Product Documentation

Persistent? Provisioned? Dedicated? Shared?

Oct 21, 2013

The types of machines that create profiles affect your configuration decisions. The primary factors are whether machines are persistent or provisioned, and whether they are shared by multiple users or dedicated to just one user.

Persistent systems have some type of local storage, the contents of which can be expected to persist when the system turns off. Persistent systems may employ storage technology such as storage area networks (SANs) to provide local disk mimicking. In contrast, provisioned systems are created "on the fly" from a base disk and some type of identity disk. Local storage is usually mimicked by a RAM disk or network disk, the latter often provided by a SAN with a highspeed link. The provisioning technology is generally Provisioning Services or Machine Creation Services (or a third-party equivalent). Sometimes provisioned systems have persistent local storage, which may be provided by Personal vDisks; these are classed as persistent.

Together, these two factors define the following machine types:

  • Both persistent and dedicated - Examples are Desktop OS machines with a static assignment and a Personal vDisk that are created with Machine Creation Services (in XenDesktop), desktops with Personal vDisks that are created with VDI-in-a-Box, physical workstations, and laptops
  • Both persistent and shared - Examples are Server OS machines that are created with Machine Creation Services (in XenDesktop), and XenApp servers
  • Both provisioned and dedicated - Examples are Desktop OS machines with a static assignment but without a Personal vDisk that are created with Provisioning Services (in XenDesktop)
  • Both provisioned and shared - Examples are Desktop OS machines with a random assignment that are created with Provisioning Services (in XenDesktop), desktops without Personal vDisks that are created with VDI-in-a-Box, and XenApp servers

The following Profile management policy settings are suggested guidelines for the different machine types. They work well in most cases, but you may want to deviate from these as your deployment requires.

Note: In XenDesktop deployments, Delete locally cached profiles on logoff, Profile streaming, and Always cache are enforced by the auto-configuration feature.

Policy

Both persistent and dedicated

Both persistent and shared

Both provisioned and dedicated

Both provisioned and shared

Delete locally cached profiles on logoff

Disabled

Enabled

Disabled (note 5)

Enabled

Profile streaming

Disabled

Enabled

Enabled

Enabled

Always cache

Enabled (note 1)

Disabled (note 2)

Disabled (note 6)

Disabled

Active write back

Disabled

Disabled (note 3)

Enabled

Enabled

Process logons of local administrators

Enabled

Disabled (note 4)

Enabled

Enabled (note 7)

Notes

  1. Because Profile streaming is disabled for this machine type, the Always cache setting is always ignored.
  2. Disable Always cache. However, you can ensure that large files are loaded into profiles as soon as possible after logon by enabling this policy and using it to define a file size limit (in MB). Any file this size or larger is cached locally as soon as possible.
  3. Disable Active write back except to save changes in profiles of users who roam between XenApp servers. In this case, enable this policy.
  4. Disable Process logons of local administrators except for Hosted Shared Desktops. In this case, enable this policy.
  5. Disable Delete locally cached profiles on logoff. This retains locally cached profiles. Because the machines are assigned to individual users, logons are faster if their profiles are cached.
  6. Enable Process logons of local administrators except for profiles of users who roam between XenApp servers. In this case, disable this policy.