VMware View gives you a lot of options to chose from. One of them is about provisioning Automated Desktop Pools.
You could create a virtual desktop in vCenter for every user individually and make those VM’s available through the View Manager but is this you want to do for a large group of user? I don’t think so. This would be time consuming with a lot of manual work. For specific users, who, for example, need special software, settings etc, creating individual VM’s could be a valid option.
For groups of users, you would like to have an automatic way of rolling out virtual desktops. Let “the system” do all the work. This is what the View Manager/vCenter can do for you;
To use this mechanism you first create a VM with all the required settings and applications for those users. Don’t add the VM to the domain but shut it down and “convert to template”. When you configure a pool (and we will talk about the options shortly) through the View Manager, based on that template, View will send a signal to vCenter and vCenter will start cloning and customizing VM’s. This is all automated. Did you configure a pool of 10 VM’s, vCenter will create 10 VM’s for you, add them to the domain and make them available to a group of users you have entitled.
Now, let’s go back to the “Pool options”. View offers you 2 Pools mechanisms;
1. Persistent Pools,
2. Non Persistent Pools.
A Persistent Pool means that there will be permanent relation between user and VM. When a user logs on for the first time a VM will be assigned to him/her. Next time this user logs on again, he will connect to the same VM..and so on. There will be a relationship between user and VM. If you want users to be able to change setting, install applications, this is the pool to pick for them.
A Non persistent Pool means the relationship discussed above won’t happen. A user logs on to an available VM. Next time, he or she will log on to any available VM. After the logoff the VM goes back into the pool of available VM’s. With the right settings you could revert the VM to it’s original state so all changes made by a user are deleted. This pool can be used for a group of task workers; users who use applications do to their jobs and only that. No need for them to change setting or install applications. It shouldn’t matter where they logon to.
Now you can combine the Non Persistent/Persistent Pool with Full/Linked Clone VM’s. So you can get;
1. Persistent Pool based on Full Clone VM’s,
2. Non Persistent Pool based on Full Clone VM’s,
3. Persistent Pool based on Linked Clone VM’s,
4. Non Persistent Pool based on Linked Clone Clone VM’s,
Each combination has it’s own features and options. I will discuss those in the near future. Get to know all the options so you can make a good choice which pool or pools fit within your organization the best. You are not bound to 1 pool and mechanism of course. You could have them all for different kind of users.