Remote Desktop Virtualization Host

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

What are the major changes?

Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RD Virtualization Host) is a new Remote Desktop Services role service included with Windows Server 2008 R2. RD Virtualization Host integrates with the Hyper-V™ role to provide virtual machines that can be used as personal virtual desktops or virtual desktop pools by using RemoteApp and Desktop Connection. User accounts can be assigned a unique personal virtual desktop or be redirected to a virtual desktop pool where a virtual desktop is dynamically assigned. RD Virtualization Host is an important component to the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution offered by Microsoft.

What does Remote Desktop Virtualization Host do?

An administrator can make personal virtual desktops or virtual desktop pools available to users by using either RemoteApp and Desktop Connection or Remote Desktop Web Access (RD Web Access). These virtual desktops are virtual machines hosted on a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 on which Hyper-V and RD Virtualization Host are also installed.

With a personal virtual desktop, a user is assigned a personal virtual desktop in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). A personal virtual desktop can be assigned to only one user account. All customizations that the user does to their personal virtual desktop are saved and available to them when they log on to the personal virtual desktop again.

A virtual desktop pool requires that virtual machines are identically configured and should not already be assigned to a user as a personal virtual desktop. Because the virtual machines are identically configured, the user will see the same virtual desktop, regardless of which virtual machine in the virtual desktop pool the user connects to by using RemoteApp and Desktop Connection. Also, you can configure virtual desktop pools to roll back to a previous state when a user account logs off from the computer.


RD Virtualization Host requires that Hyper-V be installed on the same computer on which RD Virtualization Host is installed.

For more information about RemoteApp and Desktop Connection, see RemoteApp and Desktop Connection.

For more information about the new features included with RD Connection Broker in Windows Server 2008 R2, see Remote Desktop Connection Broker.

Who will be interested in this feature?

RD Virtualization Host will be of interest to organizations that are implementing a VDI and want to provide personal virtual desktops or virtual desktop pools to users within their organization.

Which editions include this feature?

RD Virtualization Host is available in the following editions of Windows Server 2008 R2:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter

RD Virtualization Host is not available in the following editions of Windows Server 2008 R2:

  • Windows Web Server 2008 R2

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems

Additional references

For information about other new features in Remote Desktop Services, see What's New in Remote Desktop Services.