VMware Horizon 7 Instant clones

I was having a discussion in the office about whether cloud based deployment are starting to be de-facto or if we still see many old school deployments. Later on I was pointed at Shawn’s blog where he mentioned flying cars. I  had to think back to that blog while starting this article.
It ain’t no flying cars but it sure as hell flies.
VMware Horizon 7 will introduce the long waited for Just-In-time desktops or instant clones, Project Fargo as we learned at VMworld 2014. This was introduced already in vSphere 6 but not available until pretty soon in Horizon View for your desktop environment.
Read my blogs on this here, here, here and here.

Instant clones

If you don’t have the time, a quick introduction, one minute intro in JIT.
It’s a in-memory clone of a reference machine (it’s quiesced and cloned), a virtual machine that in other cases you’d be using as your desktop pool golden image. Only when the desktop is required the clone is created, until someone uses the newly created desktop it will be using the parent memory and disk, from that point the desktop will be living it’s own live but still will use the parent memory and disk for reads. At logoff the desktop is destroyed, not refreshed it’s destroyed.
That’s your one minute lesson, now back to the announcement.
Horizon 7 brings you two provisioning deployment methods;
  • Composer provisioning
  • Instant cloning provisioning
Composer is not going anywhere at this moment and Instant cloning is added now.
Instant cloning based on VMware vmForking is bringing many benefits
  • Desktop management is virtually eliminated
  • High performance
  • Enhanced user experience
  • No more maintenance windows

Desktop management

Desktop management and maintenance windows is the hardest part in management a virtual environment. the virtual desktop (and yes even when we work in the cloud there is a desktop somewhere, a desktop or a server) needs updating, software needs to be installed.
The biggest challenge we see at project is the virus scanner and the Windows updates. You need to keep them coming but in a composer deployed pool the time is never ideal to do a pool update. With elastic pools brought by Instant cloning this issue is resolved.
The golden image can be updated anytime because the desktop pool, euh the desktop is created at the time it is requested. So during the day you can update the virus scanner and install the Windows updates and when the user logs on they get a shiny new and updated desktop.

High performance

In composer deployed pools the desktop pool is deployed on forehand leading to boot storms and impact on the storage and hypervisor hosts. With the new Instant cloning the elastic pool consists of none or minimal desktops. This means that you won’t deploy hundreds of desktop upfront but desktops are created when requested, lowering impact on storage and host to a minimum.

Enhance end user experience

As said before the user experience is enhanced because the user is always working in the latest and greatest desktop. The latest version of applications and updates are installed offering faster changes.
Non-persistent desktops are complemented with app volumes and VMware UEM to create a persistent feeling for the users, the best of both worlds


I hope you get a good idea of what is coming, this is a major announcement that will rock the VDI world.

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