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Desktop Virtualization Technologies and Implementation


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Desktop virtualization is new desktop delivery method in which desktop operating system instance customized, build and runs in data centers and users can access application or the whole desktop by using their stateless ‘thin clients’ devices. This method promises significant benefits in terms of data security, total cost of ownership and manageability of large amount of operating systems instances running in corporate intranetworks. In this paper we will analyze and compare various methods possible and used while implementing desktop virtualization and present which desktop virtualization method can be suitable with various given environments
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Pranit Patil, Shakti Shekar/ IOSR Journal of Engineering (IOSRJEN) ISSN : 2250-3021
Vol. 2 Issue 2, Feb.2012, pp.310-314 310 | P a g e
Desktop Virtualization Technologies and Implementation
Pranit Patil1, Shakti Shekar2
1( Mumbai, India)
2(Mumbai, India)
Desktop virtualization is new desktop delivery
method in which desktop operating system
instance customized, build and runs in data
centers and users can access application or the
whole desktop by using their stateless ‘thin
clients’ devices. This method promises
significant benefits in terms of data security,
total cost of ownership and manageability of
large amount of operating systems instances
running in corporate intranetworks. In this
paper we will analyze and compare various
methods possible and used while implementing
desktop virtualization and present which
desktop virtualization method can be suitable
with various given environments.
Keywords cloud computing, desktop
virtualization, virtualization
Virtualization is relatively generalized term, which
refers to the operation and management of
computing elements on the virtual platform and as
a resource solution in order to simplify the
management and optimize resources. Desktop
virtualization has varied definitions with the
context in which it is implemented. Terminal
Services been handy as it is many to one solution in
which many users share same remote environment.
However terminal services have had its share of
problems, which have included issues with printing
and application compatibility. Also individual user
doesn’t have full admin rights on their session. The
virtual desktop interface concept sidesteps some of
these problems.
Desktop virtualization also referred as virtual
desktop interface. Desktop virtualization can be
defined as virtualization of computer desktop in
order to achieve security and flexibility. This paper
presents in depth introduction to the desktop
virtualization and various method involving while
implementation of desktop virtualization and the
suitable desktop virtualization methods for given
execution environment.
The desktop virtualization products like
Virtualbox, VMware Workstation which are
commonly used by users does not completely
realize desktop virtualization [1]. In other words,
this software runs the virtual machine instance
on the local or remote computer which is
possible by providing and emulates the set of
hardware so that it can be transferred to other
machine by means of removable media or
network. However the real desktop virtualization
enables user to have their own desktop where she
can work and save/modify data without
conflicting to possible other users, which can be
running on top of separate or shared operating
system instance and that can be accessed via any
dumb device which is having network
There are few things one should keep in mind
while deploying and provisioning of virtualized
desktop. Before desktop virtualization computers
were self contained. The traditional computer
didn’t share everyone was separate. Every PC
was a self contained unit. Everything separate
operating systems, applications and peripheral
programs. Desktop virtualization operating costs
lower due to resources being shared on a needed
basis. Information is maintained and backed up
in the data center[2].
The implementation of desktop virtualization can
follow steps given below.
In first step, system administrator or the cloud
vendor gathers information of what type of
virtualization and underlying operating systems
users are going to use and number of users which
are going to use that particular desktop
virtualized instance. It is important because it
decides what type of cloud implantation the
whole setup will need.
Pranit Patil, Shakti Shekar/ IOSR Journal of Engineering (IOSRJEN) ISSN : 2250-3021
Vol. 2 Issue 2, Feb.2012, pp.310-314 311 | P a g e
In second step, this step will consist of
implantation of virtualization technology. It
consists of isolation of individual operating
system by providing emulated set of hardware
devices to it. It allows the virtual desktop
computer or that virtualized instance in particular
to freely migrate and reuse or copy so that it can
be scaled up and used on demand whenever there
is need, without starting it from scratch again.
In third step, it consists of analyze and
implementation of network and centralized
management for better control on the number of
running instances of desktop virtualization.
Implementation of proper networking allows
user to seamlessly access her desktop across
provided network. Centralized management
allows ease of control on various running
virtualized instances on one or more machine
within network.
In fourth step, it consists of managing
availability, scalability and security. When the
isolation and networking of the desktop
virtualized instance are deployed, each user
should get her desktop without hitch and it
should support scalability to provide customized
desktop on demand. Availability of virtualized
desktop can be achieved by redundancy and
storing that instances on network storage where
it can be accessed easily. The current desktop
virtualization product and software are only
follows first two steps and pays little or no
concentration on remaining two steps. The last
two steps are currently in attention of cloud
computing research as the current desktop
virtualization has wide scope if it is provided
with cloud at its back.
Desktop virtualization generally consists of
following five modules. Those modules can be
integrated in one or more computing nodes
depending upon the analysis done in first step
discussed in Ist part. Those modules consist of
Virtual machines on which desktop instance will
run, Image repository which holds image data,
Management Server which manages the whole
infrastructure and users and Management
Console, finally End User and their connectivity
to the network.
Fig 1. Implementation of Desktop
Fig. 1 shows the structure in which desktop
vitalization can be implemented. It shows virtual
machines, management console, image
repository, management server achieves desktop
virtualization by interacting with each other.
The first module is Virtual Machine: Virtual
machine consists of physical server and the host
operating system which runs the virtualized
instance of operating systems which can be
provided to end users. It also consists of security
and management tools customize and remote
access server to facilitate remote control on that
virtual machines.
The second module is Image repository: It
consists of central management and storage
system for images of desktop instances. Image
repository allows facilitating various important
services like data backup, image replication,
snapshot storage of images and recovery storage.
This modules is generally implemented on
dedicated storage boxed like fiber SAN or
gigabit NAS.
The third module is Management server:
Management server consists of central
management mechanisms with the help of
management software. This module allows
Pranit Patil, Shakti Shekar/ IOSR Journal of Engineering (IOSRJEN) ISSN : 2250-3021
Vol. 2 Issue 2, Feb.2012, pp.310-314 312 | P a g e
central and easy efficient control on all other
modules. It controls Virtual machine modules
and Image Repository and provides end user the
‘Management Console[3]
The fourth module is Management Console:
Management console is provides by management
server for end user. End users who want
virtualized remote desktop can log in and make
request for the specific or operating system
desktop assigned to them. Management console
is ultimate place where user can manage and
configure and perform roles assigned to them by
management server [4].
The fifth and final module in End User: End
user module not only consists of person and end
node which accesses the virtualized desktop but
also the network which connect that node to the
management server and image store. End users
can place their request on management server
and can get virtualized image or desktop from
images store and virtual machines.
Virtualization technology is used to solve
separation of hardware and operating system.
Desktop virtualization is the concept of isolation
a logical operating system (OS) instance from
client that we used to access it. [4]. Virtualization
also allows run multiple instances of desktop
virtualized instances on single physical server.
So considering these benefits it is getting lot of
attention and rapid development and support
from IT industry. Apart from the generic model
described in fig. 1, desktop virtualization can be
implemented or operated in specifically
following modes [6].
1) Hosted virtual desktops: Hosted virtual
desktops result from desktop virtualization
services provided through an outsourced, hosted
subscription model. Hosted virtual desktop
services generally include a managed desktop
client operating system configuration.
Transferring information technology
infrastructure to an outsourced model can shift
accounting for the associated costs from capital
expenses to operating expenses. According to a
report by Gartner, hosted services accounted for
more than 500, 00 desktop units as of March
2009 but will grow to 49 million desktop units
by 2013 and may make up 40% of the worldwide
‘professional PC market’ by revenue [7].
2) Centralized virtual desktops: With this model,
all virtualized desktop instances are hosted on
one or more centralized servers. All the data
associated with it are stored on direct or
networked storage devices attached to those
centralized servers. In this mode there can be one
to one mapping of desktop to user known as
static mode or could be master image which is
accessed by every each user and their generated
data can be stored in other location, this is also
known as dynamic mapping.
3) Remote Synchronized virtual desktops: In this
mode, first image is copied to a local system,
where it may run without requiring a network
connection. Images are ‘checked out’ for period
of time and typically need to be refreshed
periodically. Here the local machine runs host
OS along with hypervisor which in turns runs
virtualized instance of desktop OS with help of
the synchronized image.
One of the primary concerns for companies
implementing desktop virtualization is to
understand infrastructure needed to deploy it. It
is varied according to the number of virtualized
instances of desktop needed, scalability and
modes of deployment. Basic requirements can be
grouped into server, network and storage.
1) Server requirements: The system CPU and
memory requirements are based on requirements.
CPU’s can be shared as many hypervisors
supports and provides virtual CPU independent
of physical processors of system. Memory is not
easy to share and it is not recommended so
system physical memory should be good enough
to smoothly run each virtualized desktop
instance. Typically for smoothly running, each
instant should have at least 512MB dedicated
2) Network requirements: All the network
connection between servers and clients, internal
server to server and storage devices should be
properly configured and well enough to handle
peak network traffic and should be scalable.
Regardless of the apparent hassle, the network
Pranit Patil, Shakti Shekar/ IOSR Journal of Engineering (IOSRJEN) ISSN : 2250-3021
Vol. 2 Issue 2, Feb.2012, pp.310-314 313 | P a g e
administrators must fire up strategies to prioritize
traffic, manage bandwidth and ensure application
performance to these virtual desktops [8]. For
any common systems, multiple 1 Gb/s Ethernet
LAN connections with additional multiple 8 Gb/s
Fiber Channel SAN storage connection is
common practice.
3) Storage requirements: The storage
infrastructure has very large impact on
virtualized desktop instances. The primary
deployment guideline should able to determine
maximum storage capacity required as image
storage, replication and backup user data
generate enormous amount of data which needs
to be stored efficiently. Client hosted desktop
virtualization where image is stored and
maintained at end user machine significantly
reduces online data storage devices needed
because it can be only used as dedicated offline
backups [9].
A Simple use of desktop virtualization involves
remote administration where the controlling
computer have more or less control on the client
machine like local machine except those
activities may be almost unnoticeable to the
client machine like happens in using X-session
of GNU/Linux machine on remote machine.
Here are five major approaches to desktop
virtualization approaches and the types of
situations they might be appropriate [10].
1) Remote Hosted Desktop: What most people
think of when they think "terminal services" A
server runs one image of an operating system or
application and many clients log in to it using
connection broker software that is the only part
of the software hosted on the client machine.
Client machines operate only to show an image
on the monitor of the application that user is
sharing, and to transmit keyboard and mouse
input back and forth. The advantage of this
approach is low cost and high degree control
over data and applications and disadvantage of
this approach is performance depends upon the
quality of network connection and most
peripherals or move data back and forth using
thumb drives does not when disconnected. Citrix
XenDesktop, Wyse ThinOS, Microsoft Remote
desktop uses such type of approach.
2) Remote Virtual Application: It is used when
many everyday Web applications delivers
content which can be accessed by just browser
and standard Web protocols (HTTP, HTTPS,
SSL etc.) to create secure connection for
transmission of data and graphics[11].
Advantages of this approach is that it doesn’t
require IT control the hardware and software
environment of end user and disadvantage of this
approach is that IT can’t not control or have very
less idea about end user environment, so it could
affect performance. VMware View, VMware
ThinApps use this type of approach.
3) Remote Hosted Dedicated Virtual Desktops:
In this approach Increase users’ capacity and
reduce IT costs to protect the Web application or
terminal services resources. The server does not
allow many users to share the same application
or instance of the operating system, and it only
allows the user to access to a complete operating
system or a set of applications in a virtual
machine. This virtual machine can run on a
server, or with other virtual machines dedicated
to share resources, or own a blade PC.
Advantage of this approach is it can run
applications that balk at running in shares mode;
isolates activity of each user to prevent resource
constraints. Disadvantage of this is it uses far
more bandwidth than shared desktops and more
hardware on the server. Microsoft VDI suite,
VMware View Manager uses this type of
4) Local Virtual Applications: Consider java
applets, they are downloaded from server to the
client machine and run locally and usage local
memory and processing power but still they run
in some sandbox with limited interaction to host
OS, it is example of local virtual application.
Advantages of this approach are it gives better
performance than remotely hosted application
and consumes less bandwidth and also capable of
running offline. Wyse TCX, Microsoft
Application Virtualization uses this approach.
5) Local Virtual Operating System: There are
two types of Local Virtual O.S. In first one a
client side hypervisor can create a virtual
machine within a laptop or desktop computer,
which can function as completely standalone unit
that keeps itself separate from hardware and
software on the client machine outside of the
virtualized desktop instance. In second type a
Pranit Patil, Shakti Shekar/ IOSR Journal of Engineering (IOSRJEN) ISSN : 2250-3021
Vol. 2 Issue 2, Feb.2012, pp.310-314 314 | P a g e
hypervisor runs on the machine’s BIOS,
allowing the user to run multiple virtualized
instances with no ‘host OS’ at all. Advantages of
this approach is the multiple OSes can run on
single system with no concern of host OS.
Disadvantage of this approach it can conflict
resources if not properly managed. Citrix Dazzle
and Receiver and Microsoft VDI suite are
example of this approach.
The various advantageous of desktop
virtualization like mobile computing, security,
easier management and lower cost decides
whether it will get support and enough research
from industry. While all of the large vendors
have offerings in the Desktop Virtualization
space, the definition of the space is sufficiently
Enterprises should carefully analyze the
requirements for their various groups of users to
understand what combinations of technologies fit
each group best. Centralized VDI is a good fit
for task oriented workers who all need the same
set of applications delivered with absolute
consistency. Client side hypervisors are a good
solution when IT needs to completely lock down
an environment, when users have the power to
insist on their own flexibility, and when the users
are sophisticated enough to be able to switch
between two different operating systems and not
get confused. Application and workspace
isolation solutions lie in the middle of these two
extremes offering combinations of both sets of
benefits and have the potential to appeal to the
broadest set of users and administrators.
9) A Smarter Approach to Desktop
Virtualization The Virtualization Practice by
Simon Bramfitt
11) Development and Application of Desktop
Virtualization Technology by Li Yan
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ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.