With the previous version of XenDesktop, we followed the modular approach to designing a scalable architecture. Now that XenDesktop 5, many are wondering if the same architecture still holds true. The answer is….

Most of it does.

We still recommend a 3-layer model consisting of the

  • Control Module
  • Desktop Module(s)
  • Imaging Module

When you put this all together, you end up with something like this conceptual architecture (Click on the figure and it will be easier to read):

It probably looks similar to the old modular architecture (except it is really, really small). So what changed?

  • Control Module: We aren’t recommending the creation of dedicated XenDesktop Controllers. Not needed. If you need a larger site, you add another controller. This is because all of the session information is now stored within the SQL Database
  • Imaging Module: Provisioning services is still a great enterprise option and will most likely still be used in numerous scenarios. But for certain deployments, Machine Creation Services might be enough. This will allow you to thin provision virtual machines while still having unique desktop identities without a sysprep-type routine.
  • Desktop Module: Within the hosted VDI model (you know that model where we have Windows XP and Windows 7 virtualized on a hypervisor in the data center), we have five options to choose from, each with their benefits and concerns. Will you select pooled, dedicated, streamed, installed, or existing?

To find out more, just access the XenDesktop 5 – Reference Architecture. It is located in the XenDesktop Design Handbook.

Daniel – Lead Architect – Worldwide Consulting Solutions
Twitter: @djfeller
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