Place VDI Servers

Applies To: Windows 8.1

For your Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployment in education you can choose a centralized or decentralized placement plan for servers with different strategies based on network traffic, scaling, availability, management, and system resources needs.

Table 5 compares the centralized and decentralized placement strategies for VDI servers. You can use any combination of these strategies to place your VDI servers.

Table 5. Comparison of Centralized and Decentralized Placement of VDI Servers

Centralized Decentralized


Centralized IT data center.

Placement in classrooms, labs, or near VDI client locations.


Requires less effort because there are fewer servers to manage.

Requires more effort because there are more servers to manage.

High availability

Higher concentration of user VDI sessions makes implementing high-availability technologies (such as load balancing or Windows failover clustering) more cost-effective.

Lower concentration of user VDI sessions makes implementing high-availability technologies less effective.


Higher concentration of user VDI sessions can offset the costs required for scaling. You can add servers or system resources to increase scaling capability.

Lower concentration of user VDI sessions may not be able to offset costs required for scaling. For example, adding a server to a classroom with an existing server would effectively double the costs.

Efficient use of system resources

User VDI sessions can be distributed (load balanced) across multiple servers, which results in the servers being more equally utilized.

Some VDI servers may be underutilized, while others are overutilized, with no way to share resources among servers.

Network traffic

Higher available network bandwidth is required on the institution’s network backbone to support VDI sessions.

Traffic is more localized and has less impact on the institution’s network backbone.

See also