Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization MED-V

Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization MED-V

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Client hosted Virtualization with MED-V

So MED-V is a new product joining Microsoft's Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance as a part of Microsoft's acquisition "Kidaro". In the following slide, Microsoft provides a full virtualization solution stack -


The term desktop virtualization is being used to describe two complementing technologies

· Server-based virtualization
· Client-hosted virtualization

In server-based virtualization, multiple VMs run on same Windows Server while the user gets remote access to these virtual machine through a thin client or through his desktop usually via RDP.

In client-hosted based virtualization, the VM actually resides and operates on the client machine itself. While in many cases these technologies can solve similar business needs. For example, if you need to have a thin client environment for your task driven workforce such as the call center then a server-based solution would be great fit. However, if you need to provide corporate desktop and an application to an employee’s laptop that needs to work offline or have limited connectivity – the client hosted virtualization would be a good solution to consider. It also depends if you want to have a centralized or decentralized computing infrastructure.

Desktop Vs Application Virtualization

In application virtualization, we take a single application and build a package for it and isolating it from the other application in the system. It’s a great way to resolve conflicts between applications for instance running different versions of the same application for example office 2003 and office 2007 on the same operating system. You can also run virtualized application without installing them on the OS. So it makes the application very portable and provides a whole new way to deliver application.

With Microsoft virtual pc + MED-V, we actually create a package that contains full desktop operating system and application. It’s very useful for applications that are not compatible with the desktop operating system because desktop virtualization enables you to run two operating system concurrently on the same device. This same quality will also enable you to run two environments managed by different entities. For instance, you can run a corporate managed virtual machine running on top of a personally owned and or on a managed desktop.

MED-V is all about enhancing deployment management and simplifying user experience for virtual pc images in an enterprise environment.

Business Case – Solving application incompatibility

Let’s say, you decide to upgrade to the new operating system infrastructure and you are required to follow certain process wherein you should verify if the application would work in the new OS. Migrate those applications that work with the new OS but what about migrating the applications that don’t work with the new OS? The migration process can take months and meanwhile the user cannot benefit from the new features of the operating system. This process requires a lot of investment and resources in testing and migration even for application not used extensively in your organization and eventually it delays the upgrade process.

With MED-V, you can change the way you migrate to new operating system. You can first upgrade to Windows Vista as soon as you want and then deal with testing and migration at your convenience.

How this can be done?

Administrator can upgrade all the desktop machines to Vista and run the common LOB applications like office on the newly deployed OS. All the applications that have compatibility issue are not installed on the Vista – the administrator creates Virtual Image using Virtual PC - installs OS like Widows XP on the VPC and then install the applications that were incompatible with Vista until the status of incompatibility is unknown. This virtual pc image is delivered to the end user and they can use all the applications that are running in the XP operating system.

End user experience with Virtual PC WITHOUT MED-V (Before)


End user experience With MED-V (After) 


This is how it would appear to the end-user. The end-user won't get to see the Virtual PC image as it would run seamlessly in the background.  

Applications installed in the VM are available from the start menu And, appear on the desktop
as if they were running natively. The applications run seamlessly from Virtual PC image outlined in RED.

For more, please go through the VIDEO demo on MED-V

Kidaro is no longer available to evaluate/purchase and only available through Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP)

  • No change to MDOP pricing for managed desktops
    No additional OS license required (up to 4 VMs in Windows Vista Enterprise)
    v1 expected in H1 Calendar Year 2009

V1 beta available in Q1 CY2009

MED-V Website

Register MEDV v1 Beta

MEDV introduction video + demo

Learn more about Microsoft Virtualization

MEDV Podcast

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