaged – we can add the existing virtual machine to this virtual desktop collection from Hyper V pool. With either option, the administrator can configure the pool to store the user profiles on User Profile disks separate from the machines.

Microsoft has written a detailed how-to guide on setting up these scenarios with screenshots.  It is a must read for getting started with RDS/VDI in your environment.

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