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Pooling virtual desktops allows an administrator to centralize desktop management and simplify settings configuration. Pooling also allows an administrator to deploy identical applications to specific groups of users and automate virtual desktop provisioning.
There are a few different ways to deploy virtual desktop pools, depending on the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) software being used. In a Microsoft Remote Desktop Services environment, administrators can group identically configured VMs hosted on Remote Desktop Virtualization Host servers. Unlike a personal virtual desktop, where the user connects to a dedicated VM and any changes are saved after logoff, a Microsoft VDI virtual desktop pool assigns a VM to the user for a single session. All users that connect to a virtual desktop in a given pool see the same desktop; they cannot personalize the desktop because they could be assigned to a different VM the next time they log in.
VMware's View desktop virtualization software supports both dedicated-assignment virtual desktop pools and floating-assignment pools. A dedicated pool allows the user to customize the desktop and saves those changes after logoff, while a floating pool is similar to Microsoft VDI in that the administrator can provision a clean virtual desktop each time a user connects.
Citrix XenDesktop virtual desktop pools are similar to VMware View. XenDesktop offers pooled-random machines, which are assigned to a user at login, and pooled-static machines that allow users connect to the same VM every time they log in.