Desktop Groups

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Desktop groups are sets of virtual machines allocated to users and user groups. Full and assignment administrators can create desktop groups from the catalogs previously generated using the Create Catalog wizard.

Desktop groups are listed in Desktop Studio under the Assignments node. In addition to the total number of machines in each group, the number of available and in-use machines is shown; the number of unavailable and offline machines is not shown.

Creating a desktop group is a flexible way of allocating machines to users. In a desktop group:

  • You can use multiple catalogs
  • You can allocate a user to multiple machines
  • You can allocate multiple users to one machine
  • You can, using the XenDesktop SDK, allocate a machine to a device instead of a user or group

You create desktop groups from catalogs. As part of the creation process, you specify the following desktop group properties:

  • Users and groups allocated to desktop groups
  • Desktop settings to match users’ needs
  • Desktop power management options

For a set of typical business scenarios in which desktop groups are created, see Examples of Desktop Groups.

You can power manage the machines in a desktop group so they suspend, disconnect, or shutdown automatically when they are not in use.

Depending on the machine type in the catalog, you create the following desktop group types:

  • Shared groups are created from pooled-random and streamed machines.
  • Private groups are created from other machines.

Note: Using the XenDesktop Software Development Kit (SDK), you can create shared groups from other machine types. For example, existing and physical machines can be used for this purpose.

In addition, application desktop groups, which can be shared or private, allow you to publish applications on machines using Citrix XenApp. For information on this, see VM Hosted Apps.

The desktop group type is a summary of the underlying machine type used by the catalog or catalogs in the group. It describes the most important characteristic of the catalog; whether the machines in it are available to multiple users or devices (shared desktop groups) or whether they are tied to one user or device (private desktop groups).

When creating desktop groups, you can nominate specific help desk administrators to support the users of the desktops you create. For example, you might delegate support to different help desk staff based on geographical location.

When planning your desktop groups, you must identify the correct catalog to use. This may be created specifically for you by a machine administrator or you may choose an appropriate catalog from those available to you. In either case, confirm that the catalog contains enough machines for the number of desktops you want to create.

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