Virtual Desktop Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing virtual desktop and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting or using the search box below.

  • N

    nonpersistent desktop

    A non-persistent desktop is a virtual desktop that does not maintain user data, personalized settings, or any other changes made by the end user.

  • P

    Parallels Desktop for Mac

    Parallels Desktop for Mac is desktop virtualization software that can replicate a native user experience for guest applications and operating systems on Apple Mac computers.

  • PCoIP (PC over IP)

    PCoIP is a remote display protocol for delivering remote desktops and applications.

  • persistent desktop

    A persistent desktop is a virtual desktop that maintains user settings and data so that each time a user logs into their virtual desktop, all of their personalized settings, files and data appear.

  • published applications

    Published applications are virtual software programs that function as if they were installed locally.

  • R

    Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)

    Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) is an application-level network communication system that transfers real-time data from multimedia to an endpoint device by communicating directly with the server streaming the data.

  • remote desktop connection broker

    A remote desktop connection broker allows clients to access various types of server-hosted desktops and applications.

  • Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan)

    Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan) is a tool for managing multiple remote desktop sessions. It creates a single location for IT administrators to organize, group and manage connections.

  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS)

    Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is an umbrella term for several specific features of Microsoft Windows Server that allow users to remotely access graphical desktops and Windows applications.

  • Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH)

    Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) is a role in Remote Desktop Services (RDS), or Terminal Services, as it was known prior to Windows Server 2008 R2.

  • remote display protocol

    A remote display protocol is a special set of data transfer rules that makes it possible for a desktop hosted at one place to display on a client's screen at another location.

  • RemoteFX

    RemoteFX is a set of protocols for Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that are used to remotely deliver Windows virtual desktops over a local area network (LAN).

  • S

    streaming application

    A streaming application is a program that has its necessary components downloaded as needed instead of being installed ahead of time on a computer.

  • T

    terminal server

    Also see Terminal Server product, Microsoft software that serves the Windows desktop and applications to terminals.

  • U

    USB redirection (Universal Serial Bus redirection)

    USB redirection lets end users plug peripheral devices into local USB ports and access them from virtual desktops. Redirection tools transmit a device's functionality over the network to a virtual machine in the data center.