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Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Horizon View 7 Instant-Clone Feature - How to Create Instant Clone Desktop Pool?

The new VMware Instant Clone Technology included in the View component of the Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition improves and accelerates the process of creating cloned virtual desktops over the previous View Composer linked-clone technology. In addition, instant clones require less storage and less expense to manage and update because the desktop is deleted when the user logs out, and a new
desktop is created using the latest master image.

For just-in-time desktops, you can combine instant clones with VMware App Volumes™ and VMwareUser Environment Manager™ to create disposable desktops that retain user customizations, personas,and user-installed apps from session to session, even though the cloned desktop is destroyed when theuser logs out. Users experience a stateful desktop, while the enterprise realizes the economy of stateless desktops.

Instant-Clone Use Cases
If you want to use instant clones, you create one or more pools of instant clones. Like View Composer linked-clone pools, instant-clone pools have been tested to support up to 2,000 desktops in a pool. Instant clones fit several use cases in enterprise environments:
• For task workers, where everyone in the pool requires the same applications, and a specific desktop
need not be dedicated to a specific user
• Where you want to take advantage of the benefits of cloned desktops, and provide personalization
with other VMware products such as App Volumes and User Environment Manager
• Wherever you previously used View Composer floating desktop pools that used a naming pattern and where 3D rendering was not required.

Cloning Technology
A clone is a copy of a master virtual machine with a unique identity of its own, including a MAC address, UUID, and other system information. Instant clones represent the newest generation of cloning technology, after full clones and View Composer linked clones.
Full Clones
A full clone is an independent copy of a virtual machine (VM). It shares nothing with its master VM, and it operates entirely separately from the master VM used to create it.

Linked Clones
A linked clone uses significantly less storage space than a full clone because it accesses software on
shared virtual disks. Because of this sharing mechanism, a linked clone must always have access to the disk used for cloning. To make a linked clone, you take a snapshot of the master VM and then the cloning process creates a replica VM to use for cloning. The linked clone shares virtual disks with the replica VM. The differential—the bits of software that are unique to the linked clone—is stored in a diff disk or redo disk. Thisarrangement allows the linked clone to occupy a smaller amount of physical disk space than the master VM but still access the software installed on the shared virtual disks. You can create hundreds of linked diff disks from one replica, reducing the total storage space required.
Instant Clones
Like a linked clone, an instant clone shares virtual disks with the replica VM after the linked clone is
created. The process of creating instant clones differs from that used for linked clones in the following way: The cloning process creates a running parent VM from the replica VM. At creation time, the instant clone shares the memory of the running parent VM from which it is created.
Instant clones use copy-on-write for memory and disk management. Instant clones are based on a
running parent VM, derived from a master VM. When an instant clone is created from a running parent VM, any reads of unchanged information come from the already existing running parent VM. However, any changes made to the instant clone are written to a delta disk, not to the running parent VM. This strategy preserves security and isolation between the instant clones by ensuring that
• Each instant clone is immediately accessible.
• Changes do not affect the shared data and memory of the running parent VM on which all other 
instant clones are based. Sharing the memory of a running parent VM at creation time enables instant clones to be created within a few seconds and instantly powered on. An instant clone requires no boot time when the cloning process is finished. Because an instant clone can be created so quickly, it does not need to persist after a user logs out. Instead, the instant clone is deleted when the user logs out. Depending on the number of spare VMs configured for the desktop pool, a new instant clone might be created immediately after a used instant clone is deleted. In this manner, users get a newly created desktop whenever they log in. If the master image—the VM snapshot used to create the pool—has been updated since the last login, the user gets the new image.

Note: The instant clone is deleted when the user logs out, not necessarily when the user disconnects. If the user disconnects the session, the virtual desktop remains, unless the administrator has configured the user to be automatically logged out after disconnecting.

Instant Clone Benefits Over Linked Clone:-

Instant Clone Sequence:-
Image thanks to VMware

Instant Clone Terminology: -
Info taken from VMware Documentation

How to Create Instant Clone Desktop Pool?

1. Prepare the Master VM - Install the Horizon View Agent and take snapshot of this VM

2. Configure vCenter Server from Horizon View Client to enable the storage acceleration

 3. Authorize a Horizon 7 Administrator account for use by ClonePrep
Horizon 7 Administrator account must have domain join and remove permissions

4. Create an Automated Desktop Pool of Instant-Clone Machines

5. View the ClonePrepReplicaVmFolder in vSphere Web Client
You will see the same structure as i mentioned in the instant clone sequence


Finally Use Horizon Client to Connect with Desktop Pool to verify the connectivity with your Instant Clone desktops.