The public beta of Citrix XenDesktop has been launched on

Compared to Citrix XenDesktop Tech Preview kit, this Beta offers full feature integration across key components of the product:

  • Desktop Delivery Controller – Connects office workers to their personalized desktops with the best performance, ease of use and rich desktop experience.
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure – Enterprise-class virtualization infrastructure that creates the foundation for delivering virtual desktops and offers advanced management features.
  • Virtual Desktop Provisioning – Stream a single desktop image to create many virtual desktops in the data center on demand, enabling simplified management and lower network storage costs.
  • XenDesktop Setup Tool – A simple wizard to enable IT to quickly create and deliver hundreds of virtual desktop.

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Click here to download the beta code. After you fill out the contact form and answer a few simple questions, you can download the code.

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Here are some Best Practices for working with virtual desktops and Citrix XenDesktop –

5 Best Practices for Implementing VDI

1. Segment your end users

No single virtualization approach has achieved universal usage. However, enterprises are currently employing different approaches in an effort to get the desktop challenges under control:

  • Server-based desktops using Terminal Services technology
  • Workstation-based desktops using VM technology
  • Workstation-based desktops running on physical machines such as blade PC’s

2. Use a single standard image for provisioning all virtual desktops

Moving desktops into the data center--as opposed to managing, supporting, and securing traditional desktop deployments on distributed endpoints--addresses many of the desktop management concerns.

But simply moving desktops into the data center is not a complete solution in and of itself. The solution here is to reduce the number of unique OS images to as small a number as possible—ideally only one. By limiting the number of OS images, you limit the number of places that you need to monitor, update, patch, and audit.

3. Separate applications and desktops

User data and settings are only half the story; users also need to run applications within their desktop environment. While applications can be included in the OS image that is either run directly on a physical machine/VM, or streamed using XenDesktop Virtual Desktop Provisioning, this is not a generally recommended application delivery mechanism.

Some applications are more efficiently delivered through streaming or through ICA. Citrix Presentation Server allows all Windows applications, client-server and desktop, to be deployed in centralized datacenters, where applications and data are less costly to manage and support, best secured, and easier to back up and restore.

4. Develop a strategy for migration from PCs to desktop appliances

For VDI to be fully accepted by end users, it must be rolled out in a deliberate manner to those who will benefit most from a virtual desktop and where the infrastructure is up to the task of delivering a desktop to each user group.

5. Assess the network impact for desktop delivery

With Citrix EdgeSight™ technologies built into Citrix XenDesktop, IT personnel can measure performance and availability from the end user’s perspective.

EdgeSight cuts across organizational and geographic boundaries and monitors the actual end-user experience. This is an essential tool to ensure that the virtualized desktop will deliver a better user desktop than the tradition PC it replaces.

At the Beta Launch Announcement page, you can find a link to the Getting Started Guide, the XenDesktop Beta support form, and a list of Citrix Ready partners that are offering solutions on top of XenDesktop. You can catch the XenDesktop demo from Demo08 in this post. If you haven’t been keeping up with the evolution of this product from the original Desktop Broker to now, check out “The Blogospheric History of XenDesktop”.

Please post your feedback in the comments below or send an email to citrixblogger AT citrix . com.