When you create a linked-clone desktop pool, the View Administrator Add Pool wizard prompts you to configure certain options. Use this worksheet to prepare your configuration options before you create the pool.

You can print this worksheet and write down the values you want to specify when you run the Add Pool wizard.

Before you create a linked-clone pool, you must use vCenter Server to take a snapshot of the parent virtual machine that you prepare for the pool. You must shut down the parent virtual machine before you take the snapshot. View Composer uses the snapshot as the base image from which the clones are created.

Note

You cannot create a linked-clone pool from a virtual machine template.

Worksheet: Configuration Options for Creating a Linked-Clone Desktop Pool

Option

Description

Fill In Your Value Here

User assignment

Choose the type of user assignment:

In a dedicated-assignment pool, each user is assigned to a desktop. Users receive the same desktop each time they log in.

In a floating-assignment pool, users receive different desktops each time they log in.

For details, see User Assignment in Desktop Pools.

Enable automatic assignment

In a dedicated-assignment pool, a desktop is assigned to a user when the user first logs in to the pool. You can also explicitly assign desktops to users.

If you do not enable automatic assignment, you must explicitly assign a desktop to each user.

vCenter Server

Select the vCenter Server that manages the virtual machines in the pool.

Pool ID

The unique name that identifies the pool in View Administrator.

If multiple View Connection Server configurations are running in your environment, make sure that another View Connection Server configuration is not using the same pool ID.

A View Connection Server configuration can be a standalone View Connection Server instance or a group of replicated instances that share a common View LDAP configuration.

Display name

The pool name that users see when they log in with View Client. If you do not specify a display name, the pool ID is displayed to users.

View Folder

Select a View Folder in which to place the pool or leave the pool in the default root folder.

If you use a View Folder, you can delegate managing the pool to an administrator with a specific role. For details, see Using Folders to Delegate Administration.

Note

View folders are different than vCenter Server folders that store desktop virtual machines. You select a vCenter Server folder later in the wizard with other vCenter Server settings.

Delete or refresh desktop on logoff

If you select floating user assignment, choose whether to refresh desktops, delete desktops, or do nothing after users log off.

Note

You set this option on the Pool Settings page.

Pool Settings

Settings that determine the desktop state, power status when a virtual machine is not in use, display protocol, Adobe Flash quality, and so on.

For descriptions, see Desktop and Pool Settings.

For a list of the settings that apply to linked-clone pools, see Desktop Settings for Linked-Clone Desktop Pools.

For more information about power policies and automated pools, see Setting Power Policies for Desktop Pools.

Redirect Windows profile to persistent disks

If you select dedicated user assignments, choose whether to store Windows user-profile data on a separate View Composer persistent disk or the same disk as the OS data.

Separate persistent disks let you preserve user data and settings. View Composer refresh, recompose, and rebalance operations do not affect persistent disks. You can detach a persistent disk from a linked clone and attach it to another desktop.

If you store the Windows profile in the OS disk, user data and settings are removed during refresh, recompose, and rebalance operations.

Disk size and drive letter for persistent disk

If you store user profile data on a separate View Composer persistent disk, provide the disk size in megabytes and the drive letter.

Note

Do not select a drive letter that already exists on the parent virtual machine or that conflicts with a drive letter that is used for a network-mounted drive.

Disposable File Redirection

Choose whether to redirect the guest OS's paging and temp files to a separate, nonpersistent disk. If you do, provide the disk size in megabytes.

With this configuration, when a linked clone is powered off, View Manager replaces the disposable-file disk with a copy of the original disk that was created with the linked-clone pool. Linked clones can increase in size as users interact with their desktops. Disposable file redirection can save storage space by slowing the growth of linked clones.

The disk size should be larger than page-file size of the guest OS. To determine the page-file size, see Keep a Record of the Parent Virtual Machine's Paging-File Size.

When you configure the disposable-file disk size, consider that the actual size of a formatted disk partition is slightly smaller than the value you provide in View Administrator.

Virtual machine naming

Choose whether to provision desktops by manually specifying a list of desktop names or by providing a naming pattern and the total number of desktops.

For details, see Naming Desktops Manually or Providing a Naming Pattern.

List of desktop names

If you specify names manually, prepare a text file that lists desktop names and, optionally, the associated user names.

Naming pattern

If you use this naming method, provide the pattern.

View Manager uses your pattern as a prefix in all the desktop names and appends a unique number to identify each desktop.

For details, see Using a Naming Pattern for Automated Desktop Pools.

Maximum number of desktops

If you use a naming pattern, specify the total number of desktops in the pool.

You can also specify a minimum number of desktops to provision when you first create the pool.

Number of spare (powered on) desktops

If you specify names manually or use a naming pattern, specify a number of desktops that View Manager keeps available and powered on for new users. For details, see Naming Desktops Manually or Providing a Naming Pattern.

When you specify names manually, this option is called # Unassigned desktops kept powered on.

Minimum number of desktops

If you use a naming pattern and provision desktops on demand, specify a minimum number of desktops in the pool.

If you provision desktops on demand, View Manager creates desktops as users connect to the pool for the first time.

View Manager creates the minimum number of desktops when you create the pool.

Parent virtual machine

Select the parent virtual machine for the pool.

To use features that are supported in View Manager 4.5 or later, such as redirecting disposable data to a separate disk and customizing the linked clones with Sysprep, you must select a parent virtual machine on which View Agent 4.5 or later is installed.

Note

You cannot use View Composer to deploy desktops that run Windows Vista Ultimate Edition or Windows XP Professional SP1.

Default image (snapshot)

Select the snapshot of the parent virtual machine to use as the base image for the pool.

Do not delete the snapshot and parent virtual machine from vCenter Server, unless no more linked clones will be created from this default image. View Manager requires the parent virtual machine and snapshot to provision new linked clones in the pool, according to pool policies.

Publish base image to the Transfer Server repository.

Select this option if you use the pool to provision local desktops. When a local desktop is provisioned, View Transfer Server downloads the base image from the Transfer Server repository to the client.

You can also publish the base image after you create the pool.

vCenter Server folder

Select the folder in vCenter Server in which the desktop pool resides.

Host or cluster

Select the ESX host or cluster on which the desktop virtual machines run.

Resource pool

Select the vCenter Server resource pool in which the desktop pool resides.

Select Datastores

Select one or more datastores on which to store the desktop pool.

A table on the Select Datastores page of the Add Pool wizard provides high-level guidelines for estimating the pool's storage requirements. These guidelines can help you determine which datastores are large enough to store the linked-clone disks. For details, see Storage Sizing for Linked-Clone Desktop Pools.

If you store user data and OS data on separate disks, you can store the persistent disks and OS disks on separate datastores.

You can store the replica (master) virtual machine on a high-performance datastore and the linked clones on separate datastores.

For clusters, you can use shared datastores. For an indidivual ESXi host, you can use shared or local datastores.

For more information about the disks that are created for linked clones, see Linked-Clone Desktop Data Disks.

Storage Overcommit

Determine the storage-overcommit level at which View Manager creates linked-clone desktops on each datastore.

As the level increases, more linked clones fit on the datastore and less space is reserved to let individual clones grow. A high storage-overcommit level lets you create linked clones that have a total logical size larger than the physical storage limit of the datastore. For details, see Set the Storage Overcommit Level for Linked-Clone Desktops.

Active Directory domain

Select the Active Directory domain and user name.

View Composer requires certain user privileges to create a linked-clone pool. The domain and user account are used by QuickPrep or Sysprep to customize the linked-clone desktops. For details, see Create a User Account for View Composer.

You specify this user when you configure View Composer settings for vCenter Server. For details, see Configure View Composer Settings for vCenter Server. You can specify multiple domains and users when you configure View Composer settings. When you use the Add Pool wizard to create a pool, you must select one domain and user from the list.

Active Directory container

Provide the Active Directory container relative distinguished name.

For example: CN=Computers

When you run the Add Pool wizard, you can browse your Active Directory tree for the container.

Use QuickPrep or a customization specification (Sysprep)

Choose whether to use QuickPrep or select a customization specification (Sysprep) to let View Manager configure licensing, domain attachment, DHCP settings, and other properties on the desktops.

Sysprep is supported for linked clones only on vSphere 4.1 or later software. You cannot use Sysprep to customize linked-clone desktops on vSphere 4.0 software.

After you use QuickPrep or Sysprep when you create a pool, you cannot switch to the other customization method later on, when you create or recompose desktops in the pool.

For details, see Choosing QuickPrep or Sysprep to Customize Linked-Clone Desktops.

Power-off script

QuickPrep can run a customization script on linked-clone desktops before they are powered off.

Provide the path to the script on the parent virtual machine.

Post synchronization script

QuickPrep can run a customization script on linked-clone desktops after they are created, recomposed, and refreshed.

Provide the path to the script on the parent virtual machine.