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Quick Start Glossary: Desktop virtualization

Print out our handy glossary of essential desktop virtualization terminology for a fast reference. Online, each term links to our full definition, which also includes resources for further learning.

app virtualization -- the separation of an installation of an application from the client computer that is accessing it.

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) -- a cloud service in which the back-end of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is hosted by a cloud service provider.

desktop virtualization -- the concept of isolating a logical operating system instance from the client that is used to access it.

golden image -- a template for a virtual machine (VM), virtual desktop, server or hard disk drive.  A golden image may also be referred to as a clone image or master image.

hosted virtual desktop (HVD) -- a user interface that connects to applications and data that are stored on a cloud provider's servers rather than on the user's computer or the corporate network. 

host-based virtual machine -- an instance of a desktop operating system that runs on a centralized server. Access and control is provided to the user by a client device connected over a network.

hypervisor, also called a virtual machine manager -- a program that allows multiple operating systems to share a single hardware processor.

mobile desktop virtualization -- the delivery of a virtual machine (VM) image that runs business applications to a tablet or smartphone.

persistent desktop -- a virtual desktop that maintains user settings and data so that each time a user logs into their virtual desktop, all of their personalized settings, files and data appear.

remote desktop -- a program or an operating system feature that allows the user to connect to a computer in another location, see that computer's desktop and interact with it as if it were local.

user environment virtualization -- the abstraction of personalized computer settings from an end user's operating system and applications.

virtual desktop --  an individual user's interface in a virtualized environment. The desktop is stored on a remote server rather than on the user’s computer.

VDI boot storm -- the degradation of service that occurs when a significant number of end users boot up within a very narrow time frame and overwhelm the network with data requests. 

virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) -- the practice of hosting a desktop operating system within a virtual machine running on a centralized server.

virtual machine (VM) -- an operating system or application environment that is installed on software which imitates dedicated hardware. The end user has the same experience on a VM as they would have on dedicated hardware.

virtual mobile infrastructure (VMI) -- a software application delivery platform that does not require an application or operating system to run locally on a mobile device. 

 

This was last updated in April 2015

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