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Guide to virtual desktop management tools

Virtual desktop management tools can help keep performance and user profiles in line. Utilities such as PowerShell and Dexpot can even automate some tasks.

Introduction

Managing a virtual desktop deployment isn't always a snap, but there are tools that can make it easier.

Performance monitoring and user profile management are two of the keys to making sure your virtual desktops run smoothly. You'll know if there's a performance problem because help desk tickets with user complaints will start rolling in, but if you have performance monitoring tools, they can alert you to potential problems without angering the mob. Monitoring tools can also help you find and troubleshoot any one-off problems that might come up.

Many users would also be unhappy without the ability to customize their desktops. That's where profile management tools come in. You can use them to deploy a default configuration of settings to workers who all have the same needs, or you can allow each user to have his or her own profile. Learn more about the tools you can use to manage virtual desktops and profiles in this guide.

1Desktops and performance-

Performance monitoring and virtual desktop management

Everyone knows that virtual infrastructure can be pretty complex, so any simplification is welcome. With tools such as Dexpot and PowerShell scripts, you can easily -- and in some cases automatically -- create, configure and manage virtual desktops and applications. In addition to these utilities, there are performance monitoring tools that help you find and fix problems with virtual desktops.

Tip

Who needs monitoring tools?

The complexity of virtual desktop infrastructure makes troubleshooting difficult. Monitoring tools help you find and fix various problems with the network connection, authentication, user experience, performance and more. Continue Reading

Tip

How to choose VDI performance monitoring tools

When you're researching a third-party VDI monitoring tool, there are some best practices to keep in mind. The monitoring tool you choose should be vendor-neutral, easy to use, extensible and scalable. Metrics should include more than just latency and bandwidth information -- they should take account of load and CPU performance, too. Continue Reading

Tip

Setting up PowerShell for Windows 7 remote desktops

PowerShell cmdlets are useful ways to manage virtual and remote desktops, but a lot can go wrong when you set up and configure the system. You have to set Windows Remote Management to Automatic, prep computers with Internet Information Service and configure Windows Remote Management Service. Continue Reading

Tip

VDI-friendly PowerShell scripts

When Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 hit GA, they came with a bunch of new PowerShell scripts that VDI admins can take advantage of, such as Add-VMHardDiskDrive and New-VMResourcePool. They do exactly what you'd think: install a hard disk in a virtual machine and create a resource pool on a Hyper-V host. Continue Reading

Tip

Dexpot for virtual desktop management

Many Linux and Mac users see Windows virtual desktops as inferior because Windows lacks a virtual desktop management system. However, Dexpot not only lets you manage desktops, you can full-screen preview them. The taskbar also lets you switch desktops and hover to see what's on other desktops first. Continue Reading

2Profiles rule-

User profile management

Managing user profiles is no easy task in a virtual environment. When users each want or need different settings on their virtual desktops, it can cause headaches for you. On the bright side, there's a glut of profile management tools to choose from, including options built into your VDI software and third-party options.

Tip

The importance of user profile management tools

Getting employees on board with virtualization isn't always easy, especially if you take away their profile settings such as bookmarks and desktop backgrounds. Luckily, you can let users have their own unique profiles using Windows roaming profiles or a third-party profile management tool. Continue Reading

Answer

Do you need third-party management tools?

If you don't need to allow users to make a lot of changes to their profiles, you can get away with the profile management tools that are baked into your VDI software. Look at a third-party option if you have more complex needs. Continue Reading

Tip

16 user profile management tools

Speaking of third-party profile management tools, there are tons on the market to choose from. The major vendors offer robust, easy-to-use tools. And many less well-known tools are free. Continue Reading

Tip

When a default user profile fits

Another way you can manage users' profiles is to deploy a single profile with default settings that suit all your users. Cases where this approach is appropriate include user bases that do the same tasks every day, or don't need much customization, such as call centers. Continue Reading

News

No Persona Management in Horizon 6 RDSH

It was a big deal when VMware added application publishing to its lineup with Remote Desktop Session Host in Horizon 6, but the suite will come without View Persona Management. Admins will have to find another way to make sure Horizon 6 RDSH remembers users' profile information. Continue Reading

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