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Examine nonpersistent and persistent VDI

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Visual Editor: Sarah Evans

Once IT has evaluated DaaS and on-premises VDI, the next choice is nonpersistent or persistent VDI. The differences in user experience, endpoint devices and licensing make nonpersistent and persistent VDI a definitive decision for an organization. IT must determine the use case of the virtual desktops, the clients available to the organization and the overall cost of the deployment first.

Organizations that have multiple users operating on a shared device should turn to nonpersistent desktops. This setup uses a golden image as a universal virtual desktop template and refreshes the virtual desktop for each login.

Users cannot customize their settings or desktops with nonpersistent VDI. As a result, nonpersistent desktops require less storage and, therefore, cost less. Nonpersistent VDI works on thin clients, which also saves money for organizations. Licensing a nonpersistent deployment is per device, with costs ranging depending on the vendor IT uses.

A persistent VDI deployment is a great option for organizations that have users working with multiple devices. Each desktop is virtualized on a separate disk image that is unique to each user, so he can save settings, files and applications. These settings are always on the desktop unless the user chooses to make changes. This level of personalization requires significant room for storage, so organizations must have logical drives on which to store disk images before they are integrated back onto the virtual machine.

With persistent VDI, the endpoint devices must perform the rest of the virtual desktop computing, so thin clients are not the best option. Licensing a persistent VDI deployment is per user, and it varies in price depending on the vendor.

Large organizations that have a use case for both nonpersistent and persistent VDI can deploy both types. IT has to be meticulous on the user device policies, the type of licensing it uses and the storage architecture. Organizations such as hospitals may choose one large group, such as nurses, to share one main computer per workstation, while the hospital administrators use persistent VDI to access desktops from their laptops, desktops and mobile devices. 

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