Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What’s stored in the personal vDisks provided by Citrix XenDesktop 5.6

I haven’t really dug deep into the documentation yet to learn the inner workings of Citrix XenDesktop 5.6’s new personal vDisks (thanks to the long 17 hour days I’ve been working over the weekend) but managed to squeeze in some time tonight to take a look at a few desktops I deployed in a pool.  As I familiarize myself and learn more about this new feature, I’ll definitely write another post but in the meantime, I thought I’d write a post about some general observations I’ve made.

What drives are created?

There are actually 2 drives that get created, the P drive and V drive. 

The P Drive

The P drive is what is actually displayed when you browse the computer and consists of the following directories:

  • RadeCache
  • RadeStore
  • Users

In addition to the folders above, you’ll also find a text file named: IvmSupervisor.txt


Browsing into the Users folder in the the P drive, you’ll see your own login’s folder and what appears to other login folders that run as a service in the virtual desktop:

  • ctx_cpsvcuser
  • Ctx_StreamingSvc


The V Drive

The V drive is a hidden drive that is not shown when you browse the computer:


… but it’s accessible if you simply type V: into the path:


As shown in the screenshot above, the folders in your V drive appears to essentially mirror the C drive of the virtual desktop.  For those who are curious, browsing into the Users folder which is also stored on the P drive will show the following:


Notice how only the Public folder is stored in this Users folder.

Other than the mirrored top level folders, installing any applications onto the virtual desktop will also get intercepted by the Citrix VDA and copied into the same folder on the V drive.  The following is an example of installing the vSphere client onto the virtual desktop:


What uses the storage allocated for the personal vDisk?

Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out exactly what uses the personal vDisk storage because as obvious as it might seem that whatever you find on the P drive is what’s eating up the storage, it sure didn’t seem that way when I reviewed the properties of the folders located in the drive:


Notice how:

All in V:\ is 20.2GB

… and …

All in P:\ is 281 MB


While the drive space breakdown for the P drive is:

4.63 GB free of 9.99 GB


Since I haven’t really had much time to dig a bit deeper, I’ll make sure I update this post or write another one when I understand how the data is added up.


There’s actually an video on Citrix TV that provides an overview of the storage consumption for the personal vDisk:  The short answer is that the size of the personal vDisk is split 50/50 for applications (applications you install) and personal data (C:\Users for Windows 7 and C:\Documents and Settings for Windows XP).

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