Update: This article was last updated on 24th November 2021 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.

Computers are the cornerstone of the current digital era. Whether it is automobile or accounting, almost every industry heavily relies on desktops to carry out its organizational operations.

However, a traditional desktop setup is not easy to maintain. Apart from a considerable financial investment, they carry a high-maintenance liability. And with the BYOD trend heating up in the past few years, more and more employees are eager to work remotely with their devices.

Persistent vs. Non-Persistent VDI: What You Should Know

This is why businesses are now moving towards a more flexible and cost-effective desktop environment, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). It is a technological innovation that allows you to access your virtual desktop on a central server remotely.

While an organization can establish its own VDI environment, there is also an option to avail it from a third-party service provider. However, before you decide to implement a VDI solution within your organization, you must first understand its two basic types—persistent and non-persistent VDI.

Non-persistent VDI is ideal for environments with a need for a low-maintenance VDI solution with limited customization. On the other hand, persistent VDI is more suitable for companies with a need for a VDI solution that offers tremendous personalization with the one-user-one-desktop requirements.

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Here, let’s have a comprehensive look at their functionalities and different components.

What Is Persistent VDI?

As the name suggests, persistent VDI offers virtual desktops in which the users can repeatedly access their uniquely customized Virtual Desktop (VD) without any loss of previously stored data. Every time they log into the system, they can access their last-saved data and work with the configurations they used in their previous sessions. Hence, it is akin to providing them their personal VD with complete freedom and data storage and configurational setup. Since these virtual desktops maintain their customized user settings and remain in that state even after repeated logins, they are also known as the “Stateful VDI.”

What Is Non-Persistent VDI?

On the other hand, non-persistent VDI is entirely opposite to persistent VDI. Non-persistent VDI doesn’t save the data and settings from the previous sessions. Every time a user logs into the system, a fresh virtual desktop waiting awaits. It is like managing a pool of virtual desktops which revert to their original configuration after session termination. Hence, this also gives them the name “Stateless VDI.”

Main Differences Between Non-persistent and Persistent VDI

1. Setup: Non-persistent vs. Persistent Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Although both are two types of VDI, they have a basic setup that is common for both of them. Using software known as Hypervisor, virtualization is done in which the hardware and software are separated into different layers. After their separation, Hypervisor creates virtual instances, which are then used to set up virtual desktops.

Since persistent VDI must essentially manage the post-session changes, a connection broker (after authentication) always directs the users to their particular virtual desktop. Whereas, in non-persistent VDI, all the virtual instances are the clones of a single golden/master image. So with each login, the connection broker redirects the users to these linked clones, revert to their original master configuration after every logout.

2. Pros & cons: Non-persistent vs Persistent VDI

Like every technological innovation, persistent and non-persistent VDI have their pros and cons. Let’s have a look at them in detail:

Persistent VDI

The primary benefit of using persistent VDI is easy personalization. Since every change, data, shortcuts, configurational settings are maintained as per the last session. Persistent VDI is the ideal choice for those users who want a first-hand experience of their desktop with any time, anywhere accessibility. However, persistent VDI has more storage requirements than non-persistent VDI, as you must maintain a separate database for each virtual desktop. Similarly, you need to manage their individual patchwork and updates as well.

Due to this, companies must have a considerable IT budget to withstand the associated financial expenditure.

Non-persistent VDI

While persistent VDI comes with significant financial requirements, non-persistent VDI is the go-to choice for organizations that want a cost-effective VDI solution. In a non-persistent VDI, the IT staff needs to manage a single “golden image.” So, instead of working updates and patchwork of multiple virtual desktops, they just need to fix the master configuration. However, since all the changes revert to the original condition, non-persistent VDI offers marginal personalization with limited application support.

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3. Use cases Of Persistent VDI And Non-persistent VDI

Since the fundamental properties of both the VDI differ considerably, their usage extends to varying professional spheres.

For instance, in call centers, an employee doesn’t need to have a personalized desktop set up and only needs to regularly access the same set of applications and software; non-persistent VDI is an ideal solution. Also, it finds its application in other fields as well, such as customer service representatives, medical data entry, check-in assistants, and student labs.

A persistent VDI is ideal for environments where the user must regularly access a personalized virtual desktop without compromising basic settings. Hence, for job areas like software development, research, and healthcare, persistent VDI is widely used.


Persistent and non-persistent VDI offer different benefits to the users. Their use-cases are different, and it depends upon your requirements to choose one.

If you’re still confused about which one to choose, contact  855-980-2150, our Solutions Consultant, by clicking the below button or get a 10-day VDI free trial now.

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