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September 2014, Volume 3, Issue 8

Why nonpersistent VDI hasn't taken off

One of the early alleged benefits of VDI that vendors pushed in the mid-2000s was that virtual desktops are easier to manage than physical ones. Vendors claimed that with VDI, numerous users could share a single master disk image, so a software patch or an application update would have to be installed only once into the master image, and voila! -- all the users would be instantly updated. Contrast that with the traditional desktop environment, where some poor schmuck has to manually update each desktop, one by one, for every change. Even remote software distribution platforms like Altiris or Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager involve a lot of complexity around building packages, scheduling the software pushes, cleaning up the remnants and so on. When we have that single shared disk image, we say that those are "nonpersistent" disk images because the disk images do not persist between reboots. No matter what the users do while they're logged on, their changes are discarded when they log off, and they get a brand-new ...

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  • Why nonpersistent VDI hasn't taken off

    by  Brian Madden

    Nonpersistent VDI sounds great in theory, but beneath the surface lay management and application compatibility nightmares. For these reasons, many shops look to persistent VDI, but new tools could make shared images easier to implement and manage.