Personal Virtual Desktops

Personal Virtual Desktops

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With Windows Server 2008 R2 we support two VDI deployment scenarios: virtual desktop pools and personal virtual desktops. The two scenarios present two different models of assigning virtual machines to end users: shared and dedicated. This blog post describes personal virtual desktops.

What is a personal virtual desktop? - A personal virtual desktop is a virtual machine hosted on a Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RD Virtualization Host) server and assigned to a user. Unlike a virtual desktop pool, where a virtual machine can be configured to rollback the changes when a user logs off, a personal virtual desktop retains all changes made by the user.

How do you assign a personal virtual desktop? - The Remote Desktop Connection Broker Manager (RD Connection Broker Manager) can be used to assign an unassigned virtual machine to a user. The assignment is stored in Active Directory. The assignment stays intact even after the user logs off from his or her assigned personal virtual desktop. An administrator can reassign a personal virtual desktop or make changes to the assignment through RD Connection Broker Manager.

How do you access and log off from a personal virtual desktop? - Users can access their assigned personal virtual desktops through RemoteApp and Desktop Connections or RD Web Access. When a user clicks on the personal virtual desktop icon, Microsoft VDI solution prepares a pre-assigned virtual machine for a remote RDP connection. Whether the user has logged off or has a disconnected session he is assigned the same virtual machine each time.

Can a personal virtual desktop be made part of a virtual desktop pool? – No. It is a misconfiguration to add a virtual machine designated as a personal virtual desktop to a virtual desktop pool if the goal is to allow only the assigned user to access that virtual machine. When the designated user makes a connection to his personal virtual desktop which is now part of a virtual desktop pool, the connection will fail and a type mismatch event will be logged.

What is the cost of ownership of personal virtual desktops compared to virtual desktop pools? - Since there is a one-to-one mapping between a virtual machine and a user in the personal virtual desktop scenario, the initial cost and overall cost of ownership of a personal virtual desktop is higher than in the virtual desktop pool scenario in which virtual machines are shared between users.

How many personal virtual desktops can be assigned per user? – One. ISVs can extend the inbox solution and provide users access to more than one personal virtual desktop. Refer to:

Can the same Hyper-V server be used to deploy personal virtual desktops and virtual machines from virtual desktop pools? – Yes. It is not required to have personal virtual desktops isolated from virtual desktop pools.

For details on how to set up personal virtual desktops, refer to:

Technical Library

Microsoft Download Center

Deploying Personal Virtual Desktops by Using Remote Desktop Web Access Step-by-Step Guide (

Deploying Personal Virtual Desktops by Using Remote Desktop Web Access Step-by-Step Guide (

Deploying Personal Virtual Desktops by Using RemoteApp and Desktop Connection Step-by-Step Guide (

Deploying Personal Virtual Desktops by Using RemoteApp and Desktop Connection Step-by-Step Guide (

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  • Hey RDS team, our company admin has set GPOs for all computers so that they require NLA when RDPing but we have some Server 2003 and XP 64-bit clients that are stuck on MSTSC 6.0 so they can't RDP at all. Please for god's sake release RDP 7 client with NLA for XP 64-bit and Server 2003.

  • This won't help, because NLA relies on CredSSP security support provider which is not present on Win 2003.

  • Thanks for giving information about personal virtual desktop, its now more essential to use virtual desktops to increase business productivity... Onthenetoffice

  • Is the assignment of a PVD to an administrator a recommended way to put a particular VM desktop out of circulation (e.g. for maintenance)?

  • @Alan:  You could use the Exclude flag to take a VM out of circulation:

    strVmName = objArgs(0)

    Set objWMIServices = GetObject("winmgmts:Root\CIMV2\TerminalServices")

    Set objNewProp = objWMIServices.Get("Win32_TSVmMetadataItem").SpawnInstance_()

    objNewProp.VmName = strVmName

    objNewProp.SectionId = 0

    objNewProp.Name = "Exclude"

    objNewProp.Value = 1


  • Is it possible to use this to assign a user to a physical desktop? Or does it have to use a virtual desktop instance?

  • There is no doubt that <a href="">hosted virtual desktop</a> are hot. And organizations are using HVDs to keep infrastructure costs low, increase internal management control of its IT systems, and support productivity from anywhere.

    Also, Microsoft recently released a Case-Study of an Asset Management Firm Uses Hosted Desktop Solution to Reduce IT Budget by 50 Percent. And the benefits are not only limited to Cost savings, but customers also recorded an increased workforce productivity, enhanced IT control, and greater operational flexibility.

    Read this case-study:

  • Microsoft produce always do the best in the remote hosting field. However, I don't like the way they sell. I as a user, prefer monthly fees more than one very payment. Several remote desktop clients ( understand the power of non-committing  service. The only exception I see in Windows family is

  • Fernando Torres, thanks for the feedback.  For Remote Desktop, we do offer a license for ISV's and Hosters that is month-month.  Thanks

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