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Provisioning a Gold Image Virtual Machine

Three types of desktop sessions can be deployed: dynamic, dynamic long-life, and static. These attributes control the lifespan of system data persistence within virtual machines. System data includes the operating system and applications.


Dynamic desktops keep all system image changes in transient storage, which gets flushed automatically when the desktops exit a session or the Gold Image changes. This is the default deployment mode.

Normal desktops keep transient changes only until the desktop is shut down. Users will get a fresh copy of the Gold Image each time the session is launched. Changes to the Gold Image are lost after every shutdown.

Dynamic Long-life

Long-life desktops keep the changes until the Gold Image is altered in some way. User changes to the Gold Image are preserved until the Gold Image is updated. This setting is typically used to enable frequent AntiVirus updates without requiring Gold Image changes.

This setting will increase storage requirements.


Static desktops are provisioned from a Gold Image and become owned by a user—meaning the user is responsible for all changes to the system areas. They do not inherit changes from the Gold Image the way dynamic desktops do. Static desktops allow users to install their own applications, make system configuration changes, and apply security patches within their virtual machines. It is the virtual world's equivalency to a fully stateful PC. Any security policies applied from the Active Directory on what the user can access within the image still apply.

In a multiple server deployment (cluster), long-life and static desktops use shared storage for the system change deltas. The storage requirements for these deltas are much greater than that for normal (locally stored) delta files.