Options/choices Creating a Floating Linked Clone Pool

After discussing Creating Floating Linked Clone Pools it is time to go through the options you get when creating such a pool. If you haven’t created a Floating Linked Clone Pool before or can’t recall the options, take a look at the video. I will not discuss every option. Just the ones I get most questions about.

The first option you get after choosing “User Assignment-Floating” is the choice between “Full virtual machines” and “View Composer linked clones”. Now, I have to mention I don’t really understand this option. Why would you choose for a Floating Full VM Pool? I just don’t see the use case. It isn’t because you want to use Local Mode, because you need a dedicated pool for that. It also isn’t for Local Admin/installation rights because you will end up on a different VM, so your apps will be gone. You will just use more storage capacity as I see it. Oh well, it is there as an option.

The next options you will see are under “Pool Settings”.

“Remote Desktop Power Policy”; basically has 3 options; leave your VM’s turned on, suspended or turned off. This is the policy you set on VM’s which aren’t in use by users and which don’t belong to the “spare (powered on) desktops”. The amount of “spare” VM’s can be configured later on under “Provisioning settings-Pool Sizing”. Most of the times, I set the power policy to power off. Why burn CPU cycles when no one is using the VM? If you have enough (and that’s the magic word I guess) VM’s set as spare, no one needs to wait before a VM completely boots. It has to be said, when you leave all the VM’s on, no one needs to wait. Not even in the case suddenly everyone logs on.

“Automatically logoff after disconnect”; what do you want to happen when someone disconnects its sessions? Automatically logoff? Straight away or after a period of time? Straight away means freeing up the VM so others can use it. On the other hand, what about roaming through a building? Disconnect, go to a different level connect and directly go on with your work because your session is there. I have seen the setting “after a period of 4 hours” so users could go home and continue there. Do keep in mind, when a session logs off after a disconnect, all open applications (yes, that also means an open Word document which cost hours of work) will close as well.

“Delete or refresh a desktop on logoff”; I do believe you have to pick either delete or refresh in this case. Refresh means reverting to the original snapshot where as delete means that the Linked Clone gets deleted and build up again. Delete takes longer and cost more IO’s.

Just a quick comment on “Remote Display Protocol” settings; when you pick PCoIP as the default protocol and don’t allow users to choose protocol, you will be able to enable Windows 7 3D Rendering and set an amount of Video Ram per VM.

“View Composer Disks”; you have an option to redirect system temp files and page file. This disposable file gets deleted after using the VM. Again, I believe that you always should use the delete or refresh option with a Floating Linked Clone Pool. In that case you don’t need to use a disposable file.

“Pool Sizing”; max amount of desktops and number of spare desktops. Do look back at the “Remote Desktop Power Policy”. All policies together set the behavior of the pool.

Example; max amount is 100. Spare is set to 20, Remote Power Policy is set to turned off and provisioning is “up-front”.  In this example all 100 VM’s get created and configured. When they all are created, 20 VM’s will remain turned on and 80 turned off. When someone logs on to a VM, only 19 VM’s are spare because 1 has been taken. Automatically 1 VM will be turned on to meet the policy again. This continues till all VM’s are turned on.

“vCenter Settings-Datastores”; I will come back on this topic later on. Also, a lot of information already has been released around this topic. It is important which datastores you use for Replica’s and Linked Clones so do get familiar with the options you have around storage.

Hopefully you have an understanding now what these options bring you. Know what to provide to your users.

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