Product Documentation

XenDesktop 7 concepts

Jun 18, 2013

Concepts of publishing

Master Image

A master image is an image used by the provisioning technology to create virtual machines (VMs) for your users. Depending on the provisioning technology used, the master image can also be used to create a machine to host applications and desktops. The master image, created and stored on your hypervisor, contains the operating system and common applications and settings you are providing to your users, such as:

  • Anti-virus software.
  • Citrix plug-ins.
  • Other default programs.

With a master image, all users start with desktops that are created from the master image. Depending on the machine catalog type, any user customization and system updates performed on the desktop are either persisted or discarded when users log off.

Applications and desktops on the master image are securely managed, hosted, and run on machines within your datacenter, providing a more cost effective application delivery solution.

Provisioning methods

This release supports these provisioning methods:

  • Machine Creation Services (MCS)—This method uses a master image within your environment to manage virtual machines, enabling you to manage and update target devices through one master image. Machine Creation Services is fully integrated and administrated in Citrix Studio.
  • Provisioning Services (PVS)—This method allows computers to be provisioned and re-provisioned in real-time from a single shared-disk image. Provisioning Services manages target devices as a device collection. The desktop and applications are delivered from a Provisioning Services vDisk imaged from a master target device, and enables you to leverage the processing power of physical hardware or virtual machines.

    Provisioning Services is managed through its own console.

  • Existing images—This method manages and delivers desktops and applications that you have already migrated to virtual machines in the data center. You must manage target devices on an individual basis or collectively using third-party electronic software distribution (ESD) tools.

Select your provisioning method when creating a Machine Catalog.

Machine catalogs

A machine catalog is a collection of virtual machines and physical machines managed as a single entity. Machine catalogs specify:

  • The virtual or physical machines available to host applications or desktops
  • The Active Directory computer accounts assigned to those virtual machines or computers
  • In some cases, the master image that is copied to create the virtual machines

There are two catalogs:

  • Windows Server OS Machine catalog—Virtual or physical machines based on Windows Server operating system used for delivering applications or hosted shared desktops to users.
  • Desktop OS Machine catalog—Virtual or physical machines based on Windows Desktop operating system used for delivering personalized desktops to users, or applications from desktop operating systems.

Delivery Groups

Machines within machine catalogs are organized into Delivery Groups. Delivery Groups deliver the same set of applications or desktops to groups of users.

In a Delivery Group, you can:

  • Assign specific teams, departments, or types of users to desktops or applications.
  • Use machines from multiple catalogs.
  • Allocate a user to multiple machines.
  • Allocate multiple users to one machine.
Server OS machines support:
  • Desktop and applications Delivery Groups that host both desktops and applications.
  • Application Delivery Groups that host only applications.

Desktop OS machines support:

  • The same as Server OS machines.