Windows Multipoint Server 2012 - Creating Virtual Desktop Stations - Part 1

Today's post comes from Ratnesh Yadav from the Windows MultiPoint Server team.  

Many users of Windows MultiPoint Server (WMS) 2011 have told us that they want to expand their usage of WMS but need to be able to run applications that are not compatible with the underlying 64 bit server operating system or are not written to run in a multi-user session environment. We heard you and have added an exciting new feature to WMS 2012 to address these application compatibility issues. The simple, single computer Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) feature allows an administrator of a WMS computer to convert all local MultiPoint stations to loopback to a Windows 7 or Windows 8 Enterprise guest operating system running in a Hyper-V virtual machine (VM) on the same computer as the stations.

In this blog we will explain the simple 3-step process for creating virtual desktop stations in WMS 2012. If you are creating more than 3 virtual desktop stations, you may need to increase the RAM and add a fast solid state drive (SSD) before starting.

1.       Enable Virtual Desktops

Open MultiPoint Manager, go to the Virtual Desktops tab and click on Enable virtual desktops.

 After clicking on Enable virtual desktops, you will see the following information dialog box.

Click Ok on Information dialog box and you will see the following progress bar dialog

This task installs the Hyper-V role and restarts the computer.

2.       Create virtual desktop template

The next step is to create virtual desktop template for the VDI stations. If you want to create a template from a DVD with Windows 7 or Windows 8 Enterprise edition, place it in the DVD drive. Open MultiPoint Manager, go to the Virtual Desktops tab and click on Create virtual desktop template.

 

This will open the Create Virtual Desktop Template dialog box, where you need to provide following information.

1.      File Name: As Administrator you can choose from three different formats.

a.      .ISO

b.      .WIM on the OS DVD

c.      Or .VHD

2.      Template Prefix: Prefix for the template name. By default it is the host name.

3.      Local Administrator Name: Name of the local administrator user account

4.      Password: Password for the above user

Note: We only support Windows 7 or Windows 8 Enterprise edition for creating Virtual Desktop Templates. Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation can be download from here ( http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/hh699156.aspx?ocid=wc-tn-wctc )

Click Ok and you will see the followingprogress bar dialog. 

 

(Update April 12th, 2013) Note: if this dialog appears to hang at the 80% complete mark for many minutes, or you are using a true UEFI system, refer to our forum posting on those two topics: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsmultipointserver/thread/35514304-ca37-4e1f-af24-5994cb75efa7  

After the template creation task is completed, you will see the new virtual desktop template under Virtual Desktops tab , as shown below.

 

3.       Create Virtual Desktop Stations

The final step is to create virtual desktop stations using the virtual desktop template. Open MultiPoint Manager, go to the Virtual Desktops tab, select the virtual desktop template and click on Create virtual desktop stations.

 

Click Ok on the information dialog box, and you will see the following progress bar dialog.

 

Once the task is complete you can see the new virtual desktop stations in MultiPoint Manager.

Each local MultiPoint station will be connected to a virtual desktop based on the virtual desktop template created in step 2. Users will now have a full Windows client experience at their MultiPoint stations.

In Part 2, we will explain how to customize your template, recreate virtual desktop stations, and distribute a customized template to other MultiPoint systems.