The Real VDI Status Quo

In March 2011 published an article entitled ‘Floating Pools are the way to go….‘ where I  put a stake on the ground in relation to the use of persistent versus non-persistent desktops for VDI. I have always supported non-persistent desktops, and to some extent I was one of those who helped to define what the market Status Quo is today – and that is – all VDI deployments should try to achieve maximum degree of non-persistency, while treating exceptions with Persistent VDI deployments.

Due to numerous technological advancements I have recently changed my mind. That is great and it’s a prove that we are constantly challenged with new opportunities to best deliver remote windows to users in the most beneficial way to them. After this mind shift I wrote an article entitled ‘Open letter to non-persistent VDI fanboys…‘ providing reasons to why persistent VDI makes more sense nowadays for the large majority of use cases.

A number of community members have chimed in and that culminated in a live debate during VMworld 2013 that was mediated by Gunnar Berger, research director for Gartner’s IT Professionals services. (link to debate here).

Now here is the problem – don’t tell me that moving to a non-persistent VDI model is changing the Status Quo. The way I see it and have recently tweeted:



“VDI Status Quo for past few years has been NonP. To be fair,going Persistent is what is actually changing the Status Quo for VDI.”



This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at


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    • vsoft (@vsoftinfotech) on 09/01/2013 at 10:39 pm

    what about backup.You will be backing up all virtual desktop.Management overhead will be higher.
    Where as non persistent desktops with centralized profile and home directories on network share reduces the mangement overhead of maintaining the virtual desktops.
    Also DR becomes easy with non persistent desktops as we can use array replication for network share.

    • itzikr on 09/02/2013 at 6:29 am

    vsoft, to answer your questions, the network shares CAN be back up with persistent desktops as well + today’s backup technologies that contain source based deduplication and CBT (VMware vDP + AVAMAR etc`), the backup time is VERY quick. On the DR side, linked clones are a NIGHTMARE to do DR with compared with persistent desktops, ask any customer who is actually doing it

  1. Thanks Itzik, and you are correct. Profile management for both persistent and nonpersistent model should still be used. Many tools out there to get the job done.


  2. Ultimately, it comes down to what best fits your needs. Persistent and NonP both have their use cases, and it depends on the number of desktops, how they’re being used, if you need to oversubscribe, and the number of staff and their skill level. There are probably others that I am leaving out too.

  3. “VDI Status Quo for past few years has been NonP. To be fair,going Persistent is what is actually changing the Status Quo for VDI.”

    This doesn’t make any sense to me at all Andre. NonP has never been the status quo on the ground, its just still not widely deployed enough to be even considered the status quo.

    Half of the space still doesn’t get nonP.

    From my perspective, I see the complete opposite. NonP has never been the status quo, its created enormous change across swathes of VDI and DaaS land and we are still evolving the nonP model with grid distributed architectures, built to handle nonP more efficiently.

    Am not sure how you could have gotten this so wrong, but you got it the wrong way round.

  4. Guise, NonP has been pushed for far too long by many vendors in different parts of the VDI ecosystem – but it has never worked properly due to application persistency requirements.

    For that reason I agree with you that most customers are using persistent desktop implementations. Now, the reason for that is because customers understand what they need to deliver to their users better than anyone, and NonP never really cut for what they need.

    So, while industry standard being pushed by vendors is NonP, the number of actual persistent implementations still outnumber NonP.

    I am actually interested in those number and while I am not able to share the numbers collected by Horizon View Phone Home feature I will launch a survey to collect this info from my readers. Let’s see what admins have to say about it.


  5. Currently, I let application dependencies push my use of persistent or non-persistent desktops.

    Non-persistant being my default for basic users who use a fully hosted apps or web apps.

    Persistent desktops I’ll reserve for the more traditional office workers to support more arcane business applications that may require specific workstation IPs or even MAC addresses.

    Ultimately, where I work, we’re using VDI to be the paradigm shift in our support model. Our legacy model is largely broken and inefficient.

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