Optimizing Windows for VDI

windows for vdi (1)A Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) allows you to have a computer desktop that is available from anywhere. It lives in your datacenter and uses that hardware, meaning that it is extremely redundant and is backed up regularly, ensuring that you don’t lose any data. Adopting VDI is a great move for many organizations.

Learn more about what goes into adopting VDI.

However, these VDI environments can be optimized to run at high speeds for the best user experience.

Slim Down the Size

Essentially, what is being done with VDI is that a desktop itself is being made an application. The idea is to make it have as small of a footprint as possible. By taking up the least amount of space and using the least amount of resources possible, more features and data can be added to your environment. A few simple steps can speed up the amount of time it takes for the VDI to boot. For example, stopping as many services as possible and having as few operations running as possible will help this considerably.

Use a Separate File Server

A few more steps are to redirect the user folders (ex. My Documents, Desktop, Application Settings, etc.) to another separate file server. By storing this data on a server rather than the virtual machine itself, processing and booting speed can be sped up substantially.

By doing this, the desktop has both a small footprint and persistent and stored settings and files. With the proper policies set up with the remapping of the user’s document holders, desktops, and settings, the user can always have documents accessible no matter which desktop is being utilized.

A good policy to help with this is to change the Active Directory in Windows or Microsoft. Create a group policy object that redirects the folders. After applying this policy to the VDI environment, you must specify where to redirect desktop, documents, and settings folders.

Using PowerShell Scripts

In terms of managing services and features, I included a few links with scripts to do this for you. I heavily used elements of these scripts to do a PowerShell script in order to optimize for Windows 8. Citrix recommends a list of items to optimize; however, it is better to use the scripts than manually optimize.

A manual optimization might take 30-45 minutes for just one machine, and VDI environments can have anywhere from ten to several hundred machines. This would take an incredibly long time, and would be a waste of both engineer resources and client time. Mirazon engineers want to use their time as efficiently as possible, so by automating this process, the customer is charged the lowest possible price.

Knowing how to optimize your VDI environment is important, as many VDI versions are easy to deploy but the default settings can result in inefficiency. In order to get the best end-user experience, using the scripts in the links below can automate much of the optimization process to get the best experience and the least amount of time and money spent.

Have questions about VDI? Give us a call at 502-240-0404 or email us.