Create Dedicated Desktop Pool with Linked-Clone

Hi All,

Today we will discuss about How to create Dedicated Desktop pool with Linked-Clone Technology.

Horizon View 7.5 blog series: “Horizon View 7.5

Previous blog post: “Windows 7 Golden Image for Horizon

In my previous blog post we discussed about how to create Windows 7 Golden Image and we have already taken Snapshot 01 on golden image.

Verify Golden Image snapshot availability from vsphere client.

Desktop Pool Creation

There are multiple steps are involved on Desktop Pool Creation, I tried include all the screenshots which I taken from my lab environment.

Lets start..

Login to VMware Horizon 7 Administrator console:-

From administrator console, Under Inventory > Catalog > select Desktop Pools.

In Desktop Pools tab, click on Add.. button.

Desktop Pool Definition – Type 

Basically we have three types of desktop pools:-

  1. Automated Desktop Pool
  2. Manual Desktop Pool
  3. RDS Desktop Pool

Today we going to discuss about Automated Desktop Pool with Linked Clone technology.

Select Automated Desktop Pool and click Next.

Desktop Pool Definition – User Assignment

There are two types of user assignments:-

  1. Dedicated
  2. Floating

As I mentioned earlier, we are going to deploy dedicated desktop pool. So select Dedicated and Enable automatic assignment option.

Click Next.

Desktop Pool Definition – vCenter Server

In vCenter server tab, we have three cloning options:-

  1. Instant clone
  2. View Composer Linked Clone
  3. Full virtual machine

Select View Composer linked clones option and select targeted vCenter server and view composer which we already added to view environment.

Click Next.

Setting – Desktop Pool Identification

Now we have to setup/customize desktop pool.

Provide required inputs under Desktop Pool Identification tab,

  • ID: vGyan_Dedicated_Pool_01 (Pool ID)
  • Display Name: vGyan_VDI_01 (Visible to end user)
  • Access Group: “/” ( we can create multiple access group according to requirement)

Click Next.

Setting -Desktop Pool Settings

Under Desktop Pool Settings, there are multiple options:

  1. General
  2. Remote Settings
  3. Remote Display Protocol
  4. Adobe flash settings for sessions
  5. Mirage Settings

Under General, we have three options.

  • State: Enable (Desktop pool Enable/Disable)
  • Connection Server Restrictions: you can restrict connection servers according to your design requirements.
  • Category Folder: You can select specified category folder from here.

Under Remote Settings, we have four options,

  • Remote Machine Power Policy: Power off ( After logoff system will be going for power off mode, it will be saving some computing resource. There are multiple options available like “Take no power action, Ensure machines are always powered on, Suspend and power off“)
  • Automatic logoff after disconnect: I selected After 120 Min (there are other options are available like “Immediately, Never and After“)
  • Allow users to reset/restart their machines: No (Available options are “Yes or No“)
  • Refresh OS disk after logoff: Never (Options are available “Never, Always, Every xx days, At xx% Disk utilization)

Under Remote Display Protocol, we have seven options.

  • Default Display Protocol: VMware Blast (Options are available “Microsoft RDP, PCoIP and VMware Blast“)
  • Allow users to choose protocol: Yes (Available options are “Yes or No“)
  • 3D Renderer: Disabled (Option used for 3D graphics usage, Available options are “Disabled, Manage using vSphere Client, Automatic, Software, Hardware, NVIDIA GRID VGPU”)
  • Max number of monitors: 2 (for changing number of monitors, desktop VM needs to go through one reboot. Avalable options are “1,2,3 and 4“)
  • Max resolution of any one monitor: 1920×1200 (for changing max resolution, desktop VM needs to go through one reboot. Available options are “1680×1020, 1920×1200, 2560×1600 and 3840×2160)
  • HTML Access: Enabled (for accessing view desktop through web portal)
  • Allow Session Collaboration: Enabled (Required VMware Blast Protocol)

Under Adobe Flash settings for sessions, we have two options.

  • Adobe Flash quality: Do not control (available options are “Do not control, Low, Medium, High)
  • Adobe Flash throttling: Disabled ( available options are “Disabled, Conservative, Moderate and Aggressive)

I am not using Mirage at this point of time.

Click Next.


Setting-Provisioning Settings

Under Basic, Select “Enable provisioning” and “Stop provisioning on error” options.

Provide Virtual Machine Naming pattern: VDI-DP01-{n}

Under Desktop Pool Sizing, provide required inputs according to your requirements.

  • Max. number of machines: 2
  • Number of spare (powered on) machines: 1
  • Minimum number of ready (provisioned) machine during view composer maintenance operation: 1

Provisioning Timing: Provision all machines up-front. ( we can provision machines according to demand or Provision all machines up-front)


Setting-View Composer Disks

Under View Composer Disk, specify Persistent Disk and Disposable File Redirection.

  • Select “Redirect Windows profile to a persistent
  • Disk Size 2048 MB (Minimum 128 MB)
  • Drive letter: D
  • Select “Redirect disposable files to non-persistent
  • Disk size: 4096 MB (Minimum 512 MB)
  • Drive letter: Auto

Click Next.


Setting-Storage Optimization

We can configure advanced options with regard to storage management and the placement of OS persistent and replica disk.

First option available for vSAN configuration, in my environment I don’t have vSAN.

We have two options to separate virtual Disk placement, “Select separate datastores for persistent disk and OS disk” and “Select separate datastores for replica and OS disks

Click Next.


Setting-vCenter Settings

In vCenter settings, we have to specify golden image, snapshot, VM folder, Resource details etc..

Select Parent VM from browse option, Select windows 7 Golden Image and click OK.

For creating windows 7 golden image, refer here.

Select Snapshot from browse option, Select snapshot 01 and click OK.

If you need more information on particular snapshot, you can find on “Snapshot Details

Select VM folder location from browse option, Select VDI-VMs folder and click OK.

Select Host and cluster from browse option, Select HZCL cluster and click OK.

Select Resource Pool from browse option, Select HZCL cluster as resource pool and click OK.

Select Datastore from browse option, Select available Datasores.

Storage Overcommit, we have five options available to choose (“None, Conservative, Moderate, Aggressive, Unbounded) Select storage overcommit according to your requirement and click OK.

Verify vCenter Settings and click Next.

Setting-Advanced storage options

First option for View Storage Accelerator, which enhance the performance by caching desktop pool data.

Tick the Use View Storage Accelerator box to enable it. We can select OS disks or OS and Persistent disks option from drop down menu.

Regenerate storage accelerator after: 7 Days (Select according to requirement)

Last option on this configuration screen is to configure blackout times for cache regeneration and space reclamation. You can add blackout timings from here..

Transparent page sharing scope we have four options Virtual Machine, Desktop Pool, Pod and Global.

Click Next.

Setting-Guest Customization

In the Domain box, from the drop-down menu, select the domain in which
the newly created virtual desktop machines will reside.

Then, in the AD container box, Browse in the container name of where the
desktop accounts should be created.

  • Domain: vgyan.local(sujithsn)
  • AD container: OU: Horizon View Desktop

Select Use Quick Prep and click Next.

Setting-Ready to Complete

Verify all the details and click Finish.

Note:- We can use “Entitle users after this wizard finishes” for entitling users to this desktop pool, but I will show you this later.

Under Desktop Pools tab, we can find newly created “vGyan_Dedicated_Pool_01” desktop pool.

Double click on Desktop Pool, verify desktop pool property from summary tab.

In targeted vCenter, first replica VM created from golden image.

As we configured, there are two windows 7 desktops are created in vCenter, One VM is powered on and another one is powered off. Once first VM connected to a user, second VM will be automatically power on and become available.

Switch to View Administrator, and verify both VMs are available in Inventory tab under newly created desktop pool.

As you can see one VM in Available state another one in Provisioned state.

Under Inventory, Select “Machines (View Composer Details)” option to view Image details.

Under Inventory, Select “Persistent Disk” option to view Persistent disk related details.

Events tab will provide you recent activity’s on newly created desktop pool.

Finally Policies tab, if you have any custom policy you can provide here for particular desktop pool.

So we successfully Created Dedicated Desktop Pool with Linked-Clone.

We will discuss user entitlement and other options in next blog post.

That’s all guys.. will discuss more on Horizon View 7.5 in upcoming post, Horizon View components installation and configuration, various Desktop pool creations, Application publishing etc… stay tuned.. 🙂

Next blog post will be “User Entitlements on Horizon View Desktop Pool

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to share this to others if it is worth sharing!!!

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Written by Sujith Surendran

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